If you’re bored of “rules” when it comes to jewellery then you need to get out of the mainstream. Jewellery has a sentimentality that gives it particular value and can also be the making or breaking of your look, which is why we’re often so tempted to break the bank to get something statement. However, you don’t have to. For truly unique pieces that have their very own back story – and won’t leave you without your bus fare for a month – emerging designers are where it’s at. Here are seven emerging jewellery brands to know.
Kent-based British designer Nessa Warner is a master of the art of sterling silver. A lifelong interest in design has led to the creation of an up and coming jewellery label that favours simplicity and modernity over fussy and fancy. The motivation for the designs comes from Nessa’s love of adornment and it’s easy to see how the creativity in the brand is driven by a deep appreciation of the inherent beauty of the raw materials used. These pieces really showcase silver – if you have always been more of a rose gold fan then prepare to be converted by these modern, versatile and individual designs. We especially love the weighty Amulet Pendant and the sleek Petal necklace. If you’re someone who craves rings with attitude this is the label for you – check out the Architectural Lines Ring for bold inspiration.
Oxford graduate Rosh Mahtani launched her brand Alighieri in 2014, with the intention of creating modern heirlooms. However, these heirlooms don’t just tell a historic story, as each piece is a golden representation of one of the 100 poems in Dante’s Divine Comedy, to whom the brand also owes its name. The jewellery has a deliberately warped, asymmetric aesthetic, providing a feeling that every piece, although new, was lost centuries ago and has only just been re-discovered. Pendants in the shape of broken coins, bottles and shells come in a range of sizes, drop and hoop earrings rarely match and there are even golden pins to wear in your hair. It’s the kind of jewellery that you’re likely to get plenty of questions about when you wear it, and telling the tale is just as interesting as the jewellery itself.
Amsterdam based Afra Amba is a brand that creates ‘wearable works of art,’ blending tradition with trend. The current pieces have an urban, industrial feel reminiscent of the city environment that is the cornerstone of the brand’s inspiration. Some of our favourite designs include the Tetragonal ring – a thick, dappled silver band with a triangle cut out in the centre -, the Eye choker, with a diamond outline made from silver, and the Expose earring, which is perfect for those with more than one ear piercing – the chain loops between the two holes with striking effect. Finally, there are body chains, delicate silver accessories that shouldn’t just be reserved for festivals alone.
Having always loved travelling, Sara Beltrán began to create jewellery for herself that was inspired by her journeys across the globe, and she then launched her label, Dezso, in 2006. If you’re looking for a piece of jewellery that’s entirely unique, then this could become your new favourite brand, each piece features natural elements like fossils, diamonds and even shark teeth, making every design completely one-of-a-kind. Chunky beaded necklaces, with amber and quartz, make for big statement pieces, but if you prefer a more delicate approach to your jewellery, or want something for everyday wear, there are poetic seashell and ammonite fossil pendants too.
London based designer Emily Mortimer wanted to create jewellery that could be worn in different ways for multiple occasions, but it wasn’t until her now husband proposed with an engagement ring that once belonged to his Grandmother, that she decided to launch her own brand in 2014. Inspired by the story behind the ring, Mortimer looked to create jewellery with an identity, and so her own pieces, made from either sterling silver or 14t gold with diamonds and semi-precious stones, are designed to tell stories of their own. Gems are definitely the brand’s speciality, using stones such as prasiolite and citrine that you’re unlikely to have heard of although, with their vibrant colours, you’ll definitely remember them.
Another brand letting nature take centre stage, Venyx World creates futuristic-style jewellery, with precious stones firmly placed at the core of the design. Made in Italy, each piece has an alien or intergalactic feel to it, such as the Reptilia collection, which sees white gold and black rhodium rings and necklaces set in a scale-like design. Although, it has to be said, our favourites are definitely the pebbles encrusted with diamonds, opals, sapphires and rubies (to name a few) in the shape of star sign constellations. Our excuse for buying one? Well, it must have been fate.
Jill Hopkins Jewellery
Mexican designer Jill Hopkins graduated in Fashion Design in Guadalajara Mexico and then went on to Central Saint Martins where she focused on Experimental Jewellery, Leather bag making and Jewellery business. The pieces that the designer produces are heavily inspired by Jill’s home country and each one is handcrafted by artisans there. We were lucky enough to go to the launch of her latest Bulles collection during London Fashion Week SS18, which was a riot of curved edges, oversize shapes and bold signature stones. We were especially taken with the Bulles XL coral earrings, which drop down below shoulder length and are tipped with the distinctive coral stone. Statement jewellery lovers unite behind this exciting up and coming brand.
By Elizabeth Kennedy