What did you do before you started working in jewellery?
I always had a passion for jewellery. When my father passed away, he left me a rouble and a Russian cross that belonged to my mother and my grandmother before her. I thought these precious objects were the most beautiful things in the world. After studying at the Sorbonne in Paris in the ’80s, I started travelling around the world and I stopped for some time in Hong Kong, where I first began to design jewellery. When I came back to the UK, I kept on designing jewellery and created a pair of fish cufflinks for my mother’s fish business. That is how everything really started.
Do you design any of the jewellery yourself?
Yes I do, but not having had a formal design education it is not one of my strongest points! I always work very closely with my team and source stones from all over the world. I am fuelled by a collector’s passion for the exotic and unique. Most of my jewellery is handmade using the traditional crafts handed over the centuries. A lot of jewellery relies on lost wax castings to repeat the form which are then hand-finished and hand-set. My pieces are renowned for their exquisite macro pave’ where every stone is individually handset using a microscope. This allows such fine setting that the metal is hardly visible.
How long have you had your shop?
The 700 sq ft Annoushka boutique opened last year on the 21 November and is the home of my design studio together with the gallery that showcase my collections and those of a select number of guest designers and artists with whom I collaborate.
What draws you to certain designers?
I am always looking for really unusual natural new talents; I mentor and help them building their collections. This collaboration benefits everyone and has resulted in some extraordinary one-off pieces available in my stores.
Do you live in the area, and if so why?
I live off Pimlico Road. I like the villagey and friendly atmosphere of the area.
What is your favourite thing about the King’s Road?
The variety and yet homely feeling of the neighbourhood.
Do you think that wearing one stunning piece is better than lots of jewellery?
For me the element of choice is vital. I offer my clients a selection of very different collections and styles, as well as a unique wardrobe concept, helping women to build their own collection, their personal parure, and giving them an understanding of how to choose, wear and most of all indulge in the joy of jewellery. I have tried to remove the feeling of reverence that so often surrounds the whole experience of buying and wearing fine jewellery. I want my pieces to be worn every day; I want to encourage women to wear their huge, glamorous cocktail rings to a party, but also to dress up their jeans.
If you could only wear one piece of jewellery for the rest of your life what would it be?
My engagement ring.
Are there trends in jewellery as there are in fashion or is it more timeless?
I think today women look to jewellery more and more as an expression of personal identity and the time is right for a new design-driven informal approach with a strong point of view.
What is this summer’s must-have piece?
Our new Eclipse Rainbow rings are great for the summer. With fiery yellow and orange sapphires, purple amethysts and exotic green tsavorites, they will bring a splash of colour to your summer jewellery wardrobe. I also love the new Alphabet tags – a modern interpretation of a classic theme with a vintage feel.
Do you have any celebrity customers?
I do dress many celebrities including Frieda Pinto, Danni Minogue, Hayley Atwell, Meredith Ostrom and Charlotte Church.
Are you planning on opening any more shops?
There is a largely uninhabited position in a market presently polarised between high-end jewellery and the traditional jeweller. At the moment our aim is to fill up that gap by creating design-led jewellery pieces that offer higher quality and design than the high street and better value than the high-end jewellery.