I would say I’ve upped my jewellery game over the past year. Whereas before I used to buy cheap pieces from the high-street by the bucket load (‘Who cares if I go off it next week? it’s so cheap!’), I am now more into buying less, but better. This might involve spending more, but on forever pieces, thus saving more in the long run.
They key for me is also making sure I stick to ethical jewellery brands, as I know where the materials come from, and it’s also a nice way to support local businesses. I have a long list of favourites, but I must admit I have a soft spot for Anissa Kermiche, ever since I spotted her panier earrings on fellow editors at fashion week.
Even better, her latest collection is inspired by women who led the French Revolution. Badass or what? Here she reveals what made her take the plunge, and what her style tips are.
You didn’t start out to become a jewellery designer, how did it come about?
It was always in me but I tried to repress it as long as I could. After graduating in engineering, I ended up working for a big consulting firm, which wasn’t exactly what I dreamt about when I was young. I caught up with my hobby in the evening after work, making simple pieces and wearing them at work. It caught the eye of the people around me straight away, which encouraged me to ditch my life in Paris, move across the Channel to study jewellery design.
When was the turning point for your brand?
When MatchesFashion picked up my brand 5 months after the launch. I couldn’t believe a famous retailer, where I had been shopping my whole life, was welcoming me as a designer so early after I launched my brand, basically 6 months after I graduated. Heaven.
Your Panier earrings have been spotted countless times at fashion week, are they a best seller?
They were indeed! My ear cuffs are also very popular, so is my collaboration of Runway jewellery for Rejina Pyo. Statement earrings are in general are very popular.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everyday life, I am a design and fine arts fanatic, I love turning lamps, bits of architecture, furniture, into wearable art. My collection Body Language is made of mini sculptures representing female body parts.
Do you have any tips for designers starting out?
Work for someone else first! Do not make the mistake of starting straight after uni like I did. So many mistakes can be avoided and so much time saved. I had the technical knowledge to make jewellery and the project management skills, but absolutely no clue about line sheets, the logistics of fashion week, PR, etc.
What projects have you got coming up?
A collaboration with a shoe brand, made possible by Net-A-Porter, which I am so proud of! Also my next collection based on the first women’s march in France during the French Revolution. Every piece is inspired by a figurehead of the feminist society 300 years ago. I have redesigned the French coin, changing the French national motto “Liberté Egalité Fraternité” (freedom equality brotherhood) into “Liberté Egalité Feminité” (freedom equality femininity) and with the bust of Marianne in the middle (Marianne is a national symbol of the French Republic, a personification of liberty and reason, and a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty.)
Any style tips you swear by?
Mismatching earrings, always always. Layering as many necklaces as possible, also wrapping necklaces around my ankle for a multiple anklets effect, with lots of charms!