International Jewellery London is thrilled to be supporting the Retail Jeweller UK Jewellery Awards New Designer of the Year category in 2016.
To celebrate, we’re finding out a little bit more about the shortlisted designer-makers and brands, including Lauren Rowden, founder of Ellie Air Jewellery.
Here the KickStart alum reveals what she would ask an industry mentor, and describes the key collections that have got her noticed for all the right reasons…
Q: When did you establish Ellie Air Jewellery?
LR: Ellie Air Jewellery was founded in 2013 when I returned from Florence, Italy where I had been trained in contemporary jewellery. Before then I had worked as a student apprentice under a Hatton Garden goldsmith since leaving school.
Q: How would you describe your design style and is there a particular woman you design for?
LR: The aesthetic of the Ellie Air brand has become its own signature over the last few years, incorporating mixed metals, a very minimalist approach to design and consistent use of linear, fine details. Our target audience is a woman between 30-50 with a classic style and disposable income.
Q: Do you have any key collections or stand-out pieces that always seem gain attention?
LR: Both permanent collections ‘Alchimia’ and ‘Firma’ encompass the Ellie Air aesthetic while standing apart from each other; Alchimia shows off a Scandi style using the contrast between black, gold and silver, while Firma is inspired by antique rings and found things.
Colour blocks and antique styles are both quite popular in fashion at the moment, however my lines stand out from the high street by offering solid fine metals and diamonds at affordable prices.
Q: What is it like being a new designer in the UK jewellery industry?
LR: I find that it is quite competitive, but also extremely inclusive. I work best when I am challenged (or on a tight deadline!) and I love to work alongside my peers so that we can inspire and advise each other.
Being part of Kickstart 2015 meant I made invaluable connections with designers at the same point in their career where we can bounce ideas off each other and encourage each other. IJL proved to be a huge success, and I had the chance to meet professionals in all areas of the trade, which was extremely worthwhile for the future of Ellie Air!
Q: If you could learn one thing from a mentor or peer in the industry what would it be?
LR: New manufacturing skill sets – I love to learn and feel that Ellie Air as a brand could expand hugely with more depth in design and skill.