Mark Milton may have founded his eponymous jewellery brand in 2013, but his history in the world of jewellery manufacture and design goes back more than 30-years.
His focus is on 9ct and 18ct gold pieces, which fit into two distinct ranges: Mark Milton Classic and Mark Milton Collection. While the former offers timeless styles, including the popular 9ct gold 3D range, the latter presents a more contemporary outlook with coloured gemstones, bold chains and torques.
As one of IJL’s longest-standing exhibitors, Mark Milton has proven year-on-year that a focus on quality and varied gold jewellery can weather industry storms. This year the brand is riding the wave of a yellow gold revival, welcoming back buyers who may have shied away from the higher-priced metal in the past.
Here, Mark discusses his brand values, best-selling design and why he is predicting big things for gold in the next two years…
Q: What inspired you to enter the jewellery industry?
MM: My father and grandfather were in this industry so I guess it was my destiny! I’m lucky that I was introduced to a wonderful, creative profession at an early age and I had the perfect teacher and role model in my father. After three decades, I’m still passionate about making beautiful, exciting collections. I find inspiration in the very twists and turns of the design world and the endless subtleties of the raw materials I source from around the world.
Q: When you’re travelling to source raw materials are there any countries or regions that inspire you the most?
I’m a European at heart – so Italy, France, Greece and the exciting fashion scene here at home, I also take inspiration from Eastern and South/American influences.
Q: How would you describe your design style?
MM: Elegant and classic without being ordinary; fashionable without being faddy. Favourite jewellery pieces made with a quirky design twist or an unusual finish. Jewellery with clean, often symmetrical lines that you can love forever. For someone to wear their new Mark Milton piece as often as one from 20 years ago is a symbol of truly great design and I always have this in mind when I’m creating a new collection.
Q: Do you design for a particular type of woman?
MM: Anyone who appreciates contemporary classic design is our ‘particular woman’. Someone who desires and understands excellent design and craftsmanship but who isn’t blinded by a marketing story. Our collections offer simple every day pieces as well as larger, more unusual ranges and everything is expertly made to a very high standard. Women who are looking for the perfect combination of fashionable style and expert manufacturing.
Q: What are your best-selling designs at the moment?
MM: Our new Essentials range is selling brilliantly at the moment as are the 3D printing pieces and our heavy, statement chains and cuffs.
Q: Do you have any key collections or stand-out pieces that always seem to draw attention?
MM: Yes. Our 9ct Gold 3D range by Mark Milton Classic always draws a crowd and we’re becoming well-known for our statement cuffs and bold chains in the Mark Milton Collection.
Q: What are your feelings on the market for fine jewellery at the moment – do you feel confident?
MM: Yes, definitely! Gold is back and catching people’s interest again. The public are asking the retailers – who have very little to offer in commercial fine jewellery – so the retailers are asking us. Gradually and cautiously the gold business is coming back both from old customers we have not seen for years and excitingly from new stockists too.
Q: What do you feel the biggest trend for 2017 will be?
Gold, gold and gold!
Q: Are there any facets of your business that you will be trying to adapt or grow in 2016?
In recent years, many people have walked away from Gold jewellery and we’re now seeing them return. Some of the buyers are cautious but many can see the next new potential in the Gold business. We are experiencing a real success with our Gold ranges both as a way to introduce Gold back into people’s retail offer and for those who can and do extend their range to include our really exciting, luxury pieces.
Discover Mark Milton at International Jewellery London from 4th-6th September at Olympia Grand.