“Anything that has a bit of sparkle to it works really well for me,” says designer Nicholas King from his home in London. He’s talking about his increasingly popular handmade jewelry collection (Cheryl Cole is just one of his high-profile fans), which includes an especially hot-selling series of resin and diamanté cuffs.
A major part of the appeal is that his pieces are Elizabeth Taylor glamorous in a Lady Gaga edgy kind of way. His work manages to be cheeky and cool. “I started out by taking a piece of tartan fabric and setting it in resin,” says King, who worked in fashion for 17 years at houses including John Galliano and Donna Karan before starting his own line. “But if you’re going to do a plastic cuff, it has to be special,” he adds with a wry sense of humour. So he moved on to metals and crystals.
“I like how it adds a richness to the jewelry,” he says. Nicholas isn’t the only one. In the short two years and six months since he started his business, his collection has been picked up by some of the world’s most important fashion emporiums including Harrods, L’Eclaireur, 10 Corso Como and Liberty of London, among others. Not to mention he’s become a favourite among magazine editors.
That’s an impressive accomplishment considering that King started his business the day that Lehman Brothers crashed, sending the global economy — and the fashion business in general — into a downward spiral. Despite his early successes, don’t expect King to go the way of other young designers by launching a chain of pre-mature brand extensions anytime soon. “I want my jewelry to be relevant for a long time so I’m just going to focus on growing slowly and organically.”