With the launch of her epony­mous brand in Asia, An­noushka Du­cas tells us what she’s learned from an enor­mously suc­cess­ful jew­ellery ven­ture, and why she’s ap­proach­ing the busi­ness dif­fer­ently this time around.

With the launch of her epony­mous brand in Asia, An­noushka Du­cas tells Char­lene Co what she’s learned from an enor­mously suc­cess­ful jew­ellery ven­ture, and why she’s ap­proach­ing the busi­ness dif­fer­ently this time around

Hong Kong Tatler - - Contents -

The first piece Bri­tish jew­ellery de­signer An­noushka Du­cas ever cre­ated was her own en­gage­ment ring. It was 27 years ago, and Du­cas was newly en­gaged and liv­ing in Hong Kong. Un­able to find a piece she liked, she de­signed an Art Deco-styled ring and had it made at KS Sze & Sons, a fam­ily jew­eller whose shop was—and still is—lo­cated at the Man­darin Ori­en­tal. Rather serendip­i­tously, early this year Du­cas opened a bou­tique un­der her epony­mous brand An­noushka, just a few steps from KS Sze & Sons. “It al­most feels like I’ve come full cir­cle,” she says.

Du­cas started An­noushka in 2009, three years af­ter sell­ing Links of Lon­don, the jew­ellery brand she co-founded with her hus­band in 1990. “Links of Lon­don was won­der­ful and in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful, but it got too big,” Du­cas says of her de­ci­sion to sell. “At the time, the brand al­ready had 50 shops around the world. When a busi­ness be­comes that big, the cre­ativ­ity and per­sonal touch go. But what I re­ally wanted was to cre­ate beau­ti­ful things that had a per­sonal touch.” When she sold the busi­ness, Du­cas felt there were hardly any brands that could of­fer mid-range fine jew­ellery. “There were very few brands in be­tween, say, Links of Lon­don and Cartier. That was the seg­ment I wanted to cap­ture with An­noushka.”

Eight years on, and An­noushka has gained quite the fol­low­ing. One of the brand’s avid fans is the Duchess of Cam­bridge, a long-time client who’s of­ten spot­ted wear­ing An­noushka’s pearl drop ear­rings. “It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause we have some­one like the Duchess, whose taste is rather tra­di­tional, but equally our pieces also go to the likes of Ri­hanna, Queen Ra­nia of Jor­dan and Gwyneth Pal­trow,” Du­cas says. “I de­sign for the mod­ern, in­de­pen­dent woman. My jew­ellery is very much dress­ing up your jeans, rather than dress­ing up your cock­tail dress!”

Du­cas has found that be­ing an un­trained jew­eller has its ad­van­tages. “I don’t fol­low any set of rules when I de­sign; I have very few bar­ri­ers. I like my pieces to be fun, play­ful and in­di­vid­ual,” she says. “Be­sides, one’s choice of jew­ellery is not only a state­ment of worth, but also a state­ment of one’s at­ti­tude.” An­noushka’s lat­est range of rings, Crown, en­cap­su­lates this phi­los­o­phy per­fectly. The lace-in­spired edges of the col­lec­tion were born out of Du­cas’ de­sire to evolve the ring stack into a finer, more fem­i­nine form. “I want my clients to have the free­dom to mix rings—new with old, bor­rowed and owned.”

Apart from bou­tiques in Lon­don and Hong Kong, An­noushka has more than 10 points of sale around the world, and the pieces are also avail­able online. But if you’re think­ing that the brand is al­ready headed in the same di­rec­tion as Du­cas’ pre­vi­ous ven­ture, think again. “An­noushka has and al­ways will be about stay­ing in touch with our clients—i love that we know what they like and why they buy the way they do,” says Du­cas. “We are ex­pand­ing, yes, but the pieces will re­main very per­sonal.”

From far left: Crown stacked rings set with di­a­monds; pearl drop ear­rings; Fire Rooster charm all by An­noushka Du­cas (above)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.