Bridging the gap between East and West
Sarah Ho has staked her claim in the international jewellery scene
Having unveiled the Harmony High Jewellery suite, a collaboration with Shanghai Kimberlite Diamond Company, at Baselworld 2017, Sarah Ho has staked her claim in the international jewellery scene. “This was an amazing project to work on, and the pieces are to be exhibited in a new diamond museum in Shanghai,” says the Hong Kong-born, London-based designer.
Featuring 12 pieces, the collection takes inspiration from the “fortune of blooming flowers”, with peony as the central motif. What impresses most is the way Ho merges her signature lacework in different shapes and forms with the ancient Asian art of paper cutting.
“I love flowers as they capture special memories for me,” she says. Her keen eye for detail and her love for blossoms and colour also resulted in the second chapter of the Hidden Garden collection. “The Wisteria Suite is inspired from the Wisteria that graces London townhouses in the summer, transforming the brickwork into rich spectacles with their cascades of vivid blooms.” Using a combination of beads and baguettes in vibrant colours to represent the flowers — a technique she now uses a lot in her design — Ho has created jewels that spring into a riot of summery hues.
Her unique interpretation of contemporary Asian and British aesthetics has enabled the jeweller to build a global brand. Ho looked to her Asian roots — though consciously steering away from family, fame, and fortune in Macau
Using her creativity in her philanthropic initiatives, Ho supports cancer charities both in the UK and Asia
— to strike out on her own in 2006. “I had been living in the UK since my teens, so it was a natural choice for me to launch my brand in London.” It has not been an easy journey running the business side, she admits. “There were naturally mistakes along the way, but I learned from them. And this has made me much stronger, both personally and as a brand.”
First launched as SHO Jewellery, the brand was later changed to Sarah Ho London. “I felt that with the SHO Jewellery name, anyone could be the designer behind the brand. I wanted the brand to have a soul,” she explains. The change, which coincided with the launch of Sarah Ho Couture to celebrate five years in the business, made perfect sense. With the clientele in each market having a distinct preference, the designer built on the trend, particularly to appeal to the Asian market. “Our customers in Asia are very knowledgeable about gemstones and are always searching for something that is special or rare. So I have designed pieces using some exquisite gemstones that I have been collecting over the years,” she explains.
Seeing her designs come to life and worn by so many different people inspires her to create jewellery that is significant to the wearer. “I always try to create meaningful pieces that relate to them on a personal level.”
Using her creativity in her philanthropic initiatives, Ho supports cancer charities both in the UK and Asia. She designed a white gold monogram bangle for the Emeralds and Ivy Ball in support of the Cancer Research UK. The award-winning designer also made a lotus-inspired necklace, in 18K white gold, for the Loti Foundation in China. Set with brilliant-cut and marquise diamonds, the necklace — adorned with 16 South Sea pearls and cultured pearls — was auctioned at Loti’s charity gala in Bali. It helped raise over USD1 million for underprivileged children in China.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Exquisite Beauty necklace, designed by Sarah Ho for Kimberlite Diamond Fortune of Blooming Flowers earrings, designed by Sarah Ho for Kimberlite Diamond Imperial Crest ring with rubies and diamonds
THIS PAGE Model wearing jewellery pieces from the Numerati collection OPPOSITE PAGE Rings from the Wisteria collection featuring various precious gemstones
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Fortunei pendant in 18K gold, jade, and diamonds Wisteria red long earrings in 18K rose gold, white diamonds, rubelite, ruby, and red opal Jewellery designer Sarah Ho Numerati Number 1 ring Numerati Number 9 ring