Shaun Leane wins UK jewellery designer of the year
LONDON, July 18, 2010 – Shaun Leane, known for his finely crafted pieces with a dark, romantic feel, won UK Jewellery Designer of the Year for a second straight year at a lavish awards gala in glitzy Park Lane on July 15.
Leane has designed pieces for A-list celebrities such as Hollywood movie star Sarah Jessica Parker and English high-society figures like Daphne Guinness.
Shaun Leane (second from left) wins UK Jewellery Designer of the Year in 2010
Leane defied probability against intense competition to scoop the prestigious Jewellery Designer of the Year accolade for a second year running at the event in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House Hotel.
“Your standards have got higher; you’ve got better and more accomplished,” Jenni Middleton, Editor-in-chief of Retail Jeweller, Britain’s number one jewellery trade magazine, told the gathering of more than 600 retailers, designers and marketers.
Leane, known for his daring catwalk creations in collaboration with fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who died in February, beat off tough competition from other jewellery designers such as Alex Monroe, Bobby White and Sarah Herriott.
This year Leane launched three new collections — Blackthorn, Hawthorn and Serpent.
Julie Driscoll, Event Director of The Jewellery Show, and Della Tinsley, a director of London Jewellery Week
The Blackthorn and Hawthorn collections are a celebration of the English countryside. Finely crafted in silver and gold plate, they exude a countryside feel — a reminder of the hedgerows that line the country lanes of England.
But the Blackthorn and Hawthorn collections also reflect a mood of constraint in Britain today due to the economic downturn.
“More people are staying at home, rather than travelling to find inspiration in beauty. We’re lining up ‘beauty at home’. I am going back to the dark, romantic side that is Shaun Leane,” Leane said.
The Serpent collection is inspired by the scales of exotic snakes, and is aimed mainly at men.
“Men have always loved large silver jewels. Men are more confident now — and they are looking for colour,” Leane said.
“The snake represents strength and beauty — and even sexuality.”
The Serpent collection also includes vertebrae bracelets, inspired by the snake, for women as well as men.
There is a lot of cross-over in Shaun Leane.
“We create jewellery that is provocative – sexy for the male or the female,” Leane said.
Leane’s work has been described by Sotheby’s auction house as “antiques of the future.”
Leane made an impact on the jewellery world recently when he unveiled his largest diamond piece to date with ‘White Light’, an intricately crafted 40.68 carat diamond brooch.
Italian jewellers were celebrated at the event, which held a special category dedicated to the best of Italian design, won by Vicenza-based Mattia Cielo, underscoring the prestige of Italian-crafted jewellery creations.
Cielo said he was committed to using gold in his work for his upscale clients despite the soaring price of the precious metal, and that he would not be tempted to use alternative, cheaper metals such as silver.
Citizen Watches won Watch Brand of the Year; Fraser Hart Fields won Multiple Retailer of the Year; Keanes Jewellers won Independent Retailer of the Year; Ti Sento won Jewellery Brand of the Year; and Sharman D. Neill won Platinum Bridal Collection of the Year.
Manik Mercian won the Catwalk Jewels of the Year category; Alex Monroe won Jewellery Etailer of the Year; Rent Your Rocks won Business Initiative of the Year; and Beaverbrooks won Retail Employer of the Year.
Gecko won Supplier of the Year, and Nicola Cleverley won Retail Star of the Year.
Alexander Davis won New Designer of the Year.