LONDON — London jeweler Stephen Webster is introducing a new sterling silver collection inspired — and fronted — by his friend Christina Aguilera.
The new line, Stephen Webster Silver Collection, is made from sterling silver, 18-karat gold and gemstones such as jade, chalcedony, goldstone, hematite and white agate.
"We did it by demand — we've always had a younger following," said Webster. "It's our biggest launch ever, and a new direction for us."
The first collection, Shattered, will offer about 50 styles of rings, cuffs, pendants and earrings that feature gemstones inlaid into silver, an innovative technique that resembles enameling. The overall design is made to look like bits of broken stained glass from Gothic church windows.
Superstud is the second collection, and features about 40 styles. The inspiration is punk, and the collection is heavy on biker studs, said Webster.
Silver Collection will launch in Switzerland at Baselworld early next month, and Neiman Marcus has the exclusive for spring. The line will sell at 15 doors, as well as Bergdorf Goodman.
Webster said in the future he will target key department stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as independents.
The designer describes the new collection as a bridge line between fashion and fine jewelry, with price points that range from 175 pounds, or $343, for small earrings to 1,800 pounds, or $3,528, for a silver collar necklace.
The first ad campaign — featuring Aguilera — will break in the April issue of W, WWD's sister publication. "She was a real coup for us. She's our longest-term regular client and the right age for the brand," said Webster of the 27-year-old pop star. "We think she's in the most glamorous period of her life right now, and she is the main source of inspiration behind the collection."
The campaign was shot by Vincent Peters in a Los Angeles studio. The photos are in black-and-white and color, and the inspiration is Alfred Hitchcock. "I have always loved Hitchcock's films, and to be able to transport Christina and my jewelry into that classic setting was an amazing experience," Webster said.Aguilera said: "Working together on this campaign and collection has been an incredible experience. I am honored to be a part of it all."
Webster said the new line is "just what I needed." He said it takes him back to his early days — 32 years ago — when he was working with semiprecious stones in London and California. "Big colored gems were cheaper then. But today, a tourmaline ring is $10,000! It's all become very serious. Now I can design what I want, and I'm more carefree because the price is something like $300," he said. "My team is young, and they're enjoying themselves. And this new line also runs more closely with fashion."
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