Browns built its reputation on singling out fashion's next big thing. Founder Joan Burstein bought John Galliano's entire graduate collection in 1983 and champions British newcomers Gareth Pugh and Christopher Kane.
LONDON — Browns built its reputation on singling out fashion's next big thing. Founder Joan Burstein bought John Galliano's entire graduate collection in 1983 and champions British newcomers Gareth Pugh and Christopher Kane.
Now the London boutique hopes to give customers a glimpse of the next up-and-comers of fine jewelry when it opens a 400-square-foot fine jewelry area in November that will carry pieces by 13 designers, 10 of whom will be exclusive to Browns in London: Ileana Makri, Qeelin, Mark Davis, Kara Ross, Muriel Grateau, Lydia Courteille, Loree Rodkin, Aurora, Marie Hélène de Taillac and Natasha Collis.
Carolina Bucci, Pippa Small and Anaconda will be sold at the store, but are not exclusives.
"We want [customers] to come in and experience something they wouldn't [otherwise] discover," said Francoise Tessier, buyer for the fine jewelry area. She found Courteille after admiring her ornate cocktail rings, set with turquoise and coral carved into the shape of roses, on a design assistant. "It's our job to find these secrets," Tessier said.
She has sourced pieces that include delicate woven gold bracelets by Bucci, chunky, carved onyx bracelets and rings set with smoky quartz, and black and chocolate diamonds by Paris-based Grateau, as well as bangles made from vintage stocks of Bakelite by New York designer Mark Davis.
"There's going to be a mix of different trends and looks — London is about experimentation," Tessier said.
Although Browns has always carried a small selection of fine jewelry, Niki Scordi, the boutique's managing director, said increasingly trend-influenced jewelry collections had prompted the store to create a dedicated space for high-end pieces.
"There was a time when jewelry was traditional," Scordi said. "Now, it's about the way you look and feel, design and fashion — making a statement about who [you] are."
Prices will range from 250 pounds, or about $500, for a Carolina Bucci woven friendship bracelet to 15,000 pounds, or $30,000, for a Lydia Courteille ring. Tessier and Scordi said the space will be designed as much for a customer planning a major purchase as for those buying a piece on impulse.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"