Four years after leaving her job as jewelry designer at Erickson Beamon, where she worked on high-profile projects alongside Matthew Williamson, Rifat Ozbek, Julien Macdonald, Dries Van Noten and Alexander McQueen, South African-born Kirsten Goss...
JOHANNESBURG — Four years after leaving her job as jewelry designer at Erickson Beamon, where she worked on high-profile projects alongside Matthew Williamson, Rifat Ozbek, Julien Macdonald, Dries Van Noten and Alexander McQueen, South African-born Kirsten Goss faces a future that has never been brighter.
In May she unveiled a new look for her two-year-old boutique in London, a stone&'s throw from Kensington Palace. Now, with a retail area of 250 square feet, the Kirsten Goss boutique has been transformed into a gallery that looks like an oversize jewelry box, with white walls and light aquamarine-tinged wooden floors.
"Basically, with the new shop, we&'ve gone gallery style, with an ever-changing selection of pieces on exhibition," explained Goss. "We&'ve pulled out of wholesale completely, and expanded our range to include our exclusive pieces — all handmade, bold and beautiful precious and semiprecious jewelry with a bespoke element — as well as our new collections for men and children."
Goss is also introducing a Precious Collection, which she said features diamonds and precious stones set in platinum. "I use them in a less obvious way," she said, "as diamond beads, for instance."
Goss said she resisted doing diamonds for some time, preferring to concentrate on other precious and semiprecious stones, which she sources mainly from big jewelry fairs in Hong Kong. "I am on a mission to break people&'s concentration from this absolute desire to covet diamonds all the time and make them aware that there are other stones," she half-joked.
She cited amazonite, citrine, chrysoprase, Zimbabwean kyanite, unusual Australian opals and white agate as among her favorite stones. She loves juxtaposing them in unusual combinations and textures, adding an element of surprise, such as a bright, oversize turquoise sphere with smoky topaz chunks. "It gives the jewelry a bit of an unexpected edge, I like to think."
Sensual and sophisticated has become her signature look, a departure from the rich yet multilayered neo-Edwardian vibe she started out with in 2003, prompting London&'s Sunday Times to christen her "The next big thing." Liberty of London came calling soon after, asking Goss to design a collection for the Spirit of Liberty exhibition. Earlier this year, she was commissioned to design special gifts for the BAFTAs, the British equivalent of the Oscars.American expatriates in London are among her loyal clients, not to mention celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosamund Pike, Helena Bonham Carter and Jane Krakowski, plus a host of chic English aristocrats. Goss believes a presence in the U.S. is the next logical step, and is looking for an American agent.
Goss has done trunk shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, and has been pleased with the results. She recalled her first trunk show in California&'s Marin County, at the home of a friend who lived next door to Sean Penn. "It was crazy, all these fabulous women coming in to buy. It was like a scene out of ‘Desperate Housewives&'! I left the States a few days later with my jacket stuffed with dollars, like a drug dealer, because I hadn&'t opened banking facilities in the U.S. yet."
Goss hosts regular trunk shows here and in Cape Town, South Africa. She lives with her husband and daughter in Durban, where she has a small showroom. She retains two workshops, one in Durban "for all the labor-intensive metalwork," and another in Chiswick, London, where all the pieces are handmade and hand-finished. Goss is in London every two weeks to oversee operations.
She believes full control of all aspects of the business has been key to her success; sales have quadrupled in three years. "When I started out, it was just me," she mused. "Now, having a staff of 11 allows me to concentrate on the creative process — sourcing the most amazing stones cut in the most unusual way and using them in designs that are just as individual, and of exceptional quality. I am hugely into texture and form."
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)