TORONTO – When Canadian jewelry designer Myles Mindham was five years old, he attended a party at his grandmother’s house that would fatefully shape the course of his adult life and career. “I still remember that day back in 1969 when one of my grandmother’s friends walked in, her neck and fingers covered in diamonds,” Mindham said. “I blurted out ‘are those things real?’ as any five-year-old would. But I’ve never forgotten the sight of those big, bright jewels. Their magical light filled me with awe.”
Next month, the designer will mark the 25th anniversary of Mindham Fine Jewellery, the Toronto-based brand he founded in 1991 that is known for its bespoke creations. But his ascent to become one of Canada’s top private jewelers began thanks to his botanical and nature-inspired designs, as well as his use of colored gemstones intermixed with diamonds and precious metals.
“The Canadian market is conservative, so our use of color really did set us apart. But nature has the most extraordinary color palette. It’s a constant inspiration to me,” said Mindham, whose designs have been worn by “Sex and the City” star Kim Cattrall, country singer Shania Twain and opera singer Measha Brueggergosman.
To mark his 25th anniversary, Mindham will unveil “Magical Woodlands” late this month, a limited-edition collection inspired by the fantasy forests of his favorite childhood books. Distinguished by a signature star motif, “Magical Woodlands” will include rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
The collection also represents a shift towards a more expansive approach for the business Mindham has built. “For years now I have curated designs to individuals’ tastes and it’s been very exciting and pleasing when my clients would share stories about our jewelry being praised by a member of a royal family, or a prestigious collector or artist. But now I feel it’s time to be a little more narcissistic and pursue my passion for jewelry in new ways,” he said.
That includes reaching a larger and younger market. “We’re on plan in 2017 in terms of the development of new product that can appeal to a larger base, both geographically and demographically,” said Mindham, whose work continues to be designed and manufactured in-house from the brand’s exclusive Hazelton Avenue location. “What we do is not for everybody. But it’s risky. That’s what I want to bring forward in the brand now, and we’re in good shape to do it,” he said.