LONDON — The American jeweler and piercing specialist Maria Tash is planning her first permanent residence in the U.K., which is set to open on August 5 at Liberty of London.
Tash is known for her offbeat aesthetic inspired by Indian and Pakistani design; her signature pieces including dainty diamond and 18-karat gold cartilage earrings, septum and navel rings. She also has a piercing spa in New York which counts Beyoncé and FKA Twigs as customers.
The designer entered the U.K. market last year with two pop-ups at the Josh Wood Atelier, followed by one at Liberty earlier this year. The success of the pop-up spaces — with clients waiting for up to two hours to get pierced by Tash’s team — led the designer to consider launching a permanent space in the British capital.
Tash said the mix of jewelry designers on offer at the historic department store, from established brands to small independent labels, resonated with her.
The 1,320-square-foot studio will be housed at the retailer’s jewelry room on the ground floor and will have a private entrance on Marlborough Street. Its design combines the classic British aesthetic of the department store with modern elements such as neon installations and concrete finishes.
“We wanted to blend modern design to showcase our jewelry with sleek, private beauty rooms, and have the aesthetic compatible with the rest of Liberty. The private piercing rooms are fitted with top-notch amenities. The walls of the space are symbolic of the jewelry: Sporadically gilded concrete, symbolic of modern and strong construction with the history and beauty of gold,” said Tash.
The space will stock the pieces that sold best from the pop-up shops, as well as bestsellers from Tash’s New York store, reflective of the label’s international clientele in both cities.
“We have analyzed the data from our previous three pop-ups in London and have concentrated on those designs and the next iterations of those designs. We noticed yellow gold was particularly popular, more so than pink or white gold. We also noticed that small rings and studs with metal spikes or gemstone spikes sold well in the U.K. market,” said Tash. “But we have a very international clientele in New York and the designs that do well in New York will be available in London.”
Prices for piercings range between 15 pounds, or $19, and 30 pounds, or $39, while jewelry is priced between 41 pounds, or $53, and 4,900 pounds, or $6,420.
“The brand goes from strength to strength and we can’t wait for the energy she will bring to the space along with her distinctive jewels and piercing authority,” said Ruby Chadwick, jewelry and accessories buyer at Liberty.
Tash plans to continue her label’s expansion into new markets, with a Middle Eastern tour planned for next November in Kuwait and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“We had a pop-up in Kuwait City in February and it was so wonderful we are going back in November for a longer period of time and also plan a pop-up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Middle Eastern market is fascinating.”