When it comes to selecting potential designers to partner with on our collections, we’re not ashamed to say here at Topshop we’re a very fussy bunch. But when it came to picking a designer for this season’s jewellery collaboration, there was a resounding cry declaring, “Jordan Askill!” The master jewellery craftsman has gone from strength to strength with a strong timeless aesthetic that us Topshop girls like to refer to as pure, unadulterated, eye-candy! Sculptural pendants, swallow cuffs, simple heart rings and delicate charm necklaces: Askill’s hero pieces are forever winning us over. The Aussie-born designer honed his craft in Sydney before heading to Paris to work with designer Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme and finally took the giant leap and launched his eponymous collection in 2010.
Stars have rushed to wear Askill’s gems, with the likes of Bond girl Naomie Harris, Twilight star Kristen Stewart and performance artist-cum-singer Patrick Wolf all been spotted in his hardware. It’s time to believe the hype!
We stole five minutes with the busiest man in jewellery to talk about his new capsule collection for Topshop, his various talents and the importance of Fairtrade.
How does it feel to be collaborating with Topshop?
So great. I love being able to design for the Topshop customer. The Topshop team was so supportive of my ideas and of the way I like to work particularly when it came to attention to detail and quality.
We love the collection! Where did you find your inspiration?
I wanted to design classic, cute personal jewellery that could go with every look and feel. I wanted to add a sculptural elements to bring the jewellery into the next dimension. For this we looked at panthers, the idea of running away with these majestic creatures, reminiscent of ancient Egypt with a hand carved quality and connection with the past. Each piece is precious like a locket or detachable pendants that you can keep with you or pass on to your friends.
How did you get into jewellery design?
I was working in fashion in Paris and on my own sculpture projects. It then felt more real to me to create mini meaningful sculpture you could carry with you.
If you weren’t a designer what do you think you’d be doing?
Studying biology and working with endangered species.
You’re a man of many talents – creating short films and sculptures as well as your jewellery – what’s your favourite aspect of your work?
I love combining static jewellery and sculpture with moving digital imagery. It creates something quite magical.
Your pieces are ethically sourced – is Fairtrade an important aspect of your brand philosophy?
Yes some of my pieces are and it is an important part of my brand. Trying to make people aware of where all the materials in my work come from and how they are sourced. We are still working on this element and hope it will keep developing.
Who are your favourite designers?
Do you have a muse?
I love to look at how my close friends would wear something as well as royal figures and icons like Elizabeth Taylor.
Can you reveal some top hangouts from your time spent in Paris?
Any London tips? Best shops, restaurants and bars?
What do you do to relax?
Lie on the grass and look up at the sky.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In a lovely house with a large studio, expanding Jordan Askill sculpture and jewellery and work on related and ethical projects.
Shop Jordan Askill here and follow Askill Project on Twitter, here.