HOT 100 2011: Lynne Murray & Jonathan Chippindale

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Adventures in 3D retail land Holition founders in Aagaard Trailblazers

As we begin to look forward to the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento, we indulge in a bit of looking backwards to the leading lights of the jewellery industry that made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today we’re focusing on Lynne Murray and Jonathan Chippindale of Holition whose efforts to push jewellery and watch retail into the future with 3D technology earned them a place as an Aagaard Trailblazers last year.

Holition has become one of the jewellery industry’s most celebrated projects this year, revolutionising the way jewellery and watches are marketed with its augmented reality product displays that create 3D visions that can be viewed on TV or computer screens.

The team, fronted by founding member Lynne Murray and former De Beers managing director Jonathan Chippindale, has already worked with a raft of prestigious clients including Boucheron, TAG Heuer and Hot 100 Trendsetter Hannah Martin. Earlier this summer it also worked on a project with Tatler that allowed the magazine’s readers to try on several million pounds-worth of jewellery virtually by using just a special piece of paper and a web cam; something that many in the industry are still struggling to get their heads around.

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“Augmented reality is such a new technology that Holition has only been a commercial reality for just over a year now,” says Lynne. “So the last 12 months have been frenetic to say the least.”

Both Lynne and Jonathan agree that their biggest achievement this year has been reaching such a globally recognised list of clients, even though the company is still just a small team based in London’s Shoreditch.

“What we do is radical and truly innovative, so for clients to adopt our ground-breaking technology it has required a measure of faith as well as sound business sense, which is an incredibly pioneering thing for them to do,” says Jonathan. “An example of this is Tatler, for which we were invited to augment 12 stunning rings from Bond Street brands, helping to reposition the world’s oldest magazine as still being relevant to today’s digital audience.”

Overcoming the speed at which technology develops has been a challenge for the team at Holition, but the company is already hard at work enabling its online applications to be used on mobile platforms such as the iPad and iPhone. However, it also faces a more traditional challenge in a cutting-edge environment – matching this very new marketing to its clients’ needs.

“Our ability to translate clients’ ideas to a digital reality has been a key focus for us over the past few years,” explains Lynne, who says she enjoys the juxtaposition of augmented reality technology and luxury brands’ traditional craftsmanship.

When asked what their personal highlights were this year, Lynne says: “Sipping Caipirinhas outside Couture at the Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas, with Hannah Martin and Stephen Webster comes pretty close.”

The duo add that the events they have been involved in, such as Hannah’s installation at Dover Street Market and the Street Lights project with Vogue orchestrated by the magazine’s jewellery editor and fellow Trailblazer Carol Woolton, have really made them proud.

This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. If you or someone you know has had a great business year and you think they could be hot enough to be part of the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 book in association with The Company of Master Jewellers then email info@professionaljeweller.com with a list of business achievements over the past 12 months, clearly marking your email with the subject line "Hot 100 nomination". Categories for the Hot 100 2012 include Trendsetters, Ti Sento Retail Stars, Business Big Shots and NexGems.

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