Championing Fairtrade with filigree designs that pay homage to Spain.
After just a couple of minutes with Arabel Lebrusan you get it. She’s a whirlwind. Perhaps ciclón would be better, because the UK-based Spanish designer crackles with chaotic energy and a sense of fun and playful restlessness.
Now under the aegis of her own name she is released from the strict commerciality that reined her in at her last position as creative head for Sloane Street retail brand Leblas, which she co-founded.
When that brand slipped into the depths in June 2011, Arabel got to work setting up on her own (and incidentally starting a family – she was pregnant within two months of her new found freedom) and has quickly moulded a reputation for delicate, detailed and just plain delectable filigree; designs that snagged her a runner up spot in the Houlden Group’s Designer of Excellence.
But for Arabel, it’s not just about design. She is a pioneer of ethical jewellery too and championed Fairtrade since before it was even called that. And she practises what she preaches, securing gold from ethically rigorous source the Ora Verde mine in Colombia and having her designs handmade in Spain.
So far this year she has launched a range of bridal designs and created the “perfect” shoot with internationally renowned photographer Akio, had her designs worn by royalty (princess Letizia of Spain) and – most importantly of all – expanded into wholesale with her first appearance at The Jewellery Show and IJL.
So what’s next? No own brand shops, not yet at any rate; but she has pledged to secure more retailers in the UK and in France and launch more collections. “I can get on with the creating now. I have the brand where I want it.”
And she’s right. Because she is both a visionary and a creative who has an urge to make. With more and more bespoke commissions coming in, she says she is happiest in a bubble, when she is designing, proving there is a repose to balance to her furious creative bluster. She swears she is slowing down, but we can’t see any sign of it.
The nominations for the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014 are now open. Click here to find out how to nominate.