Hot 100 2013: Karen Morrison

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The Brixton jeweller that won her place on Topshop Unique’s catwalk.

By Steve Spear

Last year Karen Morrison was plucked from relative obscurity to become a catwalk designer when her designs were chosen to adorn the models and spice up the outfits on Topshop Unique’s SS13 show.

So how do you go about getting a gig like that, Karen? “Topshop’s head designer Emma [Farrow] had been to one of my pop-up shops and subsequently called me to ask me if I’d be interested in designing a collection for them. After jumping up and down a few times I said ‘hell yeah!’” What was it like? “An amazing experience, from working with Emma and her team, coming up with designs and sourcing materials, to going to the show and seeing my jewellery on the catwalk at London Fashion Week – superb.”

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She concedes that topping it will be difficult but that she would love to do more collaborations. “I’ve always enjoyed working with other creative people and I want to do more of it, I enjoy that process.”

Karen is ambitious for her brand so expect her to spend the next year capitalising on her raised profile. That should include an expansion of her UK stockist list and she is actively pursuing more in Europe and the US too. On a day-to-day level she is revamping her website and introducing CAD-based design into her work. And what is that work like? “I love the Art Deco period and love giving my jewellery an updated Art Deco feel. I’m also inspired by the natural environment, fashion, film, architecture and by the materials themselves.”

She also gets inspired when doing her pop-up shops. “It’s such a brilliant way to meet your customers who often only realise for the first time that I design and make all the jewellery myself. It gives me a huge boost and inspires me with ideas for more collections.” She says it’s not all work. “I like to get away at weekends, whether it be camping in the English countryside or getting home to Scotland to visit my family. I also like just hanging out in my local pub in Brixton having a laugh with friends or entertaining at home, cooking, drinking nice wine and listening to some good tunes.”

Of course like all good creative types she says her down time is productive. “I’m also a great fan of pottering, hanging out on my balcony tending to my plants or staring to the sky. It helps me be creative.” It’s certainly worked well for Karen this year. We might try it.

This Hot 100 Tresor Paris Trendsetter profile was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 book. To read the digital book in full, click here

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