Hot 100 2014: Luke Shimell & Emma Madden

Luke Shimell and Emma Madden were named NexGems in Professional Jeweller's Hot 100 2014 (Kalory.co.uk)

Creative directors of Shimell & Madden describe their inspirations.

To be chosen for Goldsmiths’ Fair, Rock Vault and the Collect show is an enviable achievement.

To do all three in 12 months is extraordinary – but don’t hold that against Luke Shimell and Emma Madden. “It’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to showcase our work in fi ne, craft and luxury jewellery sectors,” Emma says.

The East London-based creative duo is behind rising luxury brand Shimell and Madden. Their company has been transformed in the past year from a largely bespoke business (that, they concede, was rather secretive), to a fullyfledged luxury brand with its own collections.

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“This has been a huge step for us,” says Emma. “And as we like to be fully immersed in every aspect of the business it has been a challenge to fi t everything in.”

But they have risen to the challenge, morphing into ones-to-watch; their name on many buyers’ and stylists’ lips. The brand’s editorially-friendly collections make a statement with their elegant use of gold and precious metals, exploiting geometric designs and shapes that play tricks on the eye.

The Cuboid collection has been especially popular among the fashion savvy, winning fans including Aluna Francis of electronic music duo AlunaGeorge, who donned a Cuboid necklace in one of their music videos.

Luke and Emma describe their approach to work as experimental, exact and equal. “Our design and development method evolves from the initial creation of a huge number of models for testing structures, finishes and materials,” says Luke. “From our models, we hand create each one of our pieces to very exacting standards that are amplified by the geometric aesthetic of our designs.”

And then there is the question of who does what. “We do have our individual strengths which have definitely aided the success of our business so far,” explains Emma. “But what is important is that from conception to completion of each piece we are both are fully involved and all responsibility is shared.”

Being so immersed in the business is set to lead to exciting things for the Shimell and Madden brand. Up next, a new website launch and a photography collaboration with Nik Adam and Luke Norman, who create wonderful portrait and still life photography, brimming with texture.

In the meantime, the two can be found wandering art shows in the East End, browsing museums – the V&A is their favourite – or travelling. “When we allow ourselves a break we love to visit new places in and outside the UK, especially on a road trip; we both crave adventure and fresh experiences,” Luke adds.

Luke Shimell and Emma Madden were named NexGems in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014, in association with headline sponsor Pandora and principle partner The Company of Master Jewellers.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2014 book in full online, click here.

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