Hot 100 NexGems Q&A: Kasun Ekanayake

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Why the Hot 100 has helped drive this jeweller’s business forward.

In a series of Q&As with the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 NexGems, we find out what came next for this savvy set of designers since they were chosen as ones to watch in our annual jewellery industry celebration. Kasun Ekanayake of unisex brand Kasun London says The Hot 100 has helped increase its stockists six-fold, with two new collections due to launch at IJL in August.

Professional Jeweller: You were chosen as a Professional Jeweller Hot 100 NexGem in 2013 – what has this meant to you?
Kasun Ekanayake: Being named a Hot 100 NexGem in 2013 definitely helped the Kasun London brand to get noticed within the industry. It also gave us the confidence to push the brand forward and be more creative with our work.

PJ: How has business developed or your brand evolved since the Hot 100 was announced?
KE: We’re only in our second year of trading but it feels like so much has happened! Since being named in the Hot 100 we have seen our stockist base increase by six-fold, from three in 2012 to 18 today. We are also proud to have added some high-profile retailers and online stockists to our portfolio, and have also secured our first international stockists in Asia and Europe. Further, Kasun London has had internationally-renowned celebrities including Jessie J, Tess Daly, Katy B, Ellie Goulding, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Nicole Scherzinger and Eliza Doolittle wear pieces from our God Loves Fangs collection on popular UK TV shows and at events including the X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, and V Fest to name a few. Our jewellery has also been featured in press such as Elle magazine and The Metro. We were also recently shortlisted for the second year running for the UK Jewellery Awards New Designer of the Year, so we’ve got everything crossed for the awards night later this year.

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PJ: Any exciting projects in the pipeline or new collections?
KE: We are taking part in IJL for the second year after a successful show last year. We are working on two new collections at the moment to be launched at this year’s show. There’s a fun, young and edgy collection called Why You So Wild Crocodile, and a modern pearl collection inspired by the story of Jack and the Beanstalk called Lay Said the Giant. We are planning to take part in London and Paris Fashion Weeks next year, which will hopefully help us to grow our international presence. There are also plans to explore Australia, New Zealand and US markets through sales agents, so watch this space!

To discover the designers, retailers and business persons selected for the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013, click here.

To browse the digital edition of the Hot 100 Book online, click here.
 

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