Professional Jeweller recently met with the owners of new jewellery portal I Love Designer to find out what makes it different from other online offerings.
Where I Love Designer sticks out from the crowd is its ‘East meets West’ charge – combining jewellery and accessories from the best of established and emerging Eastern and Western designers.
The owners, G Bond and Larry Ojala carefully scout designers from around the world – at the ‘big four’ fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan and Paris) and throughout India, Indonesia, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, resulting in a unique edit.
To introduce the brand to you, we caught up with G bond for a Q&A session:
What makes I Love Designer a unique portal for buying jewellery?
We, as owners, are committed to introducing designers from the East and the West to the global marketplace. We are modern day explorers who travel the world to find unique collections, and to edit, in our own special way, more accessible luxury brands.
Where do you source your jewellery?
We find our jewellery across the globe. We have a fabulous brand for instance from Cambodia (Saught) who creates amazing designs out of metal from landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXOs) to support sustainability in post-conflict countries, to Imogen Belfield from London whose range expands from cascading golden nugget pendants to statement “rock-esque” rings – textural and organic designs that are instantly recognisable and one-of-a-kind as they are handmade. A relatively new designer also based in London is Anita Quansah who recently won the Accessories title of Who Is On Next? in Dubai for her exquisite taste and design signature where she lifts inspiration from her Nigerian ancestry.
What are the most popular styles and brands that are sold on I Love Designer?
One of the most popular brands is AKALiS, which is our own in-house brand designed and developed by both G and Larry. AKALiS is a celebration of the ancient Sikh warriors who had a 12-point moral code, which is interpreted in the jewellery designs. A new collection will be on ilovedesigner.com from mid-April. We have a great mix of styles and designers from the East and the West and each of them bring their own unique factor into it. To put it simply there is something for everyone on the portal.
You’re launching your new branding on March 1st. Can you tell us a bit about it?
We have spent several months developing a logo that really does encompass the whole ethic of the business. We essentially have built a modern-day compass to describe our business visually. Watch this space!
Your new campaign features Laila Naim, the first Pakistani Brit child model, who modelled for Burberry last year? Why Laila, and how did you get a one-year exclusive with her?
With our mission to bring East and West onto one forum, profiling Laila was a very simple decision. Laila embodies ‘East meets West’ completely. Laila’s mother, Sadia Sidiqqui, is a major force in supporting Indian and Pakistani designers in the West so it was a very quick conversation to make a one-year agreement. Laila had been fabulous and do check out the latest release of her ‘dress up with ilovedesigner.com’ shot on the website and across our social media.
Tell us about the limited-edition pieces that you carry.
We have collaborated with two designers on limited edition pieces, one in particular, Revival for I Love Designer’s range was based on an exploration of the jungles and tropical wildlife of Thailand, mixed with the urban toughness of Bangkok. It’s a real mixture of texture and colour. Also in our selection process on bringing a designer’s range onto our portal, we choose one to two pieces from the range, which is limited edition or made exclusively for us. We have recently introduced Isabel Englebert, an Argentinian former model whose creations comprise of highly curated and exclusive pieces. Her work is a fusion of traditional and modern materials showcasing avant-garde design.
What’s next for I Love Designer? We’ve heard rumours of expanding into beauty, home accessories and travel…
It is so exciting for us at the moment. Everyone seems to be interested in what we are doing! We almost can’t keep up! To start with, we have some wonderful new designers launching this season, which we are keeping under wraps for now. We will also be releasing our exclusive pictures of Laila to celebrate each development, which will include beauty, home and (probably not until 2017) travel. We are working hard to connect East and West!