London-based designer talks retailers, inspiration and price points.
London jewellery brand Lion Studio was started by Lei Sihan, an MA graduate from the School of Jewellery at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. ‘Be Outstanding’ is the motto behind her Heavy Fly and My Direction collections that feature sharp triangles, cogs and Buddhist imagery produced with crystals, customised agate and nickel-free hypo-allergenic double plated brass.
We spoke to Sihan to discover what inspires her, the retailers she is hoping to attract and what’s next for the Lion Studio brand.
Professional Jeweller: You launched last year with your collection – what are you doing to build awareness of your jewellery brand in the UK?
Sihan Lei: I have been learning and working in the jewellery industry for six years now, during this time I have gained lots of experience and have made numerous contacts who will help me to build my brand further. I have also now engaged a PR company and am working on spreading the word of my brand.
PJ: What kind of UK retailer are you targeting with your collections?
SL: I target my collections at high end boutiques. I am currently stocked in Kabiri and would love to also be stocked in boutiques such as LN-CC, Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Dover Street Market.
PJ: Tell us about the inspiration behind Lion Studio…
SL: Lion Studio is almost like my diary, I create pieces as a way of describing my life and showing my opinions. London is a city where I get lots of my inspiration, both through my story and the stories of the interesting people I meet. I just cannot stop being creative here.
PJ: What materials do you use, and why, and what price points do your pieces start from?
SL: I use different materials with each collection and I decide on the materials depending on the final look I want to portray, for example with my second collection I used lots of metal as I wanted to keep the look very minimalistic. I have also worked with materials such as agate-brave stone and acrylic. My wholesale price points start at around £15 for the small stud earrings up to around £100 for the larger necklaces.
PJ: Tell us about your latest (or upcoming) jewellery collection?
SL: My next collection is a catwalk wedding project that I am working on alongside a fashion designer. The collection is due out in April and the designer I am working with wants to create a more unusual wedding, therefore the new collection will not be your ‘normal’ wedding jewellery. The pieces are all very playful and are inspired by the surreal artist Rene Magritte.