Meet this trendsetting jewellery design duo from our NexGems.

Who has made it into the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partners Ti Sento, IJL and Tresor Paris won’t be unveiled until September 4, so until then we are looking back to the leading lights of the jewellery industry who made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today is the turn of Swarovski NexGems Eliza Higginbottom and Yunus Ascott, the design duo behind sculptural jewellery brand Yuns & Eliza.

Yunus & Eliza has certainly made 2011 its year, during which its jewels, which it describes as sculptures to be worn, have caught the eyes of buyers at retailers such as Kabiri and Harrods.


The duo behind the brand, Eliza Higginbottom and Yunus Ascott, both completed fine art degrees and now focus their artistic attentions on designing jewellery collections that harbour influences from theatre and fantasy with what has come to be their signature dark twist.

A major highlight for the brand has been winning the British Fashion Council and Elle magazine Talent Launch Pad last year.

“From being relatively unknown to having Helena Christensen wear our work on the front cover of Elle couldn’t have been more affirming,” Eliza beams.

Then in June this year they scooped the Designer of the Year award at Treasure during London Jewellery Week.

“We regard ourselves as slightly renegade in the jewellery and fashion industries, so it’s certainly nice to have accolades from both so early in our life as a brand,” says Eliza.

The pair have enjoyed endless highlights in 2011; making designs for a Hollywood film, creating a Swarovski-encrusted head piece for new band Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and a chance encounter with the BFC’s Harold Tillman.

With Premier Classe up next, they’re barely stopping for breath, but being busy doesn’t hamper this duo. “Dancing till dawn has often helped us out of a creative block,” laughs Yunus.



This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. This year’s list and photographs will be unveiled at an exclusive invite-only party at The Freemason’s Hall in London on September 4. To find out how you can get tickets email event director