Hot 100 2014: Alexa De Castilho

As a jewellery designer who’s proud of her Brazilian heritage, Alexa De Castilho is still celebrating being featured in her home nation’s edition of Harpers Bazaar – something she describes as “incredibly exciting and fulfilling”.

Her first major collection, dubbed Rio Discotheque, is inspired by Alexa’s experience of growing up in Rio in the 1970s, secretly watching grown-up parties and drinking in the sights of glamorous gowns and leopard-print sofas with zebra-printed cushions. Weaving these memories into precious treasures, Alexa is now London-based and ready to make her mark on the UK jewellery market.

“I’m so excited about my new studio space. I’m really interested to see how my work develops and is influenced by my new visual surroundings,” she says. “I’m also sharing with another jeweller for the first time and think that is going to be hugely beneficial to help bounce ideas around and to help keep me focused – so who knows what will happen.”

Story continues below

Despite the tricky nature of increasing overheads, and her reluctance to pass on these costs to her customers, Alexa refuses to let these worries impact her creative process; instead preferring lazy weekends with friends, luscious food and a caipirinha or two. “The creative part of being a designer is hugely satisfying and I love seeing my vision come to life, particularly when I see my pieces worn on the cool and beautiful women who buy them.”

Although the transformative power of jewellery is Alexa’s main driver, she’s not averse to getting stuck into the detail; whether that’s creating a spreadsheet or working on social media to entice customers to her exotic-flavoured brand.

Alexa De Castilho was named a 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.