Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Webster: I need broad appeal

Stephen Webster wants to "let more people in" on his jewellery designs.

The British craftsmen is the founder and creative director of Stephen Webster Ltd. and a creative director of the world's oldest jewellery house, Garrard.

He is well known for making accessories for the world's most glamorous celebrities such as Madonna, Charlize Theron and Johnny Depp.

However, he is eager to present his designs to an audience other than the rich and famous.

"What I wanna offer, isn't a diffusion range, or keyrings and cufflinks, but proper jewellery that I feel is part of our DNA, but that lets more people in," he told British publication The Independent.

Stephen has been experimenting with lower priced materials such as silver plate, with ceramic-coated steel.

But he is also conscious that he must make his jewellery stores more accessible for the everyday person.

"That's our next job - making people know that walking through our door isn't the most scary thing," he explained. "Somebody'll be able to tell us how to communicate that without devaluing the name."

Stephen himself confessed he is rarely star-struck anymore.

But he is often shocked by how aware celebrities are of his work.

"I've done this so long, I'm not at all intimidated, no matter who it is," he shrugged. "But I'm amazed by how much some people know. Madonna is a perfect example. She knew exactly what she wanted for Guy [Ritchie]."

The designer is also a fierce advocate of Fairtrade materials. Earlier this year he visited Peru as an ambassador for the cause.

"I went to see what life was like for a Peruvian artisanal miner. How awful it can be. I went with my brother, and it was an incredible experience. The people who migrate to these mines earn two dollars a day, yet they're mining gold, which is $1,600 an ounce," he explained. "There were moments on the trip that were very emotional. The people at the coal face, bringing it out, that was the worst of the worst. You stand there and think, 'F**king hell, how lucky are we?'"

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