Nathalie Kabiri’s vision when starting her business in 2004 was to bring previously unseen jewellery designers to London. When Kabiri launched, there was a gaping chasm in the market for fresh, individual pieces of high-quality creation and design. For Nathalie, the key was recognising that the vast majority of talented jewellery designers around the world prefer working in tandem with fashion rather than displaying their pieces in stark craft galleries; and so she offered them a place to present a collection rather than exhibiting as a separate entity. The result: a diverse and inspiring range of designer jewellery, beautifully showcased in a uniquely contemporary setting. We are delighted to have the opportunity this week to gain a deeper insight into the woman behind Kabiri.
Juliet: Nathalie, Kabiri is known for its offering of cutting-edge jewellery; how do you go about selecting pieces to showcase in your stores?
Nathalie: A combination of my own taste level and the trends that emerge from the catwalk and street style. I find fashion incredibly inspiring and we showcase our jewellery to complement the colourways and styling of the catwalk. Every season I present the Kabiri trends to my managers which inspires them in the way they merchandise and sell the jewellery.
Juliet: Would you say that Kabiri is trend-driven?
Nathalie: Yes. Although we try not to be slaves to fashion, many of our designers are innovators, in fact sometimes a jewellery designer will pre-empt the design direction of a fashion designer.
|Bones by Katie Eary, Vogue Korea|
Juliet: Innovation is synonymous with many of the designers you showcase; what would you say is the most extraordinary piece of jewellery you have stocked?
Nathalie: I love body pieces so it would have to be either the new body piece by Katie Eary or one by Fred Butler.
Juliet: How valuable is celebrity endorsement?
Nathalie: It has its upside, but the best customers often trust their natural instincts… our discerning clientele prefer to think that they are the first to discover a designer, rather than copy a celebrity. However if a celebrity has good style and buys a piece of jewellery because they love it and then wear it, I think then it can be good thing… Courtney Love, for example, bought an Assad Mounser piece recently and looked incredible. I am sure that may have inspired someone to invest.
|Courtney Love wears Assad Mounser||Moonage Daydream necklace
Juliet: This week we are focused on Urban Utility. Who are the designers, in your opinion, who reflect this trend?
Nathalie: Made by Eugene and Mode en Module.
Made by Eugene £
Mode en Module £
Juliet: What would be a key fashion piece in your Urban Utility wardrobe?
Nathalie: My rolled up chinos paired with my Acne platforms.
Juliet: Looking ahead to next season, can you give our readers a sneak preview into whose jewellery collections we can look forward to seeing at Kabiri?
Nathalie: I am very excited by a new French fine jeweller called Umane. The brand is not about inane rock ‘n’ roll motifs but presents an abstract design aesthetic that I find awe-inspiring. For fashion jewellery I am very excited by Delphine Charlotte Parmentier’s collection soon to be launching in our store; Delphine usually does the Chanel catwalk jewellery. There’s also a new Australian designer, Sylvie Markovina; so many exciting collections are coming out of Sydney now. We can look forward to the new fur/snakeskin pieces by Johanne Mills. I love her style and sensibility. Then we have the AS 29 ring collection which was designed exclusively for us as well as two surrealist designers – recent RCA grad, Aliki Stroumpouli and Vicente Gracia.
Juliet: What is your Autumn/Winter 10 ‘must-have’ jewellery piece?
Nathalie: Want: a Umane ring; Love: a piece by Johanne Mills; Lust: ring by Aliki.