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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FAB Exclusive: Daisy Knights

As part of our spotlight series on designers, accessories guru Ritika W. snagged an interview with the talented, young Miss Daisy Knights in her studio. Daisy is part of the prestigious design alumni of the Central Saint Martins  College of Arts & Design.

Ritika is an Anglophile and has a weakness for all things British. It was perfect timing that her friend, Kaley, introduced her to the work of young British designer, Daisy Knights. Daisy's work has been featured  in Vogue, Tatler and In Style magazines  and is worn by the bright, young ingenues of the London smart set.

: We love your designs for men and women especially the collar stiffeners and the tiepins with skulls (Kit collection). How do you come up your design ideas
for your collections?

Daisy Knight: Thanks! I use friends and family as muses for each collection so all my collections are all really different but have my signature look running throughout. My
best friend Kit who inspired this collection is a gentleman and a surfer, he is trendy but traditional so hence the tiepin (traditional) but with a skull

MF:  As a child, were you always inclined towards the fashion world and esp. jewelry design? Why did you become a designer?

DK: As a child I was into fashion and clothes, but I was way more into jewellery. I learnt how to make jewellery in my fathers workshop when I was 11 and since that moment I knew I wanted to design jewellery.

MF: You have such a range and breadth of designs from skull tiepins to the most delicate feather designs rings. Do you receive custom orders for your work? If so, what was the most challenging piece you have worked on so far?

DK: I do receive custom orders and they are my favourite part of my job! seeing someones face when they see their engagement ring grow from a sketch to the  real thing is the best part!

I did a pre-engagement ring which was challenging because the groom-to-be wanted a ring to propose with but not an engagement ring as he wanted his wife-to-be to pick out the real engagement ring. So i came up with a ring that had "will you marry me?" engraved around the band and a diamond as the dot on the question mark. She absolutely loves it, and now has a lovely custom made Daisy Knights engagement ring and wedding ring to go with it!

MF: After you won, the Bright Young Gem award in 2009, what was the first thing you did to celebrate? And, on a serious note, how did that award impact you professionally?

DK: The first thing I did to celebrate was call my boyfriend John, and tell him! Then we went out to dinner at my favourite sushi place in London.

It really helped me transition from being a student stocking shops to being a brand to be taken seriously. As I am only 23 it helped with the transition into the industry.

MF: It’s wonderful to know you are so eco-conscious and want to keep your designs as British made as much as possible. What are some of the challenges you face?

DK: There are a lot of challenges, if someone wants a specific colour gem for an engagement ring and I can't find one where I can trace it back to where it came from and all along its journey to my work bench then I won't use it.  Also, I use recycled metal because it is the best thing to do right now, but I would love to be able to support the mining community and get ethically mined silver. Recycled silver does not help these communities but as soon as there is another option I will use it.

Keeping it all British made means I can promise quality as everything is made by talented craftsmen, I also still make quite a bit of the jewellery myself as I never want to lose the connection between designing and making.
Even our packaging is made in the UK!

Daisy's designs are carried Stateside at Net-A-Porter.com and for a custom design of your own, please contact her at her studio.

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