Sarah Ho London, was the sponsor of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund Ball 2015. She also recently launched its Bespoke Collection in September. She talks to STYLE about her inspirations and ambitions.
How would you define the Sarah Ho woman?
The Sarah Ho woman is stylish, confident and cultured. She works hard but still finds time to balance her work/home life. She is well-travelled and enjoys her multi-faceted lifestyle, appreciating the finer things in life but has the ability to mix high street with designer brands. She is a trendsetter but is discerning in her choices.
Where do you find your inspirations?
The inspirations for my jewellery designs are a personal reflection of the different chapters in my life and my family heritage. [I create] an autobiography through my jewellery. Each collection has a story to tell, inspired by the places I have visited, childhood memories or is an expression of my passion for design, my love of architecture and the glamorous art deco period.
My vision is to create jewellery that is as stylish today as it will be treasured for years to come.
Your mother and grandmother are both your muses. How do they inspire you? Is it in the same way or in different ways?
The women in my life are important to me. They are powerful, successful and inspirational but my mother and grandmother are my real muses. They were both jewellery lovers and their styles were very different. My grandmother was an avid collector of jewellery that she always wore. Her jewellery box was classic and stylish and she had a passion for unusual gemstones.
On the other hand, my mother was a more flamboyant character. She was very much part of the London party scene in the late 1960s, a “Bond Girl” and dated Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones. Her jewellery reflected her personality, which was big, bold and daring. She, too, was an avid jewellery collector but with a very different style.
I have been lucky enough to inherit pieces from both of them which I love and I have taken some of their pieces that are particularly special to me and created the Swirl Collection inspired by my mother’s jewellery and the Clementina Rings from my grandmother’s gift for my wedding.
Tell us more about the bespoke collection.
I love to design bespoke jewellery for clients so we have now taken the bespoke service to another level. Here I have kept the philosophy behind the brand – each piece has a story to tell and I use the client’s own story to create their own chapter told through a piece of jewellery that is unique for them. It’s like an artist painting a portrait, but I create a portrait jewel instead.
Each collection you design is about milestones in your life. Do you have a particular milestone or collection you are most attached to? Why?
There are two collections that particularly represent different milestones in my life. The first is the Paradis Collection. This was an important milestone as it destined my style as a jewellery designer.
The Coin Collection, on the other hand, represents another significant chapter of my life. My grandfather always gave me a Chinese gold coin on my birthday, said to bring wealth and success. When I had my daughter, I designed the Coin Chandelier Earrings based on this childhood memory. The Collection has been really popular and the legacy will be passed on to my children.
You have said you tell your story through your jewellery. Can you explain this?
The Coin Collection has its own story but the first collection I designed was called ‘Origami’, based on the origami artworks I loved to make as a child. When I was first given a sheet of metal and asked to make a piece of jewellery, my first instinct was to fold it and a collection followed. I then took this concept to another level and created the Origami Noir suite of jewellery as part of the Sarah Ho Couture brand.
The story behind the Clementina Rings came from the gift of a beautiful jade and diamond pendant that belonged to my grandmother and was given to me on my wedding day. The Clementina Rings are inspired by my grandmother, her love of jewellery and the shape and design are taken from this special pendant.
What’s next for the brand?
We have recently introduced the Sarah Ho brand to Asia and I am very excited and proud to be taking my brand home. So far the response has been really positive and as the brand grows, I look forward to seeing more and more Asian women wearing Sarah Ho jewellery.
I am also offering a new unique bespoke service for clients called Portrait Jewels. Instead of an artist painting a portrait, I create a jewel that is a personal reflection of the client’s life story and is a special piece that is unique to them.
On the international front, we will continue to expand our worldwide network. For the UK, the next focus will be to open a flagship store in London and then who knows what will come next…