For contemporary classics, London-based jewelry designer, Tilly Sveaas is for you. Think cool chains that have a universal appeal, not only ranging in scales (tempting both the wallflowers and the dancing-on-tables types), collections also transcend ages, and genders. The result? Jewelry that’s sincere, suited to all, and that’ll become a lifelong friend.
Expect gorgeously hefty, bold pieces in the form of the large gold curb chain necklaces right through to dainty pieces such as the gold eternity ring necklaces. And it doesn’t stop there, as Tilly offers bracelets, bangles, rings, and anklets (hello summer) in both yellow gold and silver to complete the TS look. It gets better as pieces are designed to be stacked, layered, mixed, and matched. Necklaces for example, are available in a range of chain lengths, making them perfect for layering, and so, provides the ideal excuse to wear more, as if you needed one.
Felicity Carter: What’s your first memory of a special piece of jewellery?
Tilly Sveaas: This has to be my mother’s antique Norwegian Albert chain necklace, which dates back to 1850! She has worn it since I can remember. On the beach in Cornwall or layered up with different chains and scarves but it’s always been there, I even used to hold onto it while she was breastfeeding me. It is clear to see how this has influenced me and gone on to inspire my best selling necklace! All I needed to do was give the T-bar a modern twist by playing with scale and simplicity.
FC: How did you get into the industry?
TS: I have always had a love for design and a keen eye for detail. It was through my love of travelling and exploring the world that I found myself head over heels in love with Bali – never returning to take up my scholarship place at Central St Martins to study fashion. It was during my time in Bali that I was introduced to some amazing local craftsmen and silversmiths and began my journey with jewelry. Over the course of 8 years, I nurtured these relationships and could really experiment and hone my designs. I would come back to the UK sporadically to sell my jewelry and build my brand, always returning to Bali to expand my collection and soak up the lifestyle. Bali will always hold a very special place in my heart, it is where my jewelry journey began and where still to this day a lot of my work is created by the original silversmiths I first ever worked with.
FC: How would you sum up the brand aesthetic?
TS: My pieces are designed around updating much loved classics which transcend time. I don’t believe we should be slaves to fashion, it’s about reimagining what’s always been there and seeing it with fresh eyes and a modern approach. Playing with scale and bold designs that can be worn across generations. I believe in jewelry that is made to last and that will become a lifetime friend. I want memories to be made while wearing my jewelry. Sustainability and long lasting meaningful relationships with suppliers are very important to me.
FC: Who do you design for?
TS: I don’t want my designs to leave anyone out! Whatever your age or gender orientation, there should be something in my collection that is suitable for you. I believe that creating lines that are timeless and classic appeals to all ages and the play on scale and weight lends itself to either femininity or masculinity. I would like to see myself as an all inclusive jewelry brand.
FC: What are the cornerstones of your brand?
TS: Classic in design but interpreted by the customer. I adore seeing the same bracelet on a 70 year old chic stye icon and equally on an 18 year old rock chick. Both look fantastic. The wearer owns the jewelry.
Quality, timelessness, individuality, inclusivity, sustainability, and a sense of adventure and self confidence. I want people to feel empowered wearing the pieces like they can go on and do anything.
FC: Which is your favourite piece at the moment, and how do you style it up?
TS: I can’t get enough of the chunky pieces right now. I am loving the medium gold watch chain necklace. In this freezing cold weather, I live in my cashmere polo necks. The simplest way to add a bit of glamour is by popping on one of my chunky link necklaces. Even if we can’t go out, it’s nice to feel like you can make some effort! I might add a little T-bar on a curb chain to the mix as well, just because I can’t resist and I love the layered look! Over the years I have acquired the most obscene wrist stack – made of mostly solid sterling silver chunky chains and bangles. All these designs are still available. I never take them off and they have been with me on so many adventures. I make so much noise with all my chains jangling, you can hear me long before you can see me!
FC: What do you have in store for this year when it comes to upcoming collections?
TS: Having just launched the Lariat Collection, it’s been really fun reimagining pieces that I have been using in the past but mixing different fastenings and lengths to create something that feels completely fresh to my brand. I am obsessed with finding new links and seeing how I can play with and adapt these to design pieces that feel new and unique to me and will stand the test of time. There has been so much focus on super chunky jewelry recently that it might be nice to mix in some much finer chains like our new lariats to break things up a bit.
See the full collection on the Tilly Sveaas website.