My passion for jewellery started when I was around seven years old, I think. I’m a bit of a magpie and I have always loved shiny things. When I was nine, I was given a book on Cartier written by Hans Nadelhoffer- it remains to this day the most authoritative book on Cartier- I devoured it cover to cover and it still has a special place on my bookshelf.
I left Spain in 1997 to study Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery Design at the Kent Insitute of Art and Design in Rochester, Kent where I was mentored by Brian Hill, the same design tutor who trained the now acclaimed jeweller Stephen Webster. I achieved my Bachelor of Arts in 2000 and during my time at the Institute I was awarded a prestigious Design Bursary by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
After working for a number of years in women’s wear and subsequently at Boucheron I felt I was ready to start my own design business. Luis-Miguel Howard Jewellery was launched in 2004 Just a year later, in 2005, I was named a Bright Young Gem, an award presented by International Jewellery London to promising new designers on the scene, with a panel composed of, amongst others, Alexandra Shulman of Vogue and Hilary Alexander of the Telegraph.
Jewellery should be timeless and should not date
I began by specialising in unique, one-off pieces- the Fantasy Pieces- and bespoke jewellery for private clients, whether it might be re-setting their own stones or developing an idea the client had already had. The intrinsic value of the piece comes only second to treating the piece of jewellery as a whole, ensuring that the result looks balanced and elegant. My forte are creations that are elegant, full of movement and colour and that above all complement the wearer and so I enjoy using drops, briolettes and articulations to catch the light at maximum effect. The variety of stones I use is wide and these include green and golden beryls, tanzanites, morganites, rubellites tourmalines and lapis lazuli and I particularly enjoy using the various hues available within the same stone. My inspirations vary, but strong influences include Art Nouveau and Art Deco, the techniques of Fabergé, the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley and the art and architecture of Moghul India. Although my shapes and styles are strong I believe that jewellery should be timeless and I aim to create pieces that will not date.
I don’t really design collections per se, as I strive to create pieces that will not date- a piece of jewellery is supposed to be forever and hopefully one day an heirloom; I think with jewellery if you start producing yearly collections you immediately start dating your previous work. When I sell a Fantasy Piece I simply create another and I have carried out numerous private commissions for clients, often using their own stones for re-setting.
Movement, colour and above all, flawless craftsmanship
In 2013, I created the Pret-a-Porter range; this is a casual version of the Fantasy Pieces: less serious, less expensive and more fun, but still incorporating the ethos of movement, colour and above all, flawless craftsmanship. I feel flattered and touched by the response I receive when people receive one of my pieces and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with such a wide range of jewellery lovers- from avid jewellery collectors through to great style setters such as Sienna Miller, Poppy Delevingne and Charlotte Tilbury. It is of course also a joy to have my work recognised and featured in publications such as Vanity Fair, Vogue and the Telegraph Luxury. Buying or commissioning jewellery can be an exciting journey and I am delighted to be able to share my expertise with you and help conjure up a little bit of jewellery magic.