Meet The Maker

In the studio - with Ana de Costa

A limited edition Asprey’s tea set from the 20’s, a guillouche enamel hand held mirror by Mappin and Webb and a handpainted teapot from China are just some of the unique artefacts that fill jewellery designer, Ana De Costa’s east London studio. Her passion for collecting was ignited by her father, who travelled the globe, bringing back an exotic object from every place he visited. From him, she learnt to appreciate craftsmanship, luxury and design and it is these qualities that are inherent her work. Having re-launched the ‘House of Ana de Costa’ with a collection based on motifs from Henna designs we talk to Ana about the new direction for the brand.

Tell us about how you got into jewellery design.

I have always been attracted to beautiful things. The fascination began when I was a child. I used to sit with my grandmother and she would take me through her old jewellery boxes. Whilst studying art and design for my a-levels, I became fascinated by decoration and surface patterns. A visiting lecturer saw my work and suggested I try jewellery design for my final project. It was the defining moment in my journey, and I went on to study jewellery design at Central St Martins in the early 2000’s.

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After graduating from Central St Martins you worked for Shaun Leane – what influence has he had on you and your work?

Shaun is a dear friend, mentor and supporter. He inspired me to think big and network like crazy! He taught me, that to stand out from the crowd, you have to create a niche aesthetic that you ‘own’. The way Shaun conducts himself in business had a huge impact on me – he is always professional, respectful and conducts himself with an air of grace.

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You have just re-launced and rebranded the company. What inspired the new direction and what was the concept behind the design?

We relaunched “Ana de Costa” as “The House of Ana de Costa” to educate our clientele about our heritage. It also enables us to branch out into creating objet d’art under the umbrella of “The House’. For the branding we incorporated my father’s family crest. It looks quiet regal and denotes my linage, whilst working perfectly with the unique visual identity of the brand.

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Describe the brand in three words

Avant garde, luxurious and timeless.

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You have an amazing collection of antique furniture and objects, what is your most treasured item?

This was a passion ignited by my father. He travelled the world when I was a child and used to bring back exotic presents for my mother. I purchase a special item from everywhere I travel, be it pearls and Tahitian mono oil from French Polynesia or a beautifully decorated tea pot from China. Every piece I own tells a story and holds special memories but my most treasured item is a tiny mother of pearl bible which I found in a flea market in Rio, Brazil. It is almost 200 years old!

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What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?

‘Spiritual Henna’ is inspired by henna designs typically worn by Asian brides on their hands, feet and arms. Its is also inspired by some of Gandhi’s most powerful quotes such as ‘we must be the change we wish to see in the world.’

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Do you design with anyone particular in mind?

I design predominantly for women. My clients range from women in their early 20’s to women in their 70’s. The thing these women have in common, is an understanding of luxury and a appreciation for beautiful objects.

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How do you describe the way you style the jewellery you wear?

I have an 18-month old baby so anything that dangles or is remotely sharp is a no go at the moment! I am currently wearing a stunning pair of 1ct natural Colombian emerald studs which I made for myself as a post baby gift. I also wear my diamond engagement ring, my signet ring featuring my fathers crest and two gold bangles in rose and yellow gold. I sleep in all my jewellery, it never comes off – not even during childbirth!

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What’s next?

I am launching a special capsule collection of limited edition pieces this summer. The pieces will feature pearls of the highest quality that I sourced in Bora Bora and Tahiti.