Maria studied at Central Saint Martins (where else?) before founding her eponymous jewellery line straight after graduating in 2007 and since then the Swedish born designer has gone from strength to strength. After collaborating with cult brand, Whyred back in 2009 there has been little doubt that Maria’s star is firmly on the rise. For the past few seasons she has been making major waves of the London fashion scene with her edgy yet exquisite collections stocked at Browns focus and featured in virtually every fash mag and hot blog worth reading. Maria’s SS11 pieces have been spotted worn by the fashionable likes of Daisy Lowe and Bat for Lashes, so get your new season pre-orders in now people as it looks like this one’s set to sell-out.
I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Maria and find out about her inspirations, aspirations and what it’s like being one of THE hottest jewellery designers in town…
LPA: Did you always know you wanted to work in fashion? Or was there a specific moment/experience that made you realise that was what you wanted to do?
MN: I knew I wanted to do something creative, I tried photography, painting, pattern cutting, sewing and much more. Then I did a Foundation Course in Art & Design at St Martins and that’s when I fell in love with making jewellery.
LPA: You moved to London in order to study at Central St Martins but now you’ve long since graduated, where do you spend most of your time and why?
MN: I actually moved back to Stockholm after graduating in 2007 and have been based here since. I moved back home because it was easiest for me when starting up my business. Although I really miss London and try to go as often as possible.
LPA: Your jewellery is exquisite to look at and beautifully crafted, yet all of your collections so far have had a slightly subversive undertone. What is it that inspires you about all things weird and wonderful?
MN: I want my jewellery to be surprising, I don’t like things too obvious. I’m always inspired by contrasts and traditional jewellery is often just sparkling and pretty so I want to give my jewellery a darker twist.
LPA: What is the first step you take when going about designing a new collection?
MN: It always starts with an idea that develops into a little story in my sketchbooks. I do a lot of research and drawing before I actually start making.
LPA: Do you design with a specific woman or character in mind? If so, who is she?
MN: I kind of do because in these little stories I have in my mind there’s always a main character who I make the jewellery for.
LPA: You launched your eponymous jewellery line straight after graduating, why did you decide to start out on your own rather than working for an established brand?
MN: It was what I really wanted to do. And I had already started selling my jewellery in my 2nd year at St Martins so it was a natural step.
LPA: In your opinion which city has better street style, London or Stockholm?
MN: That’s difficult but I have to say I like London better because of the diversity and mix of styles, in Stockholm everyone looks polished and nice but kind of the same.
LPA: Which designer you most admire?
MN: René Lalique and some of the other art nouveau jewellers. Such craftsmanship!
LPA: You have had a phenomenally successful few seasons. What are your hopes and aims for the coming year?
MN: Thank you that’s very kind!! But I’m always looking to improve my jewellery and make new pieces so I’m working on a new collection as well as a line with jewellery that’s a bit cheaper. I’m also opening my own store in Stockholm this summer and selling in more cities around Europe.
LPA: If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you be?
MN: I would work with horses in some way.
Maria’s delicious designs are available online at www.marianilsdotter.com
Love Ella. X