We're thrilled that i + i jewellery is now available as part of our new British Design Hub; a carefully curated list of the freshest British designs to accessorise your favourite TROY pieces. We sat down with Kirsty to discover what it takes to inspire her classic, feminine designs, how she envisages her pieces to be worn and what drew her to collaborate with TROY.
Define the i+i style, if you can put your finger on it?
I focus on delicate pieces that can be worn every day in whatever setting you find yourself. I love the idea of my jewellery complementing each person’s individual style - whether that be a single piece that you never take off, or multiple pieces that you can layer to reflect your mood. They are designed to be worn together, which allows you to make them unique – pairing individual earrings, layering necklaces or stacking rings. My focus is on classic designs that won’t go out of fashion, a style that is feminine but with an edge.
What feeling do you hope to give to your clients as they wear your designs?
I see jewellery as another layer of clothing, almost a kind of body armour – indeed I feel naked without it. It is hard to put into words, but I try and design pieces that become an extension of the person wearing them, something they wear every day, in every situation, and through that consistency and familiarity, you can draw strength from it. I also love to use symbols, so you have the literal meaning there as well.
At i+i 10% of all profits are donated to Set Beautiful Free, and alongside this I am fully committed to working in an ethical way which I know people appreciate, and I hope that everyone who buys a piece realises that they are doing a little bit to help others.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
I find different countries, customs, and even the weather (!) inspiring as they ultimately drive my mood, which is often the genesis of my designs. When I was living in India, I couldn’t help but be influenced by all the colour, which was reflected in my use of emeralds, rubies and multi coloured sapphires - whereas moving back to London I veered towards only using black and white diamonds in very clean designs. Likewise, you cannot help but be inspired by the natural world; I find the lunar cycle fascinating - and the crescent shape of a waning moon never fails to evoke a romanticism within me, whilst being a simple and elegant shape.
Describe your typical day in sunny Notting Hill as a busy mum and entrepreneur.
I wake up very early in order to get a couple hours work done before my 18-month-old daughter wakes up. I am extremely lucky running my own business as it allows me the flexibility to organise my day according to her. Fortunately, Calypso is still at the stage where she naps a lot and so I manage to work then, along with when she goes to bed. My boyfriend is incredibly supportive and so takes over in the evenings and at weekends. I’d love to say that I dedicate most of my time to drawing and new designs but sadly the reality is all about production and admin. If I have a rare moment of peace I try and do some yoga or go for a run (something that I have only learnt to love since having a child!)
Your brand has grown rapidly since inception, were there any seminal moments for the business?
I am not sure there has been a defining moment for the brand. Obviously the first time i+i was in Vogue was exciting, and working exclusively with Net-A-Porter was a huge step in increasing the brand’s international recognitions. I of course loved it when Kate Moss and the Duchess of Sussex (two incredibly stylish women, in my view!) wore i+i for the first time, and every time thereafter. Essentially though, I am always filled with pride every time someone decides to buy one of my pieces – there are so many options out there in such a competitive industry that it amazes me that they have chosen my work!
How do you celebrate your successes? A stroll with your daughter and The Little Man, per chance?!
I must admit - I find it much easier to ignore success and instead focus on what I haven’t yet done! That said, when I do have a rare moment to reflect on what I have achieved, I find that my first thought is how lucky I am to have Calypso and the Little Man in my life, and that i+i has enabled me to build a life that revolves around my home and family rather than having the unenviable task of a daily commute into an office. When we do try and celebrate, we may book a nice weekend in a (dog friendly) hotel in the New Forest or somewhere equally beautiful, so that we can all go and ‘relax’!
What are your goals for 2019?
I am incredibly grateful that I can do something that I love and so hopefully I can continue to make beautiful pieces that people can treasure forever. I also love how it can be a platform to raise awareness for causes close to my heart and so I hope to carry on that tradition. In future, I would love to start working more directly with disadvantaged and marginalised groups from the developing world and integrate their local practices and skills into bespoke lines of jewellery.
How did you come across TROY and what is your favourite TROY piece?
I was recommended TROY by friend and then saw it at a pop up. Although it is synonymous with outwear and EVERYONE should invest in one of the jackets, now we are entering into summer I really love the pinafore shirt and dungarees. For me, I always try to buy pieces made from high quality fabrics which are made to last – and TROY embodies that completely. I love everything about the brand – particularly their ability to combine functionality with style.