Jeweller Dinny Hall launched her first collection 35 years ago upon graduating from Central St Martin’s. We caught up with her in her Monmouth Street store to talk to the designer about her eponymous brand and how it has stood the test of time.
What’s your brand’s story?
After graduating, I was lucky enough to get a shared workshop on Beak Street in Soho, and it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. My first collection was followed by another range which was very much ‘fashion jewellery’. I did a lot of fashion shows with friends of mine at the time who were fashion designers and then I founded the Dinny Hall brand in 1985.
How long has your store been on Monmouth Street?
Just over a year. London is my city, and there are parts of London that still have a village-like feel to them, Seven Dials being one. That was a major attraction.
What do you like most about Seven Dials?
I remember coming down here as a student and getting the most fabulous cheese from Neal’s Yard. It’s got something to it that feels like proper London, as opposed to mass chains where you could be anywhere. It’s more about unique boutiques and laid-back luxury, and I also love the way the whole Seven Dials community works together. Of all the parts of London, I’ll tend to look around here for new shoes. There’s also some great menswear, which I buy for my son.
What new collections have you created for the up-and-coming A/W18 season?
We’re launching a whole new range of hoops, for which the brand is well known. We make jewellery from very simple silver earrings right up to fine jewellery, but we are definitely best known for our hoops. The new collection has all different sizes, from micro to giant hoops – either in silver or gold vermeil. What I’m trying to do at this stage of the brand’s journey is re-identify the essence of the brand, and for us, I believe it’s about hoops.
What’s unique about your Monmouth Street boutique?
In this store we offer a luxury ear-piercing service, so we’ve got a whole range of different studs. It’s nice to be somewhere where you feel looked after, and it’s more intimate. Along with this, we give luxury goody bags with gifts such as pearl earrings and an aftercare package, as well as discounts on buying jewellery. The whole package costs £90 for one ear, but you get a solid gold stud or hoop earring included in that.
Do you have any famous customers?
I do quite a lot of high fashion pieces, and do have some celebrities who wear my jewellery. Madonna has been a previous customer, and recently, we’ve had the likes of Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley and Adele wear our pieces, which is a fantastic endorsement. Our core customers tend to be creative and media people, and we’ve even had comedians such as Ricky Gervais and Paul Whitehouse in the Monmouth Street shop buying gifts for their partners.
What materials do you most like to work with?
I’m quite traditional, so it’s always silver or gold, because it lasts. I like the idea that you can dig up jewellery and it’s still there thousands of years later. I still have a real passion for designing jewellery, and I carry a sketchbook with me all the time.
Words by Tom Bottomley and Photography by Bekky Lonsdale