After over 25 years of designing and creating, and seven years of running her globally celebrated luxury jewellery business, Annoushka Ducas MBE is one of the country’s leading designers of fine jewellery.
Founded in 2009, the eponymous company currently has two standalone stores in central London, as well as a place in every major department store in the UK and Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.
Having studied at the Sorbonne, travelled the world and spent time in Hong Kong and the Philippines, Annoushka discovered her flair and passion for jewellery design when her mother asked her to come up with a gift idea for the clients of her fish business, which included Le Gavroche. Inspired by her surroundings, Annoushka designed a pair of fish cufflinks. Twenty-five years later, Annoushka continues to be influenced by nature and her environment. She believes that there should be no boundaries to wearing diamonds with jeans, and that each item should be meaningful as well as elegant, an expression of one’s identity.
She focuses on luxurious jewels, with each piece designed to be suitable for wearing ‘from pavement to palace’. Her philosophy is that a piece of jewellery should be something to treasure: it should be rich with meaning, represent a memory, a pivotal life moment, or be a significant object of art passed down through generations. ‘It must be wearable, versatile, unfussy and yet also tell a story,’ she says.
Inspired by her travels and fuelled by a collector’s passion for the exotic and unique, Annoushka’s collection is the culmination of a lifetime’s obsession with the timeless romance and sensual magic of jewels. Her rich Russian heritage is also a strong influence on her designs. When her father died, he left her a rouble and a Russian cross that belonged to her mother and grandmother before her, and these precious objects led her not only on a personal journey into her family history but have also fuelled some of Annoushka’s own aesthetic. Her strong sentimental attachment to Moscow has given her jewellery a very particular flavour, inspired by Russian fables, tinged with colour and opulence. ‘I love colour and am not frightened to experiment with it in my own wardrobe,’ Annoushka explains. ‘My jewellery reflects this.’
An eye for originality has led Annoushka to mentor a small number of handpicked guest designers, providing them with a platform for their designs within the UK. These collaborations have resulted in some extraordinary one-off pieces. Such a level of support for fellow jewellers is unique and typical of Annoushka’s passionate contribution to the wider landscape of British contemporary jewellery, which was acknowledged when she was awarded an MBE by The Queen for her services to the industry. A slew of prestigious industry awards have followed, including Jewellery Designer of the Year, Gift Designer of the Year, Brand of the Year (twice), and a place on the shortlist for the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year.
Her enduring success is built on an instinctive understanding of the zeitgeist, the needs of the market, the desires of the client, and her dedication to innovation and ingenuity from design and manufacture, through to marketing, packaging and communications. Equally passionate about developing the next generation, Annoushka takes an active role in finding and nurturing young creative talent, instigating and overseeing a successful annual jewellery design project with students at Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London. ‘I absolutely love what I do,’ she says. ‘It doesn’t really feel like going to work.’
An ethos that sparkles through all her creations.
ANNOUSHKA 41 CADOGAN GARDENS, LONDON SW3 2TB + 44 (0)20 7881 5828