With a range of contemporary designs, from pineapples to skyscrapers and DISCO pendants, Esa Evans is leading the way in jewellery. After launching her new laser cut stainless steel designs last year, Esa is going from strength to strength and even has a William Morris collection designed for the William Morris Gallery. We love her style, and our sister store NoWayBack is now stocking some of her pieces which we're so happy about.
We caught up with Esa for a quick chat about where she started, her fashion heroes and that all important question...party out or party at home?!
Give us a short history of Esa Evans Jewellery - How did you get to where you are today?
It started as a hobby about 6 years ago and the jewellery was very craft based. Over time, I started making laser cut acrylic jewellery, then I move totally away from that. The jewellery is now all laser cut stainless steel and I rebranded last Autumn. I studied art at University, and I feel like designing jewellery is like making wearable pieces of art. I love being asked by galleries to design bespoke collections - last year I designed a collection for the William Morris Gallery which I was very excited about.
Who are some of your favourite jewellery designers?
Myself! I started designing jewellery as I couldn't find the sort of stuff I wanted to wear. The only pieces I own by other designers are by Cabbage White - it's a lovely simple dipped silver bar but I love it. And I own a beautiful piece by Emma Calvert.
Who's style are you currently loving?
I really like what @alexandra_moore_style posts on Instagram. She always posts beautiful things that tempt me – gorgeous jumpsuits and sparkly shoes. I like her overall look as well.
Who were your fashion heroes growing up?
Oh gosh! Well, I was into clothes and accessorising from a young age. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to look like and what my looks were. They could be quite eccentric as most of my clothes came from jumble sales and my older sister's hand-me-downs. As I got older, I had quite a vintage look, I love the 70s and have a number of floor length 70s dresses. My Mum was very into clothes and had some great looks! I'm not sure I had fashion heroes per se, I just soaked it all up.
Do you still buy magazines or does most of your reading now happen online?
I actually stopped reading magazines some years ago. The perceived beauty ideal in them and the number of adverts drove my mad. I do like Stylist, and I get sent the ASOS magazine - does that count?! I read the Guardian fashion pages (and in general) on line and I like email magazine updates like The Pool, Domestic Sluttery, and Schmancy.
Who are you loving on Instagram at the moment?
I love the body positivity movement that is taking place on Instagram. The ones that I follow as @thestrutbymic, @bodyposipanda, and @becomingbodypositive, there are loads of others. Having spent years disliking bits of my body I've finally accepted it for what it is and I love it - I'm healthy, it all works and for that I'm thankful! Following these accounts reminds me daily about rebelling against diet culture and accepting your body unconditionally. I also follow lots of art galleries, artists and interiors feeds - I find them really inspiring.
Do you have kids?
Yes, 2 boys aged 11 and 9. They couldn't be more different which can obviously be said of most siblings. The oldest is still into Lego, Minecraft and dislikes football and the youngest is only interested in tech or football!
Have they followed in your fashion footsteps? What's fashionable to them?
My eldest definitely has his own sense of style, always has done. I love it! He loves shiny, sparkly shoes, anything rainbow, and dislikes most boys clothes as they are "normally sludge-coloured". His favourite jumper is a specially commissioned one from @merrimaking - it's a blue sweatshirt that says DISCO in large rainbow holographic letters. He's taken to borrowing my sequinned hooded cape by @sex_gypsies. The youngest has a large selection of football shirts and pretty much has no interest in clothes. He chooses clothes on the basis that he won't be naked - He does like a bright football boot though so I can get behind that!
How about music - what are some of your favourite artists and genres?
I LOVE Disco! It's my favourite party music. Last year I turned 40 and I shared a party with my best friend Lucy. It was a Studio 54 themed party, everyone made a great effort. So disco-wide I love Chic. I saw Nile Rodgers a few years ago and it was the best gig of my life. I danced, and danced, and danced. Amazing. I do have an eclectic taste in music, especially over the years and different eras - The Stone Roses, The Cure, Pince, the rave years, drum n bass, jungle, house...I do love electionic dance music, much to my husband's annoyance at times. If i'm in the car I'll listen to the stuff that's disapproved of at home! In the house we listen to a lot of alt country/folk stuff, Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunjkel (I love!)
Have your kids inherited your music taste?
My eldest loves disco which I'm really pleased about. He does love lots of electronic dance music too but he's really into Queen at the moment, and Foreigner. He knows all the words to We Built This City, much to our surprise. The youngest is into the Chainsmokers (no, I don't know who they are either) but loves a dance to whatever's on. He's got really into Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up - he and his best mate practise the 'Rick Roll', I have no idea how they discovered it. Both boys moan about my husband's taste in music - It's "miserable", which I may have influenced...
Party out or party at home - Discuss!
Ooh, well I love a kitchen disco and have had some super ones. We put the disco lights on and the mirror ball and go for it. However, it's not happened since we moved over a year ago. I love a good opportunity to dress up and and go out in outrageous/fun costumes. I love going to @sinkthepink events and @cocklesandmuscles for the ultimate in dancing, glitter and anything goes! A night out is not a night out if it doesn't involve dancing and glitter, so as long as I'm dancing I don't mind if it's in or out!
What's next for you and Esa Evans Jewellery?
I've got a great new collection coming out in a few weeks and a launch event at my mates shop in Leytonstone @lauraleadesign - I'll keep you posted! I have lots of exciting collaborations and some bespoke designs too. I have 3 more trade shows this year plus Stylist Live, which is an awesome event and a great day out. I would definitely go even if I wasn't selling there. Onwards and Upwards, really!
You can keep up with all of Esa's exciting projects at the following links: