New Collection | Behind the Design
Join us as we recognise International Women’s Month, and let us share some of the fantastic female minds that have contributed their insight and creativity to NAJO's artistic journey. Anna Morwood, NAJO Product Developer explains her love of jewellery and her favourite pieces from the new collection.
NAJO How did your love affair with jewellery begin and what drew you to become a jewellery designer?
I can still remember the feeling of being a very small child looking at jewellery and being consumed with lust - it is still the same today. I look at beautiful jewellery and feel a sensation in my belly that is excitement, joy, happiness.
I never set out to work with jewellery but in retrospect it is a perfect place for me. I am a person who needs a creative outlet, which jewellery design provides, but I also love the practical, cerebral demands of working in a small business.
NAJO When creating a new collection, what is your creative process and where do you mind your main source of inspiration?
A successful commercial jewellery collection needs to be appealing, relevant to current fashion trends and affordable. As a brand, we also need our collections to be stylistically consistent. These parameters provide the framework within which we design and create new collections. A collection may start with the small seed of an idea - a simple shape, a past piece that can be adapted or a piece of jewellery we’ve seen somewhere else that inspires us. From there we play around with design ideas and gradually build sets – if we start with a ring, we’ll design earrings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets and bangles to match. At any one time we will have many pieces in various states of design development. We always try to maintain a product balance in our collections so that we have plain sterling silver pieces, gold plated and two-tone pieces as well as stone-set jewellery.
NAJO The Aqua Collection has just launched. What can we look forward to seeing in the new Aqua collection?
The AQUA collection is imbued with the Najo aesthetic – plenty of classic, clean lines, sophisticated, unfussy design and ultra wearability – all at affordable prices. The adage of ‘something for everyone’ applies to this collection – it has big, bold silver, yellow gold, rose gold, two-tone and an offering of multi-coloured gemstones. While it contains pieces for the fashion forward customer, there is also plenty to attract the person who wants our classic signature look.
NAJO Which is your favourite piece from the new collection?
Pool of Tears Bracelet - We are always looking for ways to expand our best-selling ‘teardrop’ range of designs, and this bangle does it beautifully. Classic Najo, it is sensual, beautiful quality and easy to wear. It looks elegant worn by itself, with the matching Pool of Tears Necklace or Ring, or to add texture to an arm stack.
Cyclops Collection - I like the fluid lines and chunkiness of the Cyclops Charm Bracelet. The earrings are on-trend and super comfortable to wear, while the Cyclops Pendant Necklace is the kind of piece that looks sophisticated with any outfit.
Garden of Eden Bangles - these have been really popular for many seasons so now we’ve done them in silver, rose gold and gold, and a thicker, 6mm, gauge and paired them with matching hoop earrings. The soft twists in these pieces give them a sensuality that people respond to.
NAJO Much of your design is inspired by the natural world, with this season being inspired by the flow and colour of water. What is it about nature that fascinates you as a jewellery designer?
Everything comes from nature, everything returns to nature, nature is perfect. Look at the colours of flowers, the markings of birds and animals or the shapes of snowflakes – we can never do better than Mother Nature, the best we can aspire to is a poor imitation.
NAJO Tell me about the evolution and range of your styles of NAJO’s jewellery?
I have been designing for Najo with Jo for over fifteen years and over that time there has been an evolution in our jewellery collections reflecting changes in fashion and the prices of precious metals and production. Where once our collection featured lots of big, heavy silver pieces, these days the prices of silver and overseas production make such designs too expensive and uncommercial. In the past, when silver prices have been high we have explored using other metals such as brass and steel. These ventures were successful, but Jo and I agree that our hearts are not in any venture that deviates from using precious metals – we now leave that to other brands.
Working and designing with Jo has always been easy because we have similar aesthetics. We instinctively know each other’s likes and dislikes and what is right for the brand. After having created so many collections together, our process is instinctive. After so many years, you’d think we’d be bored but the truth is our enthusiasm is greater than ever.
NAJO What sets NAJO apart from other Jewellery brands?
Our niche is clean, classic, affordable jewellery that you will be able to wear from season to season regardless of your age or tastes. The things that set us apart from other jewellery brands are our aesthetic; the fact that our jewellery is all sterling silver, rather than being brass or steel-based, and we only use semi-precious stones rather than glass or crystal.
NAJO What can we expect next from the collection?
Our next collection will be released in July 2022 and has some beautiful new designs - we think it is going to be a successful collection. We are currently working on putting together the 2023 collections and have been having fun using lots of gorgeous gemstones and pearls.