We caught up with Mark Milton to find out a bit more about his business and what he will be showing at this year's IJL.
What made you decide to embark on a career in the jewellery industry?
I was born into the jewellery industry! My father, Joseph, (and grandfather) were in the business and in the late 1950s, my father established a jewellery manufacturing business and although I was only a baby, the sign over the door read: J P Milton & Son. My journey into jewellery started right there! In fact, i still have my BJA certificate from 1958 (when I was still a baby!) which acknowledges our father and son joint membership.
What is your most treasured piece that you have designed to date and why?
There are too many to mention after 35 years of jewellery-making! However, the most treasured and satisfying pieces are those that have really started a revolution in the jewellery business. I was responsible for starting many jewellery trends over the years. For example: gold chain necklaces featuring a single integral cast piece between the chain links. This was the first time this look had been created and it moved away from the usual chain and pendant style of necklace. It seems extremely commonplace now but this was a real change in necklace design at the time.
Also, as an expert in creating gold jewellery, I was responsible for bringing white gold into the high street. No one was making white gold jewellery and as much as it seems normal practice now, producing a collection in white gold in the 1990s started a real industry revolution.
I have always been at the forefront of making necklaces and bracelets with unusual links and weaves. This is down to my long term, trusted relationships with some of the best jewellery craftsmen and manufacturers in the world. The 'Herringbone' style necklace is a perfect example of this: a clever and unique necklace design which is still one of the great sellers today.
What can we expect at your stand at IJL 2014, are you launching any new collections?
Yes! Our much-loved Spotlight Collection has some stunning new statement pieces. This range centres around bangles, cuffs and torques and the star of the show for AW 2014 is our Icon Cuff: a 30mm wide Rose Gold vermeil cuff. Just gorgeous.
And our beautiful stone-set collection, Celebration, is being revved up with some fabulous necklaces and earrings with big, juicy faceted stones. Perfect for the party season.
Who is your main inspiration within the jewellery industry?
Again, too many to mention..but several spring to mind as they represent every important aspect of the jewellery business:
- My father, Joseph for teaching me everything he knows about the jewellery business and all those lessons still hold true today.
- Karl-Adolf Daub; Senior Partner of Andreas Daub, Pforzheim (jewellery manufacturers) for wisdom and patience.
- Andrew Brown, Chairman of Beaverbrooks and David Robinson of David M Robinson Jewellers as they have succeeded in the industry with dignity and integrity and have helped many people along the way.
- Tony Obernik, Chairman of Fraser Hart / Fields Jewellers, for his business flair and for being one of the industry's real 'characters'.
What does the future hold for Mark Milton?
To continue to be an influential part of the jewellery movement and to create more beautiful, exciting jewellery! The new, focused Mark Milton brand, has delighted my long-standing retail buyers as well as appealing to a new audience of design-led, fashion-orientated customers. After decades in the industry, I'm hoping to get the perfect balance of continued success with enough time to enjoy it.
Visit Mark Milton at IJL on stand C10.
Register for IJL 2014 at www.jewellerylondon.com/register