Monday, July 15, 2024

Anabela Chan

The Art of Creation

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Anabela Chan

The eponymously-named company Anabela Chan is the first fine jewellery brand in the world to champion laboratory-grown gemstones and recycled metals with high jewellery design and artisanal craftsmanship, with a focus on ethical and sustainable innovations. Here, we sit down with the woman herself to discuss the remarkable growth of the business over the last ten years and how she is looking to continue this upward trajectory.

Born into three generations of film directors and cinematographers, Anabela Chan grew up in Hong Kong, London and Paris, arriving at jewellery design from a diverse background in architecture, fashion and art.

In creating her company, it is her and her team’s ambition to be the most sustainable fine jewellery brand in the world – through a marriage of science innovation and artistic creation – to offer extraordinary, magical, red-carpet worthy creations that are kind to both planet and people, that push the boundary of material science, at a price point never possible before.

“Ten years ago when I graduated from the Royal College of Art, I set out to change the dialogue in the fine jewellery industry with laboratory-grown gemstones and recycled metals – people thought I was crazy,” explains Anabela Chan, CEO & Creative Director of the business. “Fast-forward to today and our creations are worn and loved globally by collectors and superstar alike from Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and J. Lo to Taylor Swift and members of the Royal Families.”

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With no advertising and discovered strictly through word of mouth, their unique creations are presented at some of the best boutiques in the world including Harrods and Fortnum & Mason in London, UK; The Conservatory, Bloomingdale’s and Moda Operandi in the US and THAT Concept Store Dubai and Saks Fifth Avenue in the Middle East.

The company also operates its own flagship space in London, which was first launched at the Ham Yard Hotel in Piccadilly Circus back in 2014. In August 2020, they relocated to a bigger and more prestigious space on the iconic Sloane Street in Knightsbridge. The boutique is a collaborative design project between Anabela and her husband Jimmy Hung and it projects a gallery-like environment that almost feels like home, with reflections of the inspirations behind the brand’s creations and the CEOs fascination with flora and fauna.

Alongside building a global design-led fine jewellery brand, over the next two years the business will continue to invest in research and development in circular material innovations for the luxury sector – especially in the theme of turning Waste to Wonder – from working with new synthesised gemstones to pioneering recycled and refined aluminium from soda cans in fine jewellery and beyond.

In terms of regional growth, Asia and the Middle East are two key areas for the company and they are excited to bring their story and creations closer to their international clients.

When we ask Anabela what continues to inspire her to continue creating and designing bespoke pieces, she replies by that that she is inspired by anything that moves her – with perhaps the most prominent being the beauty in nature with its endless inspirations, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, in micro to macro scale.

“Jewellery is empowering, it brings joy, inspires emotions and elevates the spirit like no other. I love its longevity to transcend generations – it is timeless and it does not decay or go away. It is a chance to hold onto the past and at the same time reach out to the future and I find that endearingly romantic,” comments Chan.

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“To be able to design and create bespoke items that become modern heirlooms – encapsulating a special moment in time for our clients is my privilege. Through an alchemy of precious, natural and man-made materials, we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible scientifically and socially and that makes every day exciting.”

As we move onto discussing the future of retail and ‘brand experience’, Chan highlights that the future of luxury is about building products and brands that are exciting but also resonate with customer values – planet and people are a key component of that. She feels that what matters is authenticity, storytelling and accessibility like never before – through both personal and digital connections people like to be part of the journey.

“From the creative process behind the scenes, to the purchasing journey from social media to press to e-commerce to brick-and-mortar – it has to be a seamless experience with access 24/7.”

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Every step the company take makes a difference when it comes to sustainability and its three main pillars – environmental, human and social. It strives to be mindful and considerate in all of its choices, this is reflected in both their products and day-to-day business. It mean prioritising conservation over destruction, quality over quantity, embracing recycling, avoiding single-use plastics and upcycling wherever possible and supporting initiatives that align with their values both financially and physically.

“Our mission from the start has been to become the most sustainable fine jewellery brand in the world and our focus is always on ethical and circular innovations – the idea of waste to wonder fascinates me. If we can transition from destruction to conservation trough science innovation, I believe it is all for the better,” says Chan.

“As an independent brand, it is an honour to be recognised amongst the biggest players and we will strive to continue to be that game changer in luxury fine jewellery that celebrates a better future, for many years to come,” she concludes.