Stephen Webster is a British jewelry designer and founder of the eponymous brand. He became known for his recognizable, vibrant and dynamic collections. Elements of the aesthetics of rock and roll, art deco and gothic can be traced in the designer’s works.
Webster became famous in the mid-1990s. By that time, jewelry design was in some oblivion: minimalism was in vogue, and even on the red carpet, jewelry was very modest. This was until 1995, when Stephen Webster did not dare to break the established rules.
History of creation
Webster was born in Kent in 1959. He studied at Grimend Grammar School and then at Medway College of Design. Acquaintance with jewelry design was accidental: the young man wanted to get into a class in fashion design, but he was mistaken. The mistake was successful: 16-year-old Webster literally fell in love with the craft and devoted his whole life to it.
At the time, there was a strong avant-garde movement in British jewelry design. Anglo-Italian designer Andrew Grima became Webster’s idol: he experimented with raw gems and crystals, unusual cuts and textures. According to Stephen, Grim’s work has had a huge impact on his entire philosophy.
After graduation, Webster worked for several jewelry houses. Some of his works were highly appreciated by famous masters, and soon the talented young man was hired by De Beers to develop the Diamond Stakes Trophy. Having received accreditation, he decided to open his own business.
California was chosen as the starting point
The local audience loved the bold style and bold combinations of bright colored stones. In 1989, the Steven Webster jewelry brand was founded. Today it has more than 200 retail points of sale around the world, as well as flagship stores in London, Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg. Stephen Webster is an ethical proponent of raw material selection.
He traveled extensively in Tanzania and Peru to monitor the mining communities and find out the origin of the materials used. This is important because the mining of precious stones and gold is often associated with military conflicts, violence, and exhausting work. Through consistent advocacy of his principles, Webster has become an ambassador for Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold social movements for adhering to international standards of social, environmental and labor regulation.
Awards and achievements
Stephen Webster’s works have repeatedly won prizes at international exhibitions and competitions: he is considered one of the most famous masters of our time. In 2007, the designer received an honorary master of arts degree from the University of Creative Arts.
The main award overtook the master in 2013. Prince Charles appointed him Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services in the development of jewelry. The Knightly Order of the MBE was approved by the Special Committee, signed by the Queen and the Prime Minister.
Crystal Haze is the most famous collection of Stephen Webster, which appeared in 1995. Its main feature is a special technology for processing a natural precious stone: a thin cut layered on a layer of rock crystal. This gave the jewelry an extraordinary, almost mystical aura.
The idea of creating Crystal Haze came to the designer by accident.
He experimented with precious stones, deciding to create unusual doublets from rock crystal and gems. But nothing came of it: the gluing turned out to be too thick and rough, and bubbles formed between the stones. Webster remembered seeing massive glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly once and wondered how he managed to create a huge piece of glass. The sculptor shared the secret of epoxy resin transparent, almost invisible, but very durable.
This “bundle” helped create the Crystal Haze technology. The collection made a splash. Madonna was one of the first to notice her: she appeared in public with a ring made in an unusual technique. Webster had to hire more and more workers his small company could not cope with orders. The first collection was followed by new, no less impressive: one depicted the seven deadly sins, the other the signs of the zodiac. The public accepted Webster’s work with enthusiasm, and he never ceased to amaze her.
In 2020, on the occasion of the anniversary, the second Crystal Haze collection was released. Its main highlight, like 25 years ago, was the author’s technology for gluing stones.
Stephen Webster had his own style from the beginning. Its closest description can be called glam rock: a combination of rebelliousness and elegance. When creating jewelry, Webster recognizes only manual work and an individual approach. The designer claims that every woman must have two things a bracelet and a large bright ring.
This pair is enough to make you look stylish. During communication, we often pay attention to the interlocutor’s hands: a couple of elegant details will help create a mesmerizing impression. Stephen Webster’s work is meticulous attention to detail, excellent workmanship and the tradition of the old English school of jewelry. However, it is not limited by the established rules: each piece for a designer is a way to tell a story of beauty, devotion and sublime purity.
Stephen Webster works a lot with colored stones: heliodors, tanzanites, beryls and other bright gems are present in his collections. They sit side by side with De Beers diamonds, selected according to the strictest quality criteria. Webster loves experimenting with titanium.
This metal is both lightweight, durable, and highly paintable. At the same time, working with him is not easy, especially when it comes to creating complex sculptural forms. The titanium bracelet, created according to the designer’s sketch, was awarded a place in the oldest European museum of decorative and applied arts the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Stephen Webster’s jewelry has a wide price range. For example, a yellow gold ring with a few carats of tourmaline costs about 200 thousand rubles. A medium-sized pendant with pearls has a similar cost. Jewelry from iconic collections is more expensive: you will have to pay almost one and a half million rubles for rings from Crystal Haze 2.