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An interview with jewellery designer Katie Rowland

Using semi precious stones and fine metals, Katie Rowland creates bold jewellery inspired by mythological females.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Katie Rowland by Shivani Chavda
Katie Rowland by Shivani Chavda.

Katie Rowland won ‘New Jewellery Designer of the Year’ at the prestigious 2011 UK Jewellery Awards: not bad for someone who initially trained as a graphic designer. So I was aware of her name, but when I caught up with her at London Fashion Week in September I was able to admire up close her intriguing and very unique jewellery designs. To find out more about the inspiration behind her collections I asked her a few questions.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
You’ve had a very interesting career so far: what were you doing before you set up your jewellery label, and how did you come to set it up?
I originally trained in graphic design at Kingston University, but jewellery has always been a passion of mine, and I kept finding myself drawn to it. I then re-trained in jewellery design at Central Saint Martins and Katie Rowland as you know it, has been a luxury jewellery brand since 2009.

Katie Rowland by Bryony Fripp
Katie Rowland by Bryony Fripp.

This season’s collection was inspired by Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility – how are her traits translated into your designs?
Ishtar was mythologically a powerful, strong and seductive woman, so I have used bolder designs that really epitomise the essence of a femme fatale for the modern woman.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
Which mythological females do you rate the most, and for what reasons?
Circe, who inspired my A/W 2012 collection transformed men who spurned her in to animals who did her bidding, and served her. I really love the stories behind these mythological women; I find them so inspiring.

katie rowland circe deco creoles
You create designs in semi precious stones such as amethyst and smoky quartz – how do you decide which stones to work in?
I start by researching the women that inspire, the myths and legends behind them. I also look to see what the mood and colours are associated with such women and I see which stone colours I think will ultimately work with my designs and chosen female. I think its important to use semi-precious stones as my jewellery has a very luxurious edge to it.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
Where do you source your raw materials and how do you ensure an ethical supply chain?
We have been awarded the mark of positive living recently, and ensure that materials sourced have been done so in line with our ethical policy and guidelines such as the Kimberley Process which is used for diamonds.

Ishtars treasures Katie Rowland Jewellery by Claire Jones Art
Ishtars treasures: Katie Rowland Jewellery by Claire Jones Art.

I have my doubts about rose gold: what do you think recommends this material to the modern jewellery wearer?
Rose gold really flatters most skin colours, and can look as beautiful on an ivory skin tone as it would on olive skin. I think it is enjoying a resurgence as women look for something different to the usual gold or silver, and has it hasn’t been very popular in recent years its something a bit different and seems more modern. We think you should give it a chance!

Where you my readers buy your jewellery range?
We have just landed in Harvey Nichols, and Fenwick, Bond Street; we are in Liberty of London, online at and Astley Clarke, and our brand new website has just launched.

Any hints as to what your next muse might be?
Another mythological female; Ishtar was Ancient Babylonian; my next muse is closer to home…


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One Response to “An interview with jewellery designer Katie Rowland”

  1. chloe says:

    What a great interview! Katie Rowland is a doll and her pieces are exquisite. Did you know that Katie Rowland pieces are discounted on THEN AND NOW SHOP?

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