As jewellery brand Loquet London opens its first pop-up store in Belgravia, founders and friends Laura Bailey and Sheherazade Goldsmith tell Luxury London about their mission to modernise classic jewellery pieces
When interviewing the founders of a jewellery brand, one would expect to hear stories of treasures passed down through generations, perhaps of a jewellery box filled with family heirlooms, and precious gifts from loved ones. I imagine that this is the sort of story Sheherazade Goldsmith – one of the two creators of bespoke jewellery label Loquet London – would have regaled me with during our chat, had she not had a rather unfortunate incident happen to her not long before. “I recently had all of my jewellery stolen; they took everything,” she tells me. “I ended up with nothing except one ring that I bought when I sold my first book.”
Fortunately, the author and environmentalist has a wealth of charms, bracelets and necklaces at her fingertips as the co-founder of Loquet London, which she launched nearly four years ago with her friend Laura Bailey. Inspired by a gift from her son and the age-old tradition of wearing lockets as treasured keepsakes, Goldsmith floated the idea of a bespoke necklace that combined classic pendants with small charms during a dinner with Bailey.
"It was almost a dreamlike conversation; Sheherazade had quite a clear idea of how it would be, both emotionally and in terms of engineering,” Bailey explains. “We talked about it around the table and then just carried on talking. We did a lot of research and spoke with people we trusted. From that first conversation to the launch it happened fairly quickly; it was only about six months.”
“A lot of our initial conversations about the brand were about storytelling and how emotional we felt about our own jewellery.”
The final concept centres around a small glass pendant in which customers can place charms of their choice, from birthstones to initials, to tokens of luck or religious symbols. Each design is completely custom-made, allowing the client to become the designer. “We were very aware of a desire for bespoke, emotional gifts in a broad sense, but we wanted to apply that specifically to jewellery,” Bailey explains. “A lot of our initial conversations about the brand were about storytelling and how emotional we felt about our own jewellery.”
For their necklaces, Bailey chose L and T charms symbolising her children’s names (Luc and Lola Tiger), as well as a shooting star, an emerald and a garnet, while Goldsmith opted for her children’s birthstones, a rainbow and a lily of the valley – all of which hang on a diamond chain. The lockets are available in spherical or heart-shaped designs, and in gold, silver, diamond or sapphire styles. The brand has expanded to include bracelets, stacking rings, earrings and, more recently, a line of locket rings, which launched last year.
There are plans to expand the label further, with Bailey hinting at a potential range of stationery or holiday mementos to tie in with the founders’ loves of letter writing and travelling. For now, they are busy with their first pop-up shop, which launched at the end of last year on Belgravia’s Elizabeth Street, offering customers the chance to view the entire collection, which was previously limited to online. “We had so many requests from clients for a store; a space came up on one of the most romantic streets in London,” Goldsmith recalls. “It really fits in with what the brand is – contemporary and fun. It was the perfect opportunity at the right time.”
The space is light and airy, decorated with Germans Ermičs-designed cabinets, Fritz Neth chairs and a Massimo Vitali beach scene. It’s ideally situated on one of Belgravia’s busiest streets, an area in which the pair feel “lucky” to be based. “It sounds funny, but it’s quite nice that it’s not on either of our doorsteps; it feels more like an excursion and a treat going there,” says Bailey. “And to be neighbours to both a church and a delicious café [Baker & Spice] seemed extremely fortuitous, so we moved very fast – as always.”
Since launching in 2013, Loquet London has rocketed from a simple idea shared around a kitchen table to a force to be reckoned with in the jewellery world, garnering a fan base that includes the likes of Alexa Chung, Brie Larson and Julia Roberts. Friends first and business partners later, the pair put their speedy trajectory down to a mutual respect and understanding. “We have very different roles even though we’re partners; Sheherazade is driving the business full-time whereas I have a multilayered working life, but we complement and support each other both personally and professionally,” Bailey explains.
Plans for the future are being kept under wraps, with the two assuring me that the pop-up isn’t a teaser for a long-term project, but “you never know what’s going to happen”. At the moment, focus is very much on growing the brand. “We’re continuing to develop the collection with the same enthusiasm and to keep moving forward,” says Goldsmith. “We’re still quite a young company, so there’s a lot more to come.”