Founded by the husband-and-husband team of Hallam Harvey and Owen Bather, Harvey Owen is a London-based fine jewelry brand that, though officially bowed in 2020, began its journey in 2017.
“It all began with our own engagement rings, as we were unable to find any engagement rings that we would wear,” says Hallam Harvey, creative director and one-half of Harvey Owen. “We have careers spanning more than a decade in luxury fashion and fine jewelry, so knew we could design and produce exactly what we were after. We were married the same year, so we created our own wedding bands, and the collection and our passion for jewelry grew from there. From word of mouth we became busier and busier producing bespoke jewelry.”
Combining modern techniques with traditional craftsmanship, the British brand offers a host of commitment rings for all genders, in addition to its Alpha collection (a line of initial styles) and Hex, a contemporary chain-link look that’s thoroughly modern and wonderfully gorgeous. But it’s the wedding line that is of interest currently, with engagements happening even from quarantine and trends in that market constantly changing and evolving.
JCK spoke with Hallam Harvey about the trends in men’s jewelry, engagements and wedding jewelry for all, and rounding out 2020.
Are you seeing an uptick in “reverse proposals” and same-sex engagements with this line of men’s engagement rings? What are customers requesting, and how has what they’re looking for changed through the pandemic?
We have tried not to genderize our jewelry by naming our engagement and wedding band collection simply as Commitment. In the collection there are pieces that are traditionally more feminine or masculine, however, as customers are becoming more confident in their own style, we have noticed that the line between men’s and women’s jewelry is becoming more and more blurred.
We have yet to see a reverse proposal with this collection but have definitely noticed an increase in same-sex engagements and a trend in matching engagement rings too for same-sex couples. As we saw a need for matching his-and-his and hers-and-hers rings, we designed the pieces to be simple, everyday rings with our Ace ring being pavé surrounding a central diamond and Heath being our take on the classic signet ring. Each style is available with a choice of four different diamond center stones, meaning our clients can buy matching styles but show their individuality, opting for either brilliant, oval, marquise, or princess, or even go for a bespoke option.
During the pandemic we have had a lot more interest in our commitment range. With lockdown and only being able to spend time with a small group of loved ones, we think this has cemented some relationships and they are coming to us for engagement rings and bespoke rings to celebrate this.
What’s your favorite men’s jewelry trend? Do you think this recent spotlight on more gender-fluid styles will stick?
Customers are getting more confident in their own styles and making bolder choices. We have noticed that men seem to have more confidence in wearing diamond jewelry. Our personal engagement rings are custom Shard rings, yet we know that this is not every man’s style. We love to see how men wear our jewelry, whether they are layering our Alpha pendants on long chains or stacking our rings. We also noticed a trend for traditional signet rings, and customers are purchasing our Ace and Heath rings to wear in this way.
How has the pandemic changed how you do business? Do you have any plans to do things differently this holiday season?
When the pandemic hit, we were unsure whether to launch the business or to hold off. With so much hard work and excitement we decided to push forward with the launch. We are still finding our feet but know it was the best decision. We have noticed that there is also a huge trend for customers to shop small businesses.
We have noticed some customers coming to us for a more personal experience. Having the bespoke side of our business, we really take the time to understand our clients and their needs and over the pandemic have had to focus more on Zoom calls for consultations. This holiday season is our first as the brand. We are working on a few bespoke pieces that we hope will bring some joy over the holidays. We hope 2021 is a calmer year and the world is a safer place.
On a personal note, what are you doing to keep calm and at peace in a hectic year? 2020 has been a very strange year! We have taken the time to really push the company, launching our first collection, Hex, and focusing on bespoke engagement orders. We have a beautiful daughter who has just turned three, and she has brought us so much joy in lockdown. We have been able to watch her grow up and hit so many milestones we may have missed if we were not home working.
We have taken many long walks, exploring our local London parks and discovering areas we never knew were right on our doorstep. Gardening has also bought us some tranquility, planting seeds with our daughter, then seeing them flower. It has been a very odd year, but we have made the most of spending quality family time together—and we have truly loved that.
Top: Creative directors Hallam Harvey and Owen Bather of Harvey OwenFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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