A slew of
celebrities joined London-based jewelry designer Stephen Webster in celebrating
the opening of his first U.S.
flagship boutique in Los Angeles
on Dec. 6. Actresses Kate Beckinsale and Rosanna Arquette and British comedian
David Williams were among the celebrity attendees.
“I’m very excited about the store,” Webster tells JCK.
“I’ve got all these stores all over the world and none in America. I feel
really good about it.”
The bi-level store—located at 202 N. Rodeo Drive—features Webster’s full fine and
silver jewelry collections for men and women. (Prices range from $200 to
$40,000; couture pieces range from $40,000 to $125,000.) The second level
features an art gallery and a lounge with a permanent bar.
“The second floor felt disconnected. I wanted to open it up,” says
Webster, who had workers tear down walls and create a loft ceiling.
“We kept the walls white, so it will have rotating artwork that
feels like the extension of the jewelry.” Webster serves as curator of the
gallery, currently exhibiting Micallef, Faile, Jonathan Yeo, Vhils, and David
Choe. “We tried to make it a destination in LA. It makes people want
to have a drink and look at the artwork.”
A supporting pole in the center of the building was an eyesore, says Webster,
so he recruited an artist to jazz it up with a lit sculpture. British artist
Tracey Emin also created a neon piece that reads “I promise to love
you.” Says Webster, “I’m surrounded by contemporary art. I find it
inspiring. Journey upstairs and it makes perfect sense that its up there.”
The boutique will also host a “stylist of the month” window display where
stylists and designers can create a window featuring Webster’s jewelry and
their own imaginations. “I’m going to have no editorial control of it. I
just want the stylists to do what they want,” Webster says. Los Angeles
does not lack stylists and designers, says Webster, so the windows—which
currently feature the work of celebrity stylist Marjan Malakpour—are a great
opportunity for his store to get involved with the community.
Stephen Webster and Kate Beckingsale
While Webster has not designed anything specific for the L.A. store, he says it’s a focus for next
year. “I don’t like to do anything that feels ordinary,” he says.
“For that market, the thing the really makes customers happy is the fact
that they are getting something one-of-a-kind.”