JCK Asks…Stephen Webster

You don’t need to be a star to rock his styles

Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, and Russell Brand are just a few of the boldface names who love to walk the red carpet in Stephen Webster’s glam-rock designs. But Webster hasn’t built an empire on jeweler-to-the-stars status, nor on fanciful couture creations like the new Seven Deadly Sins rings. He’s made his nautical Jewels Verne pieces marketable in middle America (priced $4,000–$40,000). And the London-based designer struck gold with an affordable ($200–$2,000) silver line that’s edgy yet totally wearable. Hey—Rihanna’s not the only girl in the world who can pull off his Superstud Polished Ring!

Age: 51

Number of years in the biz: 35

Number of employees you oversee: I lose track; last I heard it was around 70.

Describe your personal style: My favorite item of clothing has to be a Vivienne Westwood coat given to me by my good friend Mick Jones of the Clash who said, “Stephen, I think it will look better on you than me.” I wear it every winter.

The “Greed” ring

First piece you ever designed: One of my first assignments in jewelry class was to make a cluster ring; I made one for my mum.

The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: My wife’s engagement ring

First job ever: Stacking glasses in a pub and delivering newspapers

How did you get started? I was going to study fashion design at the Medway College in Kent and by chance walked into a jewelry design class. The flames, noise, chemicals, and shiny objects were instantly appealing.

If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? I did an episode of Project Runway. If [producer] Harvey Weinstein offers me any other TV work, I will jump at it!

Favorite materials: I enjoy pushing boundaries; recently we’ve made very complex pieces from titanium, which has its difficulties but ultimately has qualities gold does not. Equally with gems—for the past 20 years I have developed techniques and stone cuts that did not exist before.… That is what being a designer is all about.

Richard McCaffrey/Getty Images
Mick Jones

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: I’m always wearing at least a couple of bracelets from our men’s collections.

Five items on your desk right now: A picture of my family, a notepad and pencil, a stack of invites, a miniature bottle of Grey Goose for emergencies.

Five bands on your playlist: The Clash, Roxy Music, The Stone Roses, Band of Skulls, Johnny Cash

First website you check every day: Twitter

Scent: I don’t do scents.

What did you have for breakfast? I’m not a big breakfast person; I usually just have a coffee, maybe a piece of toast with Marmite.

Guilty pleasure: A lie-in

Courtesy of Grey Goose

Drink (daytime/evening): Grey Goose. It does depend what I’m up to; I try to stick to vodka at nighttime only, but if a client wants to celebrate, I’ll never say no.

How do you unwind? At our country house in St. Margaret’s, Kent. We have wonderful sea views and a big back garden—I haven’t actually planted anything yet, but I’m very good at pulling.

Superstitious? No

Courtesy of Penguin Books

Book you’re reading: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Preferred news source: Newspapers on the weekend, BBC news during the week

Main means of transportation: I’m very lucky I can walk to work every day; otherwise airplanes seem to be my second home these days.

© Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Favorite movie: Mulholland Drive

Who would play you in your life story? Robert Downey Jr.

Personal motto: No matter how much life can get you down, laughing will always make it a lot better—as my deep lines will tell you.