Nature Inspired Jewellery Since 1986
View Alex Monroe Jewellery collections on London Fashion Review Blog
An Introduction to the Alex Monroe Jewellery Brand
Soon after graduating from the London’s Sir John Cass School of Art (now London Metropolitan University) in 1986, British jewellery designer Alex Monroe set up his namesake jewellery brand. He set up his first design studio with the aim of creating quality, wearable jewellery, which is originally designed and well priced – a brand ethos which remains unchanged.
Jewellery Designer Alex Monroe
The brand continued to grow, but it was a little bumblebee which was to see the Alex Monroe reach a global iconic status. The now classic Bumbleebee Necklace was to be featured in some of the most influential fashion magazine including Marie Claire, Red, Instyle, Vogue and Elle. When Sophie Dahl was pictured wearing the Bumblebee necklace, the item was a sell out across the country.
But, by no means is Alex Monroe a one trick pony – Alex Monroe creates four collections each year and also collaborates with numerous organisations. Recent collaborations have included the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British legion, Kew gardens, British Perfumiers Penhaligon’s, Coco de Mer and Burt’s Bees.
The Iconic Alex Monroe Bumblebee Necklace as Worn By Sienna Miller.
As of 2011, the Alex Monroe brand remains a favourite of the fashion press and is internationally recognised as a quality jewellery brand. As well as a strong domestic presence of over 100 boutique stockists, Alex Monroe also has a strong market presence globally with stockists in Australia, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and the United States.
Alex Monroe – Key Dates
- 1986: Alex Monroe graduates from the John Cass School of Art and establishes his namesake jewellery label with the objective of creating great quality, wearable jewellery which is originally designed and well priced.
- 1987: Monroe begins displaying his work in exhibitions around the world, starting with the Jablonex Jewellery Fair in Czechoslovakia. This is followed by exhibitions at the British Designer Show in 1987 and 1990, and Pret a`Porter in New York in 1988.
- 1991: Alex Monroe is appointed as a tutor at Camden and Central London Institutes and as a Lecturer at Croydon College.
- 2008: Alex Monroe received the prestigious Designer of the Year Award at the UK Jewellery Awards. He was short listed for the same award in both 2009 and 2010. Also this year, the jewellery designer creates a one-0ff 18 carat red gold poppy brooch to raise money for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. The brooch included delicate detail on the flower itself and the unusual twist of an incredible ladybird using black diamonds and red ruby detailing. Also creating one-off pieces for the special auction were fellow British jewellery designers Kleshna and Theo Fennell. Finally, in what the designer has described as the highlight of his career, Monroe was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum to create a limited edition heart locket with a gem studded love bird, to commemorate the opening of their new jewellery gallery.
The One-Off Piece Alex Monroe Created for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.
- 2009: The brand collaborates with renowned London perfumer Penhaligon’s to create the limited edition deep purple crystal bottle with silver butterfly charm bracelet for Penhaligon’s Amaranthine perfume. Also this year, Monroe collaborated with Kew Gardens to create a limited edition range of lockets to celebrate the gardens 250 year anniversary.
- 2010: The brand creates an 18 carat gold bicycle pendant to be auctioned for the charity Fight For Sight, which were handmade by Alex Monroe himself. He also took part in a bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for the charity, which funds research into the causes of blindness.
- 2011: The Alex Monroe brand is well known for its bee inspired ranges with the ‘Bumblebee Necklace’ being the designer’s self-proclaimed trademark piece. This has led to collaboration with another brand with bee inspiration, Burt’s Bees – a natural beauty and skincare brand. To mark the launch of the Burt’s Bees Radiance Toner, Monroe designed and created the Honey Bee and Flower necklace and ring to help raise money for the British Beekeepers Association.
The Ring and Necklace Alex Monroe Created in Collaboration With Natural Skincare and Beauty Brand, Burt’s Bee.
Inspiration and Aesthetic of Alex Monroe Jewellery
Alex Monroe stay’s true to his objective by making everything by hand in his London studios. His use of contrasting gold allows the creation of small yet intricately detailed pieces that are ‘quirky, carefree and fun’.
Nature is the biggest inspiration of the Alex Monroe brand – whether influenced by sketches the designer made during his travels in Pakistan and Tuscany, or from walks along the hedgerows of his hometown of Suffolk, the designs always remain inherently British. This results in collections that are delicate and whimsical with nature as the predominant theme. Alex Munroe jewellery has attracted many a celebrity fan including Sienna Miller, Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan, Emilia Fox, Thandie Newton, Lisa Snowdon and Jo Whiley.
Future of the Alex Monroe Brand
In the immediate future, the brand will be opening its first standalone store in London Bridge. In the long-term future of the brand, expect to see more nature-inspired collections, yet it will be interesting to see if Alex Monroe will ever create another peice that will rival the success of the Bumblebee necklace.
Visit the official Alex Monroe website here.
If you like the look of the Alex Monroe brand check out fellow British jewellery designer Maria Black.