The truest luxury experience is purchasing a bespoke item – something made from scratch, just for you. This age-old luxury tradition is the focus of a new Christmas campaign at one of London’s most luxurious shopping destinations, Burlington Arcade.
The covered shopping arcade in Mayfair was opened by Lord George Cavendish, Earl of Burlington, in 1819 “for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public”. Two hundred years later it is still a magnet for magpies, with jewellers including Annoushka and Susannah Lovis occupying boutiques there.
This Christmas, the Burlington Arcade will put the focus back onto fancy articles, through its Bespoke at Burlington campaign, which highlights some of the ultra-personalised shopping experiences offered by its stores. Here is what the Arcade’s jewellers have to offer for a truly bespoke experience this Christmas.
Personalised charms at Annoushka
The fine jewellery boutique in Burlington Arcade is the third Annoushka standalone store to open in London. The opening in October 2019 coincided with the brand’s 10 year anniversary, which also led to the launch of a series of limited-edition designs. This autumn/winter, Annoushka has launched a bespoke experience, My Life in 7 Charms, inviting customers to create their own biography in 18ct gold. Annoushka and her team will work with each client to design a series of charms that tell their individual story. After an initial exploratory meeting, Annoushka will present a series of hand-drawn sketches, from which the customer’s bespoke charms will be developed. Each client can be as involved in the design process as they wish, with the team guiding them through every step. The finished charms will be presented in a beautiful book, accompanied by their own personal scrapbook telling the story of each of their inspirations and creations. A compilation of each customer’s memories and their evolving designs, the scrapbook is a work of art in itself.
Annoushka My Life in 7 Charms box
Made-to-measure jewels at Hancocks
A family-run jeweller since 1849, Hancocks was granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria, who entrusted the company with the making of the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry in the British armed forces – a tradition it continues today. A specialist in old-cut diamonds and gemstones, Hancocks offers a fully bespoke jewellery service to cater for all budgets and briefs. From the initial design stages and sourcing, through to the finished jewel handmade by master craftsmen with decades of experience, each piece is totally unique. Hancocks has been based in the Burlington Arcade since 1992, and each member of the in-store team has their own area of expertise, making for a broad and valuable knowledge base.
Hancocks sapphire and diamond ring
Gentle lab-grown gems at Carat*
Laboratory-grown gemstone jeweller Carat* is launching its Gentle Diamonds experience at Burlington Arcade, an appointment-only offering for customers to create their own bespoke jewellery. Each client will benefit from a private consultation with one of Carat*’s Gentle Diamonds experts, from whom they will learn the art of choosing a laboratory-grown diamond, and its benefits compared to mined diamonds. Customers will be guided through the bespoke jewellery experience every step of the way: choosing the metal, design, laboratory-grown diamond selection and engraving, choosing from a vast database of thousands of diamonds. Clients can use the latest technology to view each and every laboratory-grown diamond at 40x zoom and spin 360 degrees on screen in full HD quality. To be able to view so many laboratory-grown diamonds on demand in this way is a completely new concept and experience for jewellery buying in the United Kingdom. Once the final design and laboratory-grown diamond is chosen, the crafting process begins. Each client will be invited back to Burlington Arcade once their bespoke masterpiece is ready for the final presentation.
Carat* Gentle Diamonds lab-grown diamond concept at Burlington Arcade
Bespoke heirlooms at Susannah Lovis
The Susannah Lovis boutique is a treasure trove of remarkable pieces and well known to collectors of vintage Cartier, Tiffany and Van Cleef jewellery. The boutique’s team – led by Susannah, pride themselves on their expertise and excellent levels of customer service. With their extensive knowledge of gemmology and diamonds, the team is able to offer a wide range of services including repairs, valuations, buying and part exchanging jewellery. Situated at Number 50, the boutique has been a much-respected jewellery destination within the Arcade since 1999.
Valuer Diana at antique jewellery store Susannah Lovis in the Burlington Arcade
Egyptian one-off wonders at Azza Fahmy
Azza Fahmy Jewellery originated in 1969 when the eponymous founder broke into the traditionally male-dominated world of handcrafted fine jewellery in her native Egypt. Inspired by ancient Egyptian history and culture, the Ottoman Empire, Arabic poetry and a love of calligraphy, her authentic designs have since adorned everyone from celebrities at the Oscars to a clientele that values handmade wearable art. This winter, the designer has curated a special capsule collection of one-off, limited edition pieces available exclusively at the store’s European flagship in Burlington Arcade. Handmade by artisans using traditional techniques, the collection features precious stones, signature calligraphy and Ancient Egyptian symbolism in exquisite, bejewelled rings, cuffs and bracelets.
Azza Fahmy one-off ring, exclusively at Burlington Arcade