It's funny, the Friday Polos have been so popular over the past year that I get asked whether I've thought about doing other collaborations.
One of the collabs I particularly liked, however, was the very first - the Permanent Style cufflinks.
[Cufflinks now available to buy here]
I loved that one because there was such a clear vision for the product, and because it allowed people to buy handmade product from a fantastic bespoke jeweller like Diana Maynard.
The vision was built on:
- Cufflinks should have decoration on both sides of the cuff. They all used to, and it looks cheap if they don't
- To push such a decoration through the cuff, it must be relatively small and smooth - like a small stone or pearl
- That decoration should be of the very finest quality, but be very subtle in its style
- The bar connecting the two sides should be small, so the cufflink bangs on the desk less when you're working, and so it holds the cuff snugly around the wrist
Diana and I went through several iterations of the design, trying out different sizes of stone and length of bar until we found the perfect combination.
We also made some in various stones, but my favourite were always the pearls. They weren't too showy, and the options of white, grey and peacock colour meant there was one for pretty much every outfit, day or evening.
So we decided to make some stock and carry them again on the Permanent Style shop page - where you can see them now, in those three colours, with both gold and silver.
The links cost £240 (in silver) and £280 in gold. Looking back now, I find it incredible how cheap they are for the quality. We didn't really think of margin back then, it was just a question of doing an interesting project. With a standard margin they would be closer to £500.
You can read the full 2011 story here.
In the meantime, some more facts on the links:
- The cultured freshwater pearls are around 10mm in diameter
- The silver and gold stems are all circular in cross-section and gently tapered
- They are hallmarked at London assay office, and polished and rhodium-plated to prevent tarnishing
- The stems are individually cast, and the pearls set by hand. They are then polished and finished by hand also.
- All links are currently in stock and are dispatched within 2 days
- More details on postage and terms and conditions available here