Jewelry designer Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden’s penchant for jewelry has led her to create pieces for a select group of friends and clients before launching her brand in 2013. The London-based jeweler is known for employing fairtrade materials and ethically sourced stones. A graduate of the London College of Fashion, Rajcommar-Hadde learned her craft at the Rough Diamond training at De Beers, then Diamond Grading at GIA. Based in Fulham, West London, her jewelry collection is sold on rrhjewellery.com.
What inspired you to launch your label?
For years I wanted to wear pieces that suited my style, aesthetic, and that carried a story that resonated with me. After working in fine jewelry for many years, I moved to Melbourne with my husband. I was so inspired by Australian creativity and their love and support for independent brands. I was drawn to their freedom to be creative and I realized there weren’t very many London-based independent brands designing everyday statement jewelry. I started designing my own collection alongside taking a local silversmithing course – I fell in love with the processes, and that I was capable of being able to adorn someone with jewelry I had created, and so my brand was born.
I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t obsessed with jewelry. When I was a child I used to visit my cousins at the weekend and spend my time rooting through their drawers looking at their jewels. I used to ‘borrow’ a few pieces and keep them in an empty Kleenex box under my bed, and I would look at them after my lights went out to see them sparkle just before the light left them. I used to hear stories of my grandfather, who passed before I was born, being a goldsmith back in Guyana. I longed to know more and loved seeing his creations.
At school, I decided to study fashion because jewelry didn’t seem like an option. Once I discovered the jewelry industry there was no turning back for me. I visit the jewelry room at the Victoria & Albert Museum almost weekly (pre-Covid), I still get the feeling of it being the first time every time I walk in, a wholesome feeling that I have never felt with anything else. I find it so incredibly fascinating that these precious stones are formed under the Earth’s surface. For me, the life of a diamond is one of the most fascinating formations known to man, and I feel so privileged to work with them every day.
With my bespoke commissions, I love being able to tell my clients’ stories through the jewelry I design. I think of jewelry as quite autobiographical for the wearer. Everyone has a story to tell, no matter how big or small and I love being a part of that.
I would say jewelry is in my DNA, it is part of me and part of my story.
What is your brand ethos?
Individuality. In a world of fast trends and fads, finding and expressing one’s true character can be a challenge. Identity is expressed through everything we do, and jewelry is no exception. Today, more than ever, we are free to define our own rules. It’s a time to be true to ourselves, be individual, and be unafraid. Never follow.
Integrity. Exceptional jewelry-making standards are non-negotiable for me. From raw materials (fair trade gold and ethically sourced gemstones) to finished pieces, to me jewelry is as personal as it is precious. Corners will never be cut, craftsmanship never compromised.
Ethical. I am always seeking out new processes, particularly ethical processes. Sourcing from ethical miners, using fair-trade gold, and working with diamond suppliers who can track their supply chain. We all need to shop more consciously, and I think the fashion and jewelry industry has a lot to answer for in terms of their environmental impact on the planet. Being able to create more sustainable jewelry so that my clients can shop more consciously is very important for me.
How would you describe your signature aesthetic?
As I grow as a woman I am constantly seeing the world differently. My inspiration changes constantly, particularly as I experience the world through the lens of a mother with young children, and I hope it continues to evolve with age. Although I like neutral and minimal tones in every other aspect of my life, my jewelry tends to be bolder. I like it to be noticed, to catch the eye of passers-by, and hopefully lighten their day.
I don’t wear make-up (except lipstick), so my general aesthetic is minimal with bold jewels. I like designing everyday statement jewelry, I don’t take my jewelry off at night so I design jewelry that is comfortable enough to be worn without having to change from day to evening. I like the idea that no matter how messy your hair is in the morning, or how exhausting your day was, your jewelry always holds everything together for you.
What was your inspiration this season?
I try not to design seasonally as the pressure to design for a particular season isn’t very organic for me, I prefer to release a collection when it feels right. Covid-19 has really inspired me lately to work on new pieces. The pandemic has highlighted a lot of strengths, weaknesses, and bonds within our family and communities. We have all had more time to think and to evaluate what is important to us, what we wanted to change or keep the same after the lockdown. It has also made me realize that family – and the family you choose – are the most essential component of our lives. The way we create our memories with them on our journey has given me a lot of inspiration.
Who is your customer?
My customer is the free-thinking individual, who shops consciously and isn’t afraid to express their individuality. They like to wear jewelry that feels personal to them, and that isn’t trend-driven.
What are your plans for the label?
I am in the process of designing some new pieces for my existing line, the ‘Milestone Collection’ which is meant to be treasured and kept, with stones signifying important moments added over time. It is my most sentimental work and it feels like the right time for this. I found inspiration in my lockdown experience and the faith, trust, and love we gave to our key workers during the peak of the pandemic.
In 2021, I will be introducing a signature diamond bridal range. I am working directly with some wonderful artisan miners who mine and cut the stones themselves which allows us to trace the supply chain right from the very source. All the new ranges will be completely ethical and sustainable – which is very exciting.