The son of an army family, Theo Fennell was educated at Eton and then studied art at York and later the Byam Shaw. His attention to detail and ability to interpret grand design on a miniature scale has helped to establish the name of Theo Fennell as an internationally renowned designer of innovative and superbly made jewellery and silverware.
On leaving the Byam Shaw, Theo got his first job working as an apprentice designer at the wonderfully Dickensian silversmiths, Edward Barnard, established in the 17th Century. When a customer brought in a silver champagne flute for repair, bearing the inscription “Good Morning, Diana”, Theo was struck by the witty and romantic gesture, and quite taken with the idea of the glamorous and intoxicated Diana. Such an unusual and compelling item reinforced his belief that jewellery and silverware could be irreverent as well as beautiful and should, above all, give a renewed thrill of pleasure every time it was looked at.
After working at Edward Barnard, and with the help of a largish silver commission, Theo established a small workshop in Hatton Garden designing and creating silverware. His first shop opened in Chelsea’s Fulham Road with the founding of his eponymous company in 1982. Further boutiques opened in many of England’s most famous department stores, including Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, later these would be followed by similar boutiques across the globe, giving the company an international name.
Intelligent, witty design and excellent craftsmanship are the cornerstones of Theo’s philosophy and, to ensure the highest quality, he insists that the majority of his jewellery and silver be made by craftsmen he has worked with for many years.
As well as being the Creative Director of Theo Fennell PLC, Theo has recently started a consultant design company working with some brilliant young designers with whom he can explore the more extreme areas of jewellery, silver and the applied arts as well as producing classical pieces for a wide spectrum of clients.
Theo is also designing, for himself, pieces that will challenge many preconceptions of what jewellery and some of the decorative arts can be, how far they can go and what materials can be used.
This unique approach to every design not only ensures each piece has been crafted to the highest standards and made with the greatest devotion from its inception. Theo’s highly prized creations are the result of an extraordinary and idiosyncratic imagination and are in some of the most interesting hands in the world.
Theo Fennell has designed across a broad spectrum, from the most classically austere of pieces to bejewelled flights of fancy, created with the passion and scrupulous eye for detail that has made his name. His creations are marked by their quirkiness and charm, but above all, by their form. Theo believes jewellery should be talismanic and timeless, not a sign of fashion.
Sir Elton John, David Beckham, Naomi Campbell