Detroit-born jewellery designer Vicki Sarge moved to Belgravia in the 1990s and has never looked back.
Words by Jonathan Whiley.
Everything is made on site at Vicki's Elizabeth Street premises and she has a starry fanbase.
Her jewellery has adorned the likes of Beyoncé.
More recently, her pieces were worn by Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman, in hit period romp The Favourite.
“I’ve been lucky, since 1983, to be creative every single day of my life. I know that is a gift,” she says.
She grew up in Detroit surrounded by motown and rock ’n’ roll.
“Iggy and the Stooges played at my high-school dance,” she says.
Then, she was ‘educated’ at New York’s most notorious nightclub.
“When people say, ‘Where did you study?’ I say Studio 54. That was my university …
“I knew Andy Warhol, and I was there when Bianca Jagger came in on a horse,” she adds.
So was it as hedonistic as the legend would have us believe?
“We were just enjoying ourselves … I guess it was distracting … but at that time in New York, it was a place to get down low and dirty.”
Starting out in New York
From 1975 to 1984, Vicki was immersed in the Big Apple’s downtown arts scene.
Always practical (“I learned how to knit at a very young age and I used to make everybody in my family blankets”), she applied her patience and passion for fashion to making jewellery for a friend’s runway show.
“We started by accessorising runway shows and then we decided, ‘Let’s see if we can sell this stuff.’ It snowballed and we all had some amazing years.”
Then Vicki moved to London in 1984. She was based in a building in Camden with a bunch of “creative fashion types”, including Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano, a good friend.
She never had any intention of staying in London, but found the slightly slower pace of life refreshing.
Finally, at the beginning of the 1990s, she moved to Belgravia.
In the Nineties, business was booming. Fuelled by runway shows, Vicki’s handcrafted pieces were in high demand.
“That was a highlight, working on all the fashion shows from Alexander McQueen to John Galliano to Roberto Cavalli,” she says.
At one stage there were 21 employees beavering away at workstations underneath the shop floor.
Now there are three permanent and two part-time members of staff pouring their souls into the jewellery.
This article was originally published in Belgravia magazine which you can read here.
To find out about Vicki Sarge's jewellery, read here.