Following on from our new designer feature a few weeks ago we've put Johnny Mirpuri in this weeks designer hot seat.
What’s your background and what inspired you to become a jewellery designer?
I’d already spent 20 years carving out a successful banking career when I discovered that my
childhood interest in things creative had been re-kindled whilst making several works of art for my
home. Choosing to tap into those innate artistic talents I turned my back on the City at the end of
2008 to dive into the fascinating world of jewellery design. I went on to complete a broad
programme of bench & design-based courses at the Holts Academy of Jewellery and Central Saint
Martins College of Art & Design, where I learnt both traditional and computer-aided design and
MIRPURI launched in early 2011 and very soon after I became one of ten emerging designers
selected, as part of the BJA-supported KickStart initiative, to exhibit my debut collections at
International Jewellery London 2011.
I was born of Indian parentage in West Africa and spent three years living in India before moving
with my family to settle in the UK at the age of nine. This culturally diverse upbringing ignited in
me a passion for travel from an early age, which has so far taken me to over 25 countries across the
world. I feel that each of these journeys, and the exposure that they provided to differing
landscapes, new customs, fresh architectural ideas and cosmopolitan lifestyles, have played a part
in shaping my own sense of personal, as well as design style.
How would you describe your customers?
MIRPURI’s customer’s are style-conscious individuals who place equal importance on quality and
value. When adding to their jewellery collections, they seek out classic pieces which are sleek and
elegant in their design and which offer versatility in wear because they strike that fine balance
between a.m. subtlety and p.m. glamour. I feel that they’re attracted to my jewellery because
MIRPURI’s collections tick all those boxes.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery?
A wheat-link 22k white-gold chain necklace, given to me by my mother. I wear it 24-7, and it’s a
constant reminder to me of her unconditional love.
Which celebrity would you love to wear your jewellery and why?
I’d choose Julia Roberts - hands down! The epitome of a natural beauty with an understated, classy
sense of style, she’d provide the perfect backdrop to show off MIRPURI jewellery .... well, provided
you‘d ever see past that infamously infectious smile of hers, that is!
If you hadn’t been successful as a designer, what would your plan B have been?
I feel that I gave my plan B a pretty good shot, having spent 20 years as a City banker. I may have
have done things back to front somewhat, but now that I’m finally on course living my plan A,
there’s no looking back.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
With three silver collections already under my belt, I’m super excited at the prospect of broadening
the appeal of my jewellery with the introduction of a gold vermeil range, and the use more precious
coloured gemstones, in MIRPURI’s next collection. Look out for it in the new year.