The Man Behind the Bling

By Brittney Messingschlager

Known for his larger than life pieces worn by edgy fashionistas and celebrities alike, British jewelry designer Stephen Webster took some time away from his 20 international storefronts to personally spend time with shoppers at Neiman Marcus Fort Lauderdale in late January.

Since Webster was 16 years old, he knew he wanted to be a fashion designer. He discovered his love for jewelry design while in art school and has been creating pieces of exotic jewelry ever since. Since his pieces were so unique, edgy, daring and unlike most jewelry during that time in England, Webster eventually found himself in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he really got his name on the map. “My jewelry finally had an audience in California, because my pieces were really quite bold for their time,” Webster said while showing off some of his pieces at the Neiman Marcus Fort Lauderdale Precious Jewelry Salon. His time in California landed him some A-list clients, and eventually an account with Neiman Marcus. “Neiman Marcus was my first big account. They picked my line and really rocked it!” Webster said.

One of the first celebrities to purchase a Stephen Webster piece was none other than Elizabeth Taylor. Her first piece was an ornate, rose gold cocktail ring, and according to Webster, she bought seven more pieces after that. Other celebrities, including Madonna, Tory Burch, Ozzy Osborne, PINK and Christina Aguilera, have also been known to wear Stephen Webster jewelry. Years ago, Madonna purchased one of Webster’s iconic Crystal Haze rings and made a statement by wearing it on her pointer finger. The Crystal Haze ring is still available today and is quite possible the most copied piece of jewelry ever made.

“You can’t escape a classic,” Webster said. The Crystal Haze rings come in a variety of colors and materials, and is made of an opaque stone, with faceted quartz over the top — making it look bright, intriguing and glamorous. Christina Aguilera became friends with Stephen after becoming a repeat client — she even became the face of his brand for several years after he personally asked her. She can also be seen sporting styles of the Crystal Haze ring along with dozens of other bold and striking designs.

Webster believes that every piece of his jewelry should tell a story, which is what sets him apart from other jewelry designers. “There is right of passage jewelry, you know, engagement rings, diamond studs, wedding bands. … And then there are the other bits,” Webster said. “I use exotic stones and materials, not tons of diamonds,” he explained. “I try to have each piece tell a story. It’s not easy, but somehow it works. It intrigues people because it’s more than just a diamond ring.” Webster has also been known to turn tattoos into pieces of jewelry, and even animals like butterflies, snakes, lobsters and crabs. Webster’s unique Crab Crystal Haze Ring is currently one of his best selling pieces, and has been for the past three years. “I love the ring, it’s just so nuts!” he said about the crab ring. “I mean, it’s a crab! It’s not glamorous, but somehow it is.”

Stephen Webster Jewelry is available at his storefronts internationally, in Geneva, London, Moscow, Vienna and Beverly Hills to name a few, along with a myriad of fine retailers including Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. A full list of store locations is available at stephenwebster.com. If you are interested in seeing the iconic Crystal Haze or Crab Ring, visit Neiman Marcus Fort Lauderdale’s Precious Jewelry Salon.