Chrissy Teigen admits she “was a troll” after bullying scandal
Chrissy Teigen admits she “was a troll” after bullying scandal

Jennifer McShane

You won’t believe it, but the house everyone is obsessed with in Netflix’s Master of None is actually a set
You won’t believe it, but the house everyone is obsessed with in Netflix’s Master of...

Megan Burns

This 18th-century coach house in Wexford has had the most extraordinary renovation
This 18th-century coach house in Wexford has had the most extraordinary renovation

IMAGE Interiors & Living

Everything you need to know about ‘In the Heights’
Everything you need to know about ‘In the Heights’

Sarah Finnan

Lynn Enright: Should I have had a lockdown passion project?
Lynn Enright: Should I have had a lockdown passion project?

Lynn Enright

Tess Daly says she swears by this non-invasive, anti-ageing treatment
Tess Daly says she swears by this non-invasive, anti-ageing treatment

Shayna Sappington

Hunza G, the celebrity-favourite swimwear, has landed in Ireland
Hunza G, the celebrity-favourite swimwear, has landed in Ireland

Holly O'Neill

4 brilliant new books that are perfect summer reads
4 brilliant new books that are perfect summer reads

Jennifer McShane

‘The Crown’ star Emma Corrin reveals the ‘unusual’ way she was cast as Princess Diana
‘The Crown’ star Emma Corrin reveals the ‘unusual’ way she was cast as Princess Diana

Sarah Finnan

This Mauritian egg & rice dish will add panache to your Monday
This Mauritian egg & rice dish will add panache to your Monday

Meg Walker

Image / Fashion

We catch up with Susanne Kölbli, creative director of Thomas Sabo


by Ellen Bird
24th Feb 2019
blank

Fashion Assistant Ellen Bird had a whirlwind 24 hours in Berlin with Thomas Sabo for an exclusive preview of its SS19 collection. Aside from fancy cocktails and falling back in love with charm bracelets, she scored an interview with the brand’s creative director Susanne Kölbli, who spoke about Thomas Sabo’s Irish customer and a woman’s personal attachment to jewellery. 

WORKING AS A FREELANCE STYLIST FOR ADVERTISING AGENCIES AND JEWELLERY COMPANIES was how I began my career before being discovered by Thomas Sabo. It was my side hustle in order to finance university. I met Thomas Sabo directly after college and have now been with the brand for 30 years. When I joined the company, the brand was only developing. The office was in a two-room apartment and only had five employees.

FROM A YOUNG AGE, IT WAS CLEAR I WOULD CHOOSE SOMETHING CREATIVE. Growing up, I could knit before I could write. My mother was a tailor and introduced a plethora of creative projects to us from a young age – everything from knitting and drawing, arts and crafts. When I was a child, I always wanted to be a teacher who taught handcrafting in school. Having said that, I always wanted to be successful; not only to create things but also to sell them.

YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO ADAPT TO CHANGING TIMES. If you’re in the design business, pay attention to your customer, reflect on what you’re doing, and know how to communicate it. Social media is developing rapidly, standing still will only leave you behind. It’s important to follow what’s going on.

WOMAN LIVE SUCH DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES. It’s difficult making sure your designs resonate with everyone. The Thomas Sabo woman is someone that purchases jewellery when she’s approaching a special occasion, like if she’s expecting a baby or celebrating a special birthday; a personal occasion where the heart is included.

MANY WOMEN ARE QUICKER TO DONATE CLOTHES THAN JEWELLERY because there’s a more personal attachment to jewellery; it’s closer to your heart. It’s also easier to wear. It can be frustrating when you love a piece of clothing but it’s not the right size, the material is wrong, or the price-point is too extreme. Jewellery is timeless.

THE IRISH CUSTOMER OF THOMAS SABO is different from the English. Irish women prefer more handcrafted coloured stones. The British opt for white stones and a more feminine look.

FROM THE NEW COLLECTION, THE ARIZONA COLOURS IS MY FAVOURITE. Inspired by traditional Native American artwork, talismans such as lizards, eagles, scorpions, dreamcatchers and sun symbol. This elaborately handcrafted pendant in the shape of the sun that I’m wearing is a symbolic signpost for the wearer’s own path through life. It’s extra special to me because I personally adore native American Indian jewellery. I have a private collection from them, antique and contemporary. I’ve always been intrigued by their techniques, stone cuttings and the colour combinations used and really love the turquoise stone. It’s the colour, but it’s also the meaning of the symbol, that makes it a perfect piece for summer.

FOR SS19, WOMEN ARE EDGING MORE TOWARDS COLOURED STONES AND BIG STATEMENT EARRINGS. Actually, a mixture of both. Big earrings became big in the 80s and early 90s, before dainty styles lingered for years. But now, people are looking for big bold styles again, which I’m delighted about – it’s a new opportunity to decorate fantastic designs. 

HOW THE FASHION INDUSTRY TRANSLATES THE CATWALK INTO THE HIGH-STREET is what’s interesting for me. The catwalk is important to watch, designers showcase extraordinary things, but I’m examining what the crowd is accepting and what the press choose to communicate from the collections. If designers are introducing tie-dye, but the fashion population is resonating more with billowing sleeves, tie-dye might fall through the cracks. I find this fascinating. 

COCO CHANEL has had major influence over me, from what she’s done for women, clothing and in fashion today long after her passing. 

FOR YOUNG DESIGNERS HOPING TO MAKE IT IN THE INDUSTRY, open your eyes and keep your personality.

Also Read

Hunza G
FASHION, SHOPPING
Hunza G, the celebrity-favourite swimwear, has landed in Ireland

Hunza G, the one-size-fits-all crinkled sustainable swimwear beloved by Hailey Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and more has landed in Brown Thomas.

By Holly O'Neill

blank
FASHION
The best dressed stars at the 2021 Academy Awards

The best-dressed celebrities from the 2021 Oscars.

By Holly O'Neill

blank
FASHION
Meet Irishwoman Carmel Snow, the Anna Wintour of the 1930s

From the IMAGE Annual, Rose Mary Roche looks back on...

By IMAGE

bike outfits
FASHION, SHOPPING
Cute bike outfits for picnics and trips outside your 5km

If you’re travelling on two wheels, we’ve put together some stylish outfits that won’t get in your way.

By Megan Burns

Anine Bing x Terry O'Neill
FASHION
Anine Bing launches new collection inspired by 90s fashion ‘it girl’ Kate Moss

By Sarah Finnan

blank
FASHION, SHOPPING
Striped shirts are the staple to see you through summer

By Holly O'Neill

comfortable clothing
FASHION
4 comfy yet chic outfit ideas to get you ready for a post-lockdown world

Are you really going to be squeezing into high-waisted jeans...

By Edaein OConnell