Stephen Webster's High-Carat Creatures
by laurie brookins
How excited is Stephen Webster about the site of his first US flagship, a high-profile space at Two Rodeo? Consider that, prior to opening the doors this month, he was thrilled by the notion of passersby trying to get into his still-under-construction store: “If I’d had a bag of jewelry with me, I could have had a good afternoon.”
The British-born Webster is confident good days and nights lie ahead with this latest venture, most heavily trafficked areas. Larger than his London flagship, the boutique’s ground floor features the world of Stephen Webster—men’s and women’s jewelry, such as his sea-themed Jewels Verne Fine Jewelry Collection, that combines glam ideas with Webster’s signature rock ’n’ roll edge. Jewels Verne is positively shark-infested, with carved gold or silver “teeth” holding stones in place on cocktail rings, for example.
(Jewels Verne Fine Jewelry Collection and the In Deep Fine Jewelry Collection explore undersea life while staying true to the designer’s rock ’n’ roll aesthetic. We picked our top-five favorites for the slideshow above.)
Webster's No Regrets
But it’s up on the second floor where Webster showcases his other passions: The No Regrets Lounge (so named for the philosophy he applies to both life and business) is, as Webster calls it, “a curated space,” equal parts entertainment and exhibit. “I’m going to have a rotation of very famous, mainly British artists who are my friends, plus some big-name photographers,” he says. “It’ll be a movable feast up here where you’ve entered the second world of Stephen Webster.” Among those he plans to feature: the work of the late photographer Brian Duffy—perhaps best known for shooting David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album cover—as well as the artists
Tim Noble and Sue Webster. “My desire is to have a space where you want to hang out, have a drink and see amazing stuff,” says Webster. “Let’s face it: Rodeo Drive doesn’t need another ‘nice’ jewelry store; we want to be provocative.” He’s also offering the ability to create bespoke pieces, such as the 10 jewel-accented Champagne flutes he recently delivered to a client, an order that reportedly came with a six-figure price tag. “Those projects don’t come along every day—you want to be able to say you can do that.”
As he surveys his new digs, you get the sense Webster really does think anything is possible. “I want this to be the most radical retail space to hit Rodeo Drive in years,” he says. “Luxury—but with an edge.” 202 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.