Buro 24/7 Interview: Jeremy Morris
Son of diamond expert David
David Morris is a label that was first established in London and famed for having designed jewellery for no less than 14 James Bond movies. Its use of quality diamonds has made it stand out from the crowd. Also known for its opulent use of gem-stones to create red carpet worthy jewels attracting celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and royalty including Diana, Princess of Wales, this second generation family run firm certainly enjoys the limelight.
Buro 24/7 sits down with Jeremy Morris, a jeweller who is overseeing a period of growth at the namesake brand of his father, David.
Did you always know that you would join your father's business?
I definitely wanted to be a rock star. I was a drummer, as was my father, and both of my sons are too, so it seems to run in the family. Unfortunately The Clash had already hired a drummer!
Having been to art school, I realised early on that I had a flair for design. I had played as a child in my father's workshop and been raised surrounded by – immersed in – jewellery, so it seemed an exciting opportunity. My father organised an apprenticeship for me, then I spent two years in the Boucheron workshops in London, followed by a further year in Paris. By the time I had finished, I had fallen in love with the process of making jewellery and was keen to start designing and creating my own pieces, which is something that I still relish to this day. I found myself becoming more and more interested in all that the family business had to offer, and luckily I learned that I was quite a good designer. After studying Fine Art in London, I spent a year honing my craft in Paris where I 'sat on a bench' for Place Vendome's prestigious haute joaillerie houses and in Antwerp, where I worked with a diamond supplier, sorting and cutting. I later joined the family business.
Which is your favourite film of all time?
I don't have one favourite film but if I must chose one it would be The Aviator. I prefer to watch films which are based on real life stories and experiences. It was also a very beautiful film to watch and starred some of my favourite actors.
Which is your favourite movie star of all time and why?
I would have to say Leonardo DiCaprio. He is an exceptional actor who is able to mould his appearance, behaviour and mannerisms to fully portray a character
If anyone could wear David Morris – who would it be?
The celebrity I would most like to see wearing David Morris pieces would have to be Cate Blanchett. She exudes glamour, elegance and you would definitely notice her when she enters a room, similar to our pieces and our clients.
Tell us about your collaboration with James Bond films over the years...
David Morris has enjoyed a long relationship with Bond films, adding an extra sparkle to the spy's beautiful female companions. David Morris jewels have been worn by a number of Bond girls. Through a connection with set designer, Maurice Binder, David Morris became involved in the series, lending jewels for films such as Diamonds are Forever, The Man with the Golden Gun, The World is Not Enough, and most memorably those worn by Teri Hatcher in Tomorrow Never Dies. She sparkled in a David Morris diamond scoop necklace in an intimate love scene with Pierce Brosnan, and ultimately was assassinated in it by one of the villain's henchmen.
Tell us about the collections that were at the VIP lounge. Is there a stand out piece?It was a glimpse into the world of David Morris, including the Rose Cut Diamond pieces, a David Morris signature. Rubies, Emeralds and Turquiose, beautiful stones complimented with exquisite craftsmanship. The stand out piece would have to be the hand bracelet. Sitting comfortably around the hand, the David Morris hand bracelet is truly a unique piece that eludes elegance and beauty.
As a designer what is your greatest inspiration?
I get most of my inspiration from the rare stones themselves. I also gather inspiration from the experiences gleaned through my extensive travels around the world, both with my family and for work.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
'Treat everyday like it's the first day'. I apply this to my personal and professional life. It allows me to always be excited about where I am at that moment and to push myself further.
What are your thoughts on the Middle East?
The Middle East is a very important market to us and we are constantly striving to come up with new designs to keep our clients in the region interested. One of the things that we are very well known for is the uniqueness of our designs, as well as for the rarity of our stones. I love to design for these clients as they are very knowledgeable and elegant and know exactly what suits them. They also appreciate that they are getting one-off pieces.
What does the future hold for Jeremy Morris?
I will continue to design one-of-a-kind pieces from an awe-inspiring selection of coloured precious gems in innovative shapes and unusual hues, like fancy blue, pink and yellow diamonds.
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