Kabiri: What do you love most about living in London?
Zinzi (right): I love the accessibility of being so close to everything. I adore having so many of my favourite places and people on your doorstep to come home to after my many exciting travels!! Creatively I still think the city is a world leader, there can still be a special buzz found in London.
Kabiri: Where do you find your inspiration?
Ursula (left): Zinzi and I originally studied Fashion & Design at Central Saint Martins and we believe it is this savvy and outlandish approach to jewellery design that injects a cheeky delicious indulgence into our Brand and its choice of inspirational sources. For us it’s the culmination of a series of inspirations each of us has gathered that can be quite disparate; it is the way in which they collide that become the catalyst of our Brand Personality.
Kabiri: Where does the name Francesca Sibylla Augusta come from?
Ursula: We spent time looking for the right name for our Brand. We wanted the name to have meaning and resonance with what we were about, whilst sounding interesting at the same time. I came across an article in a 17th Century Margravine, whose elaborate tastes led her to travel and collect an impressive collection of ornate objects and art such as Ostrich eggs lacquered in gold. In contrast Margravine, Francesca Sibylla Augusta, was also a devout Catholic, and as such she would at times, spend days living an alternative life, changing into simple sack clothing, retreating to the woods where she would pray and sew smocking for the poor. This dynamic of ‘Overzealous indulgence verses delicate purity’ is a dynamic that we embrace stylistically, aesthetically and emotionally at the heart of our brand.
Kabiri: What is your favourite piece of designer jewellery in your own collection?
Zinzi: I always say this changes everyday and it really does!! I love having so many pieces to choose from; currently my favourite piece from our Fine Range is our Pig Ring - 18k yellow gold ring with black diamonds. From our Fashion Range it has to be our newest bangle, the Facet Bangle which comes in 18k yellow or red gold on 925 silver, I couldn’t choose which colour as I love to layer the pieces up to wear as many as my arms can take!!
Kabiri: What is your seasonal ‘must-have’?
Zinzi: The oversized Balmain shoulder, is a crucial look for me right now – it’s the Diane Kruger look!! I also found some absolutely gorgeous Isabel Marant boots recently.
Kabiri: Who is your style icon?
Ursula: Currently my style icons include Chloe Sevigny – love the way she puts looks together mixing current trends that are a fabulous combination of bling meets androgenous, meets prim. Karl Lagerfield and anyone young wearing Chanel, Dasha Zuchovia and loving the easy chic look of Rachel Bilson at the moment.
Zinzi: As you may be able to tell by this answer I am a little obsessed with Diane Kruger’s wardrobe at the minute – the shape she is wearing right now is so bold, yet somehow feminine and flattering.
Kabiri: What is your guilty pleasure?
Zinzi: I have so many it is hard to define just one!! My obsessional shopping would be a main character vice! A little tipple of my current favourite drink Patron would be another and finally, if you were to ask Ursula she would probably tell you my ability to turn a work trip into a little bit of a holiday as well.
Kabiri: Ok, now for Nathalie Kabiri’s Just 17 style question… Who is your ideal man?
Zinzi: I definitely don’t have a type when it comes to my ideal man and many people say I have strange taste – but one of of my all time favourite ideal men would have to be Ray Winstone. I am not sure if I should have told you that though!
Kabiri: What is currently on your ipod?
Zinzi: Currently I have an obsession with Kid Rock’s ‘All Summer Long’!! The song (which secretly I was always a fan of) reminds me of one of my favourite nights in LA recently – and yes of course we were “sipping whisky from the bottle not thinking about tomorrow…”
Kabiri: If your house was burning down, what 3 things would you save?
Ursula: My baby Polar (miniature white Jack Russell), my laptop (my life) and my yellow Balenciaga bag (filled with FSA jewellery off my dresser).
Kabiri: Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life?
Zinzi: I hope my mum reads this as she never normally gets a mention!! My mum’s attitude and apporach to life has had a massive effect on me, she encouraged me to do whatever I want no matter what that was in all aspects of life. She also led me to believe that you really can have whatever you want out of life if you are determined enough, but you have to make it happen. Can you tell I am an only child? I also have a friend who has been massively inspirational to me especially in recent months – probably because he has a similar attitude. His motto is No Regrets No In-Betweens.
Kabiri: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ursula: In five years time I’m sure Zinzi sees herself in LA for at least 6 months of the year (Zinzi: she knows me so well!!). We are a partnership that has the capability to work well together without always being in the same city and we benefit from having links and connections to various cities.
Kabiri: Thanks girls, love the answers – very revealing! See you back in London very soon.
Francesca Sibylla Augusta jewellery collection is available online at Kabiri, and we have just had some new designs added. Browse all Kabiri collections on the brand new website - Kabiri designer jewellery store.