People have come out of the lockdowns with many different things: a newfound love (and eventual hate) for banana bread, a renewed need to socialise, or an appreciation for a quieter life. But some came out with something career-changing – with a brand new passion project. Louie Cresswell was one of these people.
Having worked in luxury fashion for the majority of his career, Louie turned his attention to the world of jewellery to start his own brand, Ouie, in December of last year. Focusing on sustainability, mechanisms and the tactile, Ouie has emerged as an exciting offering in the jewellery space.
Since its launch in December, the brand has dropped a collection of elegant, simple and cohesive jewellery staples that have been featured in Carhartt campaigns and caught the eye of Jorja Smith. We caught up with the creative to discuss the jewellery, the art of crafting a brand, and what we can expect from him next.
Hey Louie! How did you get started with designing?
I like tactile objects and devices. Things that click and tick. So it felt normal that when I decided I’d make some jewellery, that it would be something that moves a simple machine. This was The Toggle – one of my earliest pieces.
After that came the chain – out of curiosity for a modular link that already existed, I started working on a key ring. Changing the dimensions and adding some weight. I launched in December 2021 with no training, just a love for luxury and fashion. But I like to think I’ve been researching my entire life.
We love the elegance and strength of your pieces – what are you major points of inspiration when designing?
Ouie is about playfulness and simplicity. Discovering mechanisms or devices, and showing them to you in a new light. I do however find that the more simple something looks, the more difficult it is to make. The weight is important to me. I like jewellery that you know you’re wearing.
We saw Jorja Smith wear your pieces which is cool! How did this project come about?
A friend of mine showed her stylist, and she reached out. It’s nice when people discover you and show love.
Do you have a favourite design of yours?
The Toggle was the first piece of jewellery I designed. It’s also probably my favourite, as it’s engendered to be interchangeable. This means that you can swap out the head, or build a custom version which is cool. Everything we make has a little story attached to it, and everything we make represents things you’ve probably used in your everyday life.
Can you guide us through your creative process?
Essentially, I enhance objects, devices and mechanisms. I start with something that I think is both useful and mirrors a function that can become wearable. I’ll then adjust the size and structure of the thing, and rebuild it.
In terms of the actual process, first we make a CAD, and from that we make a mould into which the recycled metals are cast. After the casting process the jewellery is cleaned, polished and hallmarked. The whole process takes place in London.
Do you have any advice for young people looking to get into jewellery design?
As I don’t have a background in design or jewellery. I’ve had to be active asking people to point me in the right direction and hustling my way through London. Each one teaches one, and I’ve found that it helps to be surrounded by lots of creative people.
If you’re looking to get into jewellery design, it also definitely helps to bite the bullet and make your first move – the rest will follow. And just don’t give up.
What’s next in ouiewrld?
Primarily, we want to focus on more mechanisms and objects. Long term, the next step is to take Ouie global.
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