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Meet the Makers: Dinny Hall

How Dinny Hall Created Her Eponymous Jewellery Brand

As the beloved brand celebrates its 40 year anniversary, Liberty sits down with its namesake founder, to look back on a glittering journey
By: Harriet Brown

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By: Harriet Brown
How Dinny Hall Created her Eponymous Jewellery Brand

How Dinny Hall Created her Eponymous Jewellery Brand

As the beloved brand celebrates its 40 year anniversary, Liberty sits down with its namesake founder, to look back on a glittering journey

By: Harriet Brown

Champions of the creative spirit, we've always spotlighted those who go above and beyond to deliver the unexpected – and now we’d like to help push them forward. Join us as we share the stories of the most courageous changemakers, experimental artisans and progressive innovators that make the Liberty community so extraordinary.

Dinny Hall’s creations have enchanted the Liberty Jewellery Hall since her very first collection. As a student at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design back in the 1980s, Hall achieved something any designer would dream of: as her graduate collection was hand-selected to be stocked in Liberty.

Now, 40 years on, Hall’s namesake brand is as popular as ever, remaining a treasured part of the Jewellery Hall. As times and fashions have changed, Dinny Hall has evolved alongside, creating timeless designs that transcend generations and trends. Known for her iconic hoops and love of bright gemstones, her creations have been worn by the likes of Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Christy Turlington, with her designs even appearing in TV and film during the 1990s, including Four Weddings and a Funeral and the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice.

To celebrate 40 years of the brand, Liberty sat down with Dinny for her to take us back to where it all began, and to share her inspirations, words of wisdom and a few secrets from a jewellery journey like no other.

The Making of Dinny Hall

Congratulations on 40 years of Dinny Hall!

Thank you it's a been a long and exciting run.

Can you tell us a little about how you came to launch the brand?

The launch of the Brand was initially thanks to two people: April Glassborough, a jewellery buyer at Liberty who purchased much of my jewellery from my degree show at Central Saint Martins, and Suzanne Bartsch who organised for young designers to show in New York.

In those days I worked with fashion designers of the time in London and New York, designing and making jewellery for their extravagant shows (always on the avant-garde side). That got into the magazines and the brand evolved from there.

You’ve been part of the Liberty family since your graduate collection was spotted by Glassborough – what does that relationship mean to you?

Liberty has always nurtured young creative talent and when I was setting up my brand in the mid-1980s, right next-door in Soho, their support was transformative. Liberty is thoroughly British Brand, so is Dinny Hall, and by association our heritage is unquestionable.

How has your style evolved since you first started out?

At first my design was influenced by the wonder of the world around me, so you would see direct interpretations of the architectural domes from orthodox churches turned into Perspex earrings. I discovered my enduring love of hoops when I discovered Josephine Baker. I fell in love with gemstones and gemmology along way, and that absolute love of coloured gemstone rings has evolved to what you see today on our concession at Liberty.

You’ve said previously that designing a piece of jewellery is a journey – what does that journey look like for you?

I think my creativity has quite simply evolved with the journey of my life. When I was pregnant, I designed jewellery collection covered with seed pods, and when times were difficult I brought out a collection called Almaz, which means diamond, the hardest natural material on earth. The meaning behind it was to be indestructible, to be strong. Sometimes it's a hard journey, but it is the creativity that sees you through. Always. To me, this journey also means taking an idea in 1989 and then re-working it in 2009 and again in 2024 - I'm thinking of the Scoop Hoops!

What are some of your proudest moments – and favourite pieces – from the last 40 years?

Winning BFC Accessory Designer of the Year in 1989 and opening my first shop on Westbourne Grove in 1992. The long list of celebrities who have chosen to shop my jewellery, from Madonna in the ‘90s through to Sienna Miller in the ‘00s and to FKA twigs a month or so ago. Being a judge on BBC TV show “All That Glitters”, then winning Jewellery Designer of the Year just after the pandemic in 2021. But mostly, evolving as a brand for forty years. My favourite collections are generally the latest one designed that keeps me going! But my ultimate favourite piece is our gold signature hoops.

What’s your biggest distraction?

It was once partying in New York City in the 1980s and then London in the early 1990s, but then having my son in the late ‘90s put an end to all that and he became a distraction: a wonderful distraction.

What advice would you give to someone starting out their own brand today?

Make sure that you have nerves of steel and a capability to pull magic out of a hat.

I do think that finding a good business partner is wise and when I do motivational talks to young designers or entrepreneurs, I always say that can't do it alone.

When are you at your most creative?

I don’t think I ever stop being creative! If I'm not designing jewellery, I'm coming up with ideas for window displays in the stores or developing new recipes, as I love to cook.

What are your three best tips for creativity?

1. Get obsessed. Go to sleep thinking about your ideas until they have wings.

2. The world around us is such a source of inspiration, from architecture to junk shops or flee markets to nature itself.

3. Keep a balance of what others are doing and have done, but if all your ideas come from social media, you will end up looking the same as everyone else.

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