ldner #194: emma sharp

Thought you knew everything about earrings? Think again. Emma Sharp, founder of COOPS and our LDNER this week has revolutionised the world of jewellery with her earrings that don’t require pierced ears to stay on. Praised by celebrities and the industry alike, we spoke to her about her designs, the reasoning behind them and her love for London…

Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?

Hackney for years and years and now Walthamstow, it’s green and happy! Everyone blends well and looks out for each other, it’s charming and blossoming daily. Lots of like minded people all bringing their thing to the area.

How did you come up with your unique, piercing-free earring design?

My degree show! My collection was all about holding pieces of jewellery on to the body using the flesh rather than a mechanism or fastening that would ruin the flow of the piece. I found myself getting really into the research and experimenting with traditional techniques for body binding and it was these experiments on how pressure of different forms can hold them onto the body alone: this was the foundation that lead the way to COOPS being born. The non-pierced thing was something that appealed to a lot of people but it wasn’t the inspiration for the design.

You currently have 13 designs on the market, any plans to expand the brand further?

COOPS are earrings and nothing else. I would never want to distract from them. The mechanism applies to nothing else – trust me, I have tried! I get really disappointed when designers add and add things to create a ‘range’ or ‘full collection’ – throwing in some bangles and necklaces would weaken the brand. I am thrilled by the devotion to one thing. I like to see the power in something that works perfectly and can stand strong alone, without a bunch of extra bits next to it. When I see collections it is always so clear which pieces are leading it and which have been added to keep the fashion buyers happy. The originals always and forever will be my favourites. They are my babies and the ones I started the brand with, they are everything COOPS are and the others flow on from this. Naturally I love the diamond ones!

What is the story behind the COOPS name?

We researched the word ‘Circle’ for ages – as this is the iconic shape for COOPS – and found this word. We were pleased we could reflect the shape visually in the logo at the same time. The fine tuning of the logo and branding was conducted with the help of the wonderful Grace Winteringham of PATTERNITY.

Describe your perfect day in London…

A walk in Epping Forrest or Hackney Marshes. Coffee and smoked salmon and avocado on rye at Pacific social club. Barbican conservatory visit and an exhibition while I’m there. Probably ending in our local, The Castle in Walthamstow with friends. I’m pregnant right now, so writing this I realise how much my perfect day has changed!