The Queen has been spotted wearing a South African’s jewellery designer piece!!!
Johannesburg, South Africa – Kevin G Friedman, a talented jewellery designer from South Africa, has spotted The Queen wearing one of his unique pieces.
The renowned South African jewellery designer has captivated both the local and international jewellery trade with his one-of-a-kind pieces which use an innovative combination of high caratage gemstones and precious metals with ordinary every day “found objects”.
The Botswana Government commissioned the unique piece but never told the talented designer who it was for. The diamonds were all especially cut to fit the exact proportions of his drawing, and Kevin picked up that she was wearing his piece after scrolling through a Marie Claire magazine!
“I’m freaking out!!! I have just seen my jewellery on Queen Elizabeth!!! This was a commission from the Botswana government; they wanted a brooch but I never asked for whom and bam… I have just seen my creation on the Queen!!!”
Kevin is a renaissance man who draws on the world around him for inspiration and creativity.
A lifelong fascination with the distinctive arts and crafts of South Africa has proved a valuable inspiration for his work, and he has been involved in meaningful community development projects with local crafters.
Proof of this is his well known Ndebele bead and diamond choker, modelled by Charlize Theron, which garnered Kevin a De Beers Diamond International Award in 2000.
Kevin’s custom-made pieces have featured in the “ultimate catalogue” Neiman Marcus Christmas book, as well as in Gumps magazine and Woman’s Day magazine. He also created a line of beadwork Christmas decorations for the Designers’ Guild in London. In addition, he has designed a line of pewter and wood desktop items for Tiffany & Co in New York.
Kevin travels extensively for both discipline and inspiration. He makes custom-designed pieces for corporate and independent clients all around the world, although his focus in on the United States. He has done trunk shows from New York to Pittsburgh through to the Napa Valley.
On the home front Kevin’s beadwork, in particular, his iconic Ndebele treetopper Christmas angel, for which he won an award from the South African government, is now appearing in the eighth definitive issue of SA Stamps.
“My angel will be flying all over the world,” he quips.
A recent highlight was the collaborative exhibition with Apple at their iStore in Johannesburg which was a resounding success. Each piece of art and jewellery was a one-of-a-kind using Apple components, now technologically redundant but revived through art. It was a unique concept.
Kevin has been director of design at Frankli Wild™ African Classics in Johannesburg since 1989 and has built up a blue-chip clientele. He is part of a seven-generation line of jewellers. His grandfather Jack Friedman, who was born in Riga, Latvia, set up a jewellery manufacturing factory in Johannesburg in 1934. Jack was a founding member of the South African Jewelry Council and both he and Kevin’s father Frank were extremely influential in the South African jewellery industry. Frank won many international awards set up by the Gold Council and the then Chamber of Mines.
Kevin says that his father was particularly encouraging during the course of his career, allowing him to experiment and to push the envelope while teaching him that education is the starting point of strength.