Interview with Zara Phillips and John Calleija

The Zara Phillips Collection by Calleija is the exciting new collaboration between Olympic Medallist, Zara Phillips MBE, and international award winning jeweller, John Calleija. After launching the collection on Thursday 18 June 2015 at The Royal Arcade in London, Zara and John took a few moments to discuss the essence of their beautiful jewellery designs.

John, who do you envisage falling in love with these jewels?
JC: “Zara and I designed the collection for today’s modern woman – she’s outgoing, ambitious, happy with herself, forging her own path and sharing good times with family and friends. The designs really complement all fashion styles as well, with each one featuring unique elements in diamond detailing and shape. The pieces are designed to transition from day to night, particularly the Coronet Suite, whilst the Saddle Suite has added elements of glamour and encapsulates the Unbridled Elegance theme. I love how individual they all are, which reflects the philosophy behind the collection”.

Zara, when did you first start thinking about creating a jewellery collection?
ZP: “When I first met John on Surfers Paradise Beach in 2013 -- I was attending an event at the Magic Millions Horse Racing Carnival as Ambassador for Racing Women Australia. Calleija is the Official Jeweller for the Carnival and I was delighted to be dressed in Calleija diamonds during that week. I had an instant connection with Calleija designs – there is something very special about wearing them.  John and I talked about a creative partnership and how great it would be. He and I got along really well together -- we both have a real spirit for life -- and the collaboration just felt right to me. I have had a fabulous time working with him, and I hope everyone enjoys the collection as much as we have enjoyed putting it together”.

 What is it you look for in terms of design and quality of the pieces you wear?
ZP: I have a hectic schedule being a mum and preparing a professional team of horses for the Olympics, so I look for timeless, wearable pieces with a touch of elegance and sparkle. Classic, contemporary and beautiful, that’s what I really look for. I’m wearing The Saddle Suite now: the ring, earrings, pendant and cuff. There are ladies and gents cufflinks too. I love the curves and lines of these pieces, they’re all beautifully shaped. The Saddle Ring was one of the first designs we decided on, and the collection sprang from there”.

John, what was it like working with Zara to create this collection?

JC: “Inspirational! I started on this collaboration not really knowing where it would take us, but Zara is very sure of what she likes and the direction she wanted for the collection, which made the process easier and very enjoyable. As a designer, it’s great to create pieces that have meaning for both parties. We were bouncing ideas off one another  -- it was a fantastic experience. Zara and I both have an eye for precision and beauty that drove us to perfect the designs time and time again, until we both felt they were right and represented the unbridled elegance theme. It has been a lot of fun and I have enjoyed the process immensely”. 

John, can you tell us a little more about the Saddle and Coronet Suites?

JC: “As Zara said she’s wearing the Saddle Suite now, and the striking feature of all the rings from this suite are their concave and convex curves.  The rings, pendants and earrings sit comfortably on the skin because of their unique ergonomic shape. The Coronet Suite conveys a look of strength whilst remaining graceful and refined. The Coronet rings, pendants and earrings feature diamond set symmetrically curved arcs. The rings are available in Grande, Medium and Slender size, which appeals to all hand sizes, depending on whether the wearer prefers the stackable look of multiple Slender rings, or the bold look of one larger Coronet Ring”.

And what of the future -- will the collection grow?

JC: “We really see the whole collection as ‘evolutionary’ -- we are working on more designs and the collection will continue to unfold – a very exciting time ahead for the Zara Phillips Collection by Calleija.