While Net-A-Porter is best-known as a successful e-commerce shopping destination that brings together some of the best-known designers and products in the world, it also has a Vanguard programme, a mentorship initiative that showcases lesser known brands and talents. Launched in 2018, the incubator programme works in two ways. First, it features budding labels that the Net-A-Porter team feels has great potential to go far. The second tier of its programme features in-depth mentorship that includes business, marketing and buying strategies.
Anne Manns debuted in 2017, and is one of the jewellery labels that caught the eyes of the executives at Net-A-Porter. Prestige spoke to the founder and designer Anne Manns to find out what her brand represents and what is the biggest takeaway as part of Net-A-Porter’s Vanguard initiative.
For those not familiar with the label, can you tell us what is the Anne Manns brand?
This jewellery brand can be characterised by its simple, clear, defined and modern shapes. The shapes of the jewellery are mostly inspired by organic outlines and nature, and the pieces have a unique way of shaping themselves along the human forms of the wearer. This love for details and the strong focus on craftsmanship and local business are what best describe Anne Manns jewellery.
You were trained as a fashion designer. Why did you decide to get into jewellery design?
After studying fashion design and working in the fashion industry, I wanted to try something new and experiment in a distinct field of design. I personally feel that the jewellery industry is less controlled by seasons. Also, with jewellery design, I am free to create long lasting and outstanding pieces that are timeless.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by all kinds of things, and ideas seem to grow inside me in a subconscious manner, even before I start designing my collection. I am also inspired by the beauty of ordinary objects and things I encounter in my everyday life. I am extremely and especially impressed by objects growing in a natural environment, transforming themselves through a process into different organic shapes. That is why vegetables in its different forms, shapes, colours and have become a great and unique source of inspiration for me. I find diversity of shape, colour and beautiful surfaces in different types of vegetables, which is why I try to use and play with these elements and build a collection around them. Besides nature, I also seek inspiration from women.
Do you ever run out of ideas?
Like everyone, I have days when I feel more inspired and motivated than others. What has always helped me get back on track and stay inspired is the connection with nature. Moving in nature and letting my thoughts flow bring me back to my source of ideas and processes in design. It is good to keep a steady workflow and always stay true to your ideas and goals for the brand.
We read in an interview that you shuttle between Berlin and Northern Italy.
I occasionally still travel between the north of Italy and Berlin since my home base is now in Italy. However, I still work with my Berlin-based goldsmith and have my production in Germany.
Can you tell us your vision for Anne Manns in the future?
My vision is to grow it internationally by staying true to the nature and origin of the brand. Apart from this, as some of you might know, I am also working on some new projects besides my regular collections, and I am excited about all the opportunities and upcoming surprises coming my way.
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The PARI EAR PIECE is originated from the Eila ear piece. It is a continuation of the creation of an illusion that the earring grows around the ear. It is not necessarily made to wear as a single piece, so it will be available for the left and the right ear. It is lightweight piece and can be worn by unpierced ears. A second version will be available with stones. 📷 by @leawormsbachphotography #hairandmakeup @jane_jakobi_ #beauty @polunina_da
Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
That is a hard question to answer, since I can’t speak of one specific person as my source of inspiration. My greatest influences have been the different people that have accompanied me, and whom I met along different phases of my life. Everyone is an inspiration to me and each one of them plays a part in creating the life and the person I am now. The community and strength of women in my life has also left an enormous impact on my work and my being.
Who’s your style icon?
My style icon would be the Anne Manns customer. She stands out for knowing how to effortlessly integrate the jewellery pieces into her everyday life or special occasions, and she lets the jewellery speak for itself. In the end, I find it most inspiring and exciting to see a woman wearing the pieces I created from an idea that I had.
How does it feel to be listed exclusively on Net-A-Porter?
It feels great to be listed exclusively on Net-A-Porter. I feel honoured to have been one of the lucky ones to be chosen. Furthermore being chosen by a global player has been a great motivation for me to do my work. It spurs me to do better knowing that the market believes in the potential of my brand.
How did this collaboration with Net-A-Porter come about?
Net-A-Porter contacted me and made an appointment to collaborate. I have been very thankful and fortunate for this moment. The collaboration with Net-A-Porter has been a great support for the Anne Manns community and brand.
What is the greatest takeaway for you, as part of the Vanguard mentorship programme with Net-A-Porter ?
I have the chance to gain great insight to the industry, which is essential in helping my business towards long-lasting success.