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Kiki McDonough

Kiki McDonough

Colorful Gemstones Shine through Wearable Designs

Kiki McDonoughWhy spend a fortune on fine jewelry that is fun and trendy but will lose its appeal over time? America has an abundance of jewelry designers who make trendy and whimsical pieces inspired by the latest fads at a hefty price tag, but will undoubtedly lose their charm in a decade.  The challenge is finding a designer who can stand the test of time and jewelry that will be treasured and noticed both today and for years to come.  Introducing Kiki McDonough, one of the most desirable British brands in the luxury sector, she has headed her fine jewelry line over the last 25 years.  As a testament to her creativity, eye for design and attention to detail, her personal trademark style is using vibrant semi-precious stones in unique and daring color combinations.  One look at her timeless fine jewelry will show her passion and love of vibrant color, elegance and workmanship.  Kiki McDonough is much loved and collected by royal figures including Princess Diana and The Duchess of Cambridge.  Rosamund Pike, Cate Blanchett and other British celebrities also have a selection of different pieces. 

It is no surprise that jewelry runs in her blood as her family has always been in the jewelry business.  Her father previously sold antique jewelry and because Kiki was around fine jewelry and gemstones at a young age, she felt completely at home and was not scared when she started her business in 1985.  "I have always loved colored gemstones and thought they were underrated and undervalued, and that they should be enjoyed and worn more in beautiful designs," Kiki says.  However, she adds that it was other people's confidence in her that inspired her to go ahead and set up her business.  Growing up, she has always possessed an eye for detail, constantly noticing people's clothes and jewelry and spotting trends while growing up.  She learned in her early years to believe in her own creativity and her sense of style, and since then, the design process has come very naturally to her.  Amazingly, Kiki is completely self-taught and her instincts have played a large part in making her business so successful.  She did not study art or design in college as she was too impatient and just wanted to start transforming her ideas into realities.

Kiki McDonoughHer signature collection of Kiki Classics have been best sellers since the day she started and we can clearly see why.  Featuring Kiki’s iconic designs from the last 10 years that are timeless and have been popular worldwide, it was hard to narrow down a favorite.  This collection is made with a range of vividly colored gemstones in various shapes set in 18kt gold.  We adore the Kiki Classic Peridot and Diamond Cushion Drop Earrings as two looks in one make these earrings an irresistible buy because you can wear the hoops on their own or add this Kiki McDonoughdrop (or other various gemstones) for a different look.  Featuring a sparkling peridot cushion cut drop on an elegant 18kt yellow gold and diamond hoop, this is simply gorgeous.  Kiki’s favorite stone is peridot because she finds that although it is a strong color it seems to go with everything.  The versatility of these earrings is extremely appealing because it allows each customer to build their collection of Kiki drops as they all fit the same gold or diamond hoops. Choose from other cut gemstone drops of blue topaz, white topaz, lemon quartz, citrine, smoky quartz, purple amethyst, and green amethyst (as worn by the Duchess of Cambridge).

Looking back, Kiki thinks about her wonderful childhood being brought up just off Kings Road in Chelsea, when the Kings Road was the fashionable place to be seen with fashion figures flocking (much to her father's horror).  She recalls regularly visiting the Royal Hospital Gardens and because London was a very different place then and it was so safe, they were let loose and allowed to run around, free from supervision.  We asked Kiki to share her favorite piece of jewelry but after designing so many pieces over the last 25 years, she finds it impossible to choose just one favorite piece as each one has its own unique qualities.  Kiki shares, "I really enjoy designing jewelry that is affordable and versatile (as it suits my lifestyle which is extremely busy!) taking you from day to night or from smart to casual."

Kiki McDonoughKiki McDonough is extremely unique from other jewelry designs because of the ability to put together colored gemstone combinations that are different, exciting but extremely wearable. The lovely Grace Collection is both understated and distinctive, featuring simple pieces using colored gemstones surrounded by pave set diamonds that can be worn every day.  The Grace Amethyst Necklace is delicate with Kiki McDonoughits round centerpiece purple amethyst gemstone accented with a diamond and white gold trim while four spectacle set gemstones grace the 18kt white gold chain.  This necklace is pretty by itself or paired with matching Grace earrings and rings.  From the same collection, we adore the crisp, clean but subtle color of the Grace Green Amethyst Cushion Ring.  This green amethyst cushion cocktail ring is surrounded by pave set diamonds and will add a touch of glamour to any outfit.  The only cocktail ring you will need, this piece will make plenty of statement with its captivating and sparkling appearance.

With approaching new collections, Kiki gets most of her ideas for different color combinations from the ballet as she has been a ballet fan all her life.  The incredible colors in the exquisite costumes always make her race back to the office bursting with enthusiasm for the next collection.  Kiki also finds inspiration in flowers because of their colors and ideas even come to her when she is relaxing on the beach.  The hardest part about her job is running an expanding business while still keeping her creative side at the forefront.  Her most valuable lesson is that one may have talent but one still needs hard work, discipline and a touch of luck to succeed.  Kiki considers herself fortunate to have a superb team of five girls that work with her and bounce off each other as every day is different and tackled with renewed enthusiasm.

Kiki McDonoughThe style of Kiki McDonough is timeless and feminine.  Kiki's aim is for her pieces to make her clients feel prettier once they put them on, rather than being too "bling" or overpowering.  She says, "We all wear so much black, especially in winter, and I have never met a woman who doesn’t look better when wearing a touch of color on her ears or hands."  All Kiki McDonough jewelry is 18kt yellow or white gold.  Kiki McDonough currently has nine jewelry collections, in addition to an accessories line.  The Eve Collection, named after Eve, the first female and mother of nature, is inspired by nature and brings delicate and feminine pave diamond and gemstone bees, butterflies and flowers in necklaces and bracelets.  A pretty bracelet that is delicate but unique enough to get noticed for its quality and design is the Eve Bee Bracelet with Diamonds and Citrine.  The 18kt yellow gold chain features four pave diamond and citrine bees to grace your wrist.  This can be paired with the Eve citrine and diamond bee necklace.

Kiki McDonoughKiki is always adding new collections throughout the year as it really depends on when inspiration hits.  She is launching her new “special edition” collection soon, which is filled with new designs using new stones and shapes.  The new Aurora Collection was inspired by Kiki’s love of the ballet and named after Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.  The collection features a striking new shape in 18kt white gold pave set diamond and gemstone Kiki McDonoughjewelry that is versatile, sophisticated and perfect for layering.  A stunning adornment for your finger is the Aurora White Gold and Diamond Ring, made with stunning pave diamonds set in 18kt white gold in the signature Aurora design shape.  Putting this ring on will surely make you feel like a modern day princess as it is the perfect finishing touch for any outfit.  Our other selection is the Aurora Diamond and Blue Topaz Petal Stud Earrings because they are a classic design suitable for any occasion.  The stunning blue topaz petal studs trimmed with pave diamonds is exquisite and showcases superior workmanship that can be worn daily dressed up or down.

Kiki loves the variation in her day and the most rewarding part about her job is the fact that she meets lots of people and sells beautiful things.  She adds, "I could not be luckier."  Kiki is as much altruistic as she is talented because she contributes regularly to charity and the arts, working on various events and fundraisers.  In her travels abroad, Kiki finds it most relaxing being anywhere that is by the sea because there is something natural about it that inspires her.  Her favorite jewelry designer is Van Cleef and Arpels.  In her spare time she unwinds by having a laugh with her sons as they all support the Liverpool Football Club and enjoy watching the games together.  Kiki also finds that television dramas help relax her brain from being in overdrive and currently loves 24 and Breaking Bad.  Last but not least, she enjoys going to the ballet, always with a sketchbook in hand.

Over the next few years, Kiki sees her wholesale and retail business continuing to expand as she will continue to persuade more women all over the world to wear colored gemstones.  Kiki McDonough is available at Neiman Marcus in the United States and Holt Renfrew in Canada, in addition to six wholesale outlets in the United Kingdom.  To view the full collection or to purchase, please visit

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