Costume Jewellers to the Stars
In 1968, Nicky Butler and Simon Wilson started buying and selling vintage jewellery in London’s antiques markets. As demand grew, they identified a demand for reproduction pieces based on the original Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces they specialised in. As a result they made costume jewellery desirable and fashionable again.
The pair opened their first shop on the trendy Fulham Road in 1972 and enlisted celebrities such as Faye Dunaway, Jerry Hall, Twiggy and Catherine Deneuve to promote their designs on huge billboards outside the store.
Signature styles included an articulated diamanté lizard, which was famously worn by Diana Princess of Wales on a tour of Canada; the Princess was a regular customer.
By the 1980s, Butler & Wilson was an international business, well-known for its figurative pieces, which are decorated with good-quality diamanté stones; some styles were based on the jewellery of the Duchess of Windsor.
Nicky Butler moved to the US in the mid-1980s and works as a consultant to the company, which is still run by Simon Wilson. Butler & Wilson jewellery continues to have a celebrity following, including Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue and Madonna.
Pieces are usually marked Butler & Wilson or B&W.