After leaving school with few qualifications Stephen's imagination was captured by making handmade models and props for the movies. He initially worked for a very successful model making company where he ran the workshop and mastered a huge amount of skills including mould-making, casting, electroplating, metal working, graphics, design and pattern making.
In 1984 Stephen left to set up his own model making business, Don’t Panic. At the time, the craft was a technical and labour intensive-business involving radius gauges and micrometers and materials such as metal, glass, wood, plastics and paints.
“It was pushing the boundaries on how you could make something. It was almost better than a jewellery apprenticeship. It was handmade precision. There was no CAD no digital cameras and no Photoshop.”
There was also a spell making avant-garde accessories as co-stallholder with his wife and business partner Jane, in the Punk era of the late 1970s and early 80s.
In 1995 he sold ‘Don’t Panic’ and his house (!) and he and his fantastically supportive wife Jane and their two young children then moved into a rented flat in order to start Stephen Einhorn.
The purpose of this was to concentrate on his own jewellery designs using the many skills that he had developed over the preceding years as a model maker. He turned the model making workshop in Islington into a jewellery workshop, design studio and shop.
Stephen wanted to make his designs and brand inclusive and at the core is a commitment to celebrating everyone’s individuality.
Having noticed a paucity of good men’s jewellery, he was one of the first designers to focus on men’s accessories. Paul Smith commissioned Stephen’s very first men’s jewellery collection plus many subsequent collections, including a women’s jewellery collection sold as ‘Stephen Einhorn for Paul Smith’. Stephen has designed men’s retail ranges for A Bathing Ape, Alfred Dunhill and Takeo Kikuchi amongst others, and also done a considerable amount of work for many feature films, including Disney’s Cinderella, Maleficent and Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Stephen wanted to make his designs and brand inclusive and at the core is a commitment to celebrating everyone’s individuality. When the first Stephen Einhorn e-commerce website launched in 1997, it was the first to have a dedicated gay and lesbian wedding section, something that both Stephen and founding director Jane Best felt very strongly about. This was and remains an integral part of the company, and they are both very proud of it.
Another of the things that is particularly important to Stephen and Jane is a commitment to social, environmental and ethical responsibility. This continues today and runs through every part of the business, from responsible sourcing of materials, employee work/life balance, local community charity work, to recycling
as much as possible from the shop and workshops. He maintained his own work/life balance by having his children visit and he looked after them in the workshop from a very young age. That way even if he was working long hours, he could also spend a lot of time with his children. Stephen Einhorn has always been a family business, and now there is another generation that come and spend time in the workshop.The workshop at Stephen Einhorn is a very exciting mix of ultra-modern technology and ancient skills and craftsmanship.
Alongside his traditional hand making skills is his technical background. Stephen enjoys employing new techniques and technologies in his workshop, studio and in the jewellery designs themselves and is continually pushing the boundaries and experimenting with different materials.
The 2000-Year-Old Thames Wood excavated from the first Roman Port facilities built circa 63AD, that Stephen uses in some of his jewellery designs, was particularly challenging, needing to be stabilised and protected when used alongside precious metals. He has done a lot of research and development to enhance the longevity and stability of the wood. The workshop at Stephen Einhorn is a very exciting mix of ultra-modern technology and ancient skills and craftsmanship.
Stephen likes to design interesting and unusual pieces as well, to enhance his more classic design style. He has customers who fly from all over the world to commission something especially from him.
Stephen’s jewellery has been worn and loved by British and Hollywood actors, models and musicians including Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightly, Charlize Theron, The xx, Ella Eyre , David Gandy and Edie Campbell.