I started off as a self-taught artist working with oils, acrylics and mixed media, I was offered a place as a student at the National Academy of arts in Minsk, but my move to London put that on an indefinite hold. I still was taking part in art exhibitions here in London, like Debut Contemporary, showcasing and selling my work, which I enjoyed a lot.
At some point I felt I wanted to create things that can have more contact, more resonance with real people - every day, things that they can wear, things that made people a little happier: the detail, the pleasant nuance to their day. This is when Yu Stepanel jewellery brand was conceived. It was launched at the end of 2017, I was absolutely happy to have been invited to appear in the November issue of the British Vogue.
The Jewellery labelled «Ю» is made to be worn. Yu Stepanel is a slow fashion brand, handmade in London.
Considered design with attention to the shape, structure, form and texture, using warm honest materials like silver, gold, gemstones, wood.
The Yu Stepanel pieces are about wearability and embracing imperfections, leaving the human hand behind them felt in each piece. They are to be worn end enjoyed – not just to be looked at: in my designs I refrain from unnatural edges, rather, I use flowing lines that allow the jewellery pieces almost melt and mould into your body, become part of you – as they are there to stand for who you are; like your eyebrows or your bones which you ‘wear’ without noticing, but they are there to define your posture, your face, essentially, your being.
Fashion is fast-paced, and in the digital age, it is even faster. It is sad for me to see so many representatives of the industry who copy each other and run after labels – today, there seems to be a handful of true Style icons, those who know what they are and really stand out – because they have a style of their own. I see a lot of beautiful fashion jewellery that is created – well, it is in the name – for the purpose of serving a season. I have had an experience of buying a beautiful and highly affordable piece that I would fall in love with – by which time the jewellery loses its colours, I get “the green finger” and things start peeling off, stones fall off because they are glued on.
I started the Yu Stepanel line to create heirlooms, things that can be enjoyed for a long time because they are made only with fine materials, completely by hand which offers that touch of individuality to each single piece.
Yu Stepanel jewellery is, thus, for those, who takes pleasure in nuances, small details, warm pleasant materials that come from nature, and that wear on your skin well, without irritating or colouring it (like copper would do). They are for those who like doing things properly, and so expect this level of quality in things they buy, things they wear, too.
To summarise, I am completely behind Vivienne Westwood’s call “buy less, buy better, and make it last!”
Thank you x