Annette and Herbert Kopp have been Munich’s leading jewellery power couple for almost 30 years. They have become known for their uncanny ability to rejuvenate and refine classic shapes to suit a modern audience, an approach that has attracted a loyal yet diverse clientele of creative types, fashion industry professionals and celebrities such as Princess Caroline of Monaco and Patti Smith. Cada, the name of their label, is an acronym that stands for creativity, arts, design and anarchy – characteristics that reflect both the couple and their standout designs.
Since the Kopps founded Cada in Munich in 1986, they have always anticipated and embraced trends. In the 1980s and 1990s their oversized rings and bracelets reflected the spirit of the era, while its popular Love collection mirrors the zeitgeist of today. This becomes even more impressive when you consider the fact that the Kopps have always followed their own path. ‘We aren’t looking so much at the industry,’ they explain. ‘We do our own thing and follow our creative intuition, staying true to our style.’
Their collection spans everything from heavily bejewelled cocktail rings to quirky pendants and friendship bracelets, all reflecting an overall aesthetic that the Kopps describe as ‘cool and classy with a smile’. Each piece is created by hand in the company’s own workshop, and inspiration comes from an array of different sources: ‘on the street, in fashion, at the cinema, in art’, they explain.
Munich is also an endless source of ideas. ‘We love to walk around. The city is beautiful and always very stimulating,’ they enthuse. ‘We get a lot of inspiration on the street; there are many stylish people from whom we can learn. Also, we like window shopping and going to art shows, modern art galleries and museums.’
Annette Kopp originally trained as a silversmith, while her husband Herbert studied fine art. Today, he takes care of the creative aspects of the company, while Annette is the businesswoman. It’s a partnership that, with its clearly defined roles, has stood the test of time. ‘It’s great,’ Annette says of working together. ‘We can talk about jewellery whenever we want, and we like that. The rules are easy – Herbert is the designer, I manage him and do the rest. Sometimes, if he’s good, I cook for him.’
Herbert’s initial interest in art has proven to be a life-long passion and his artistic flair can be seen throughout Cada’s collections, from the delicately balanced spots of colour seen in the amethyst Capri ring to the intricate mosaic-style design of the Magic Colour pendants. The Kopps’ extensive art collection is internationally renowned, numbering more than 600 pieces. Understandably, the collection also influences their work, keeping them in ‘permanent trouble’, according to the couple.
It is this deeply held passion for art and creativity that lies at the heart of Cada, and helps to set the label apart from other fine jewellery brands. Although the collection offers a number of quirky, whimsical designs, shaped after seahorses and flamingos, every piece is crafted in gold, in a range of colours, and accented with high-quality diamonds and coloured gemstones.
Quality is clearly extremely important, and every design is painstakingly developed. ‘First we do a lot of drawing and sketching to bring the idea to life, followed by models made of wax or metal, and then we decide if it fits into our collection,’ Herbert explains.
The Kopps design primarily for themselves, but they also enjoy a close relationship with their clients and are happy to reward them for their loyalty. ‘[Our clients] are open minded, modern and very stylish,’ they enthuse. In fact, it is their clients, and seeing their work being worn by others, that has helped to maintain their enthusiasm for the business for the past 29 years. ‘Seeing our jewellery being worn and loved is always a very fulfilling and proud moment.’
Their passion and commitment has certainly paid off; the brand now enjoys international success and is stocked in some of the world’s finest boutiques, including Jades in Düsseldorf, Colette in Paris and London’s Dover Street Market. Even so, the pair still get excited about the future, new developments and new collections. First on the agenda is the opening of an online shop, followed by a collaboration project with several artists that the Kopps hope will be ‘a very special collection’.
And with their impressive track record, it’s sure to be one to watch.