Jade Jagger on working with colour
Daughter of rock star Mick and former model Bianca, Jade grew up between New York and London, immersed in Andy Warhol-era pop art culture.
Her design career started with fine art, then progressed to jewellery – she launched her own brand Jade Inc in the Nineties, creating one-off boho pieces, and then in 2000, she was appointed as creative director of Garrard.
Next, Jade’s empire expanded into interiors and she has designed spaces across the globe with residential interior design brand yoo. She’s also turned her hand to fashion and linked up with Guerlain and Belvedere Vodka.
Your design journey began with art – tell us about the early years...
I’ve always been very visually aware, but I started out painting, experimenting with all sorts of different techniques. My work with gold leaf meant that I quickly became interested in decorative art.
Where do you think your design eye came from?
It’s hard to know, but being surrounded by creative people certainly had an impact. The artists Joseph Holston and Andy Warhol and the pop art scene definitely influenced me.
Did you have any formal training?
I only studied art at school – I didn’t go to university as I had my first daughter, Assisi, when I was 20. My time as the creative director of Garrard was my real training – it was an incredible experience to work for such a prestigious jewellery house.
When did you decide to move into interiors?
I was always interested in interior design. When I was working as an artist, I created installations in people’s homes, producing large-scale bespoke art out of multiples of small paintings. My design partner Tom Bartlett and I first joined forces when I was at Garrard – we redesigned several of the stores.
How did the partnership with yoo come about?
I got chatting with [yoo co-founder] John Hitchcox in Ibiza one summer and we decided that it would be great if I collaborated with yoo. I think I was one of the first people to join.
Tell us about your first project.
It was The Jade in New York, which felt appropriate given my history with the city. Tom and I came up with a pod concept: a piece of furniture positioned at the centre of an open-plan space. This opened to give distinct zones, including a kitchen and bathroom, which together gave the whole place a loft-like feel.
How do you approach a new project?
I first look at the setting – I like to reference the location of a project – and then the scale, whether it’s a large or small space. I try to assess the boundaries before letting loose on creativity. Colour is a huge part of my process – I use bold hues to delineate spaces.
Do you have any advice on how to use colour?
Try to work within one palette. Then understand which colours are more suitable for which lights or environments. Hotter shades work better in warm countries, while cooler climates can take darker colours.
If you’re afraid of bold colour, it can be easier to use it in furniture than on walls. All this aside, I personally still love neutral schemes. My Seventies disco palette, for instance, is beige and illustrates that you can be playful within a neutral context by using shiny surfaces or glittery fabrics.
How would you sum up the Jade Jagger look?
I like to mix comfortable modern with classic and traditional. And I would say that there is a bohemian overtone. At the same time, Tom is a modern architect and it’s great to have that as a backdrop.
Do you follow any design rules?
It’s key to understand the flow of a room – the balance of the space, its shape, where the windows are, its aspect. I suppose you might call it feng shui...
What are your influences?
I know I’m influenced by India – my use of colour has definitely derived from the amount of time that I spend there. Then the jewel-like hues that I’m attracted to come through from my jewellery.
Any key people?
Artist Ross Bleckner and Italian painter Francesco Clemente – they were part of my New York upbringing. And then the audacity of classic Warhol pop culture.
Do you have any go-to products or brands?
I have used Giò Ponti’s 969 chair a lot, mainly because of the range of colours that it comes in and because I think that it’s a design classic. E15’s Habibi side table in brass is another of my favourites. I love its reflective qualities. Tom Dixon also has great pieces – when I'm in London, I often pop into his store.
What’s your most treasured piece of furniture?
A George Sherlock sofa that I’ve had since I was 19. I’ve re-covered it four times, but it’s still going strong.
Find out more about Jade at jadejagger.co.uk
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As the Editorial Director of Livingetc and Homes & Gardens, Sarah oversees everything to do with these two iconic design brands. She also oversees Country Homes & Interiors and Period Living, making her an expert in design styles ranging from the cutting edge and contemporary to the heritage, crafted and rustic. She is a journalist of over 15 years experience, and having worked on Livingetc longer than anyone on the team, she has seen trends come and go, reporting on them as - and often before - they happen.
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