Kiwi jewellers have Kate's ear

KATIE KENNY
Last updated 05:00 06/04/2014
Tory & Ko
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ

EAR EAR: Will the Duchess of Cambridge wear jewellery from Tory & Ko jewellers, Victoria Taylor and Kirstin O’Brien?

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While most fans will be looking out for the baby prince when the royals arrive tomorrow, two women will be hoping to glimpse the Duchess of Cambridge's ears.

Wellington-based Tory & Ko Jewellers, founded by Victoria Taylor and business partner Kirstin O'Brien, have been asked to supply four pieces of jewellery for the Duchess of Cambridge to wear on the royal tour, which starts tomorrow.

Taylor, the designer, and O'Brien, the businesswoman, are both huge royal fans.

"We couldn't be more excited, and more humbled, by the selection," O'Brien said.

Taylor said her sister, Rebecca Taylor, a fashion designer in New York who has previously dressed the duchess, recommended Tory & Ko.

"They liked what they saw, and we've been emailing back and forth with her staff. They were very specific in their choices," O'Brien said.

The duchess - or her staff - chose two pairs of earrings from Tory & Ko's "Pretty Collection", another pair of pearl and diamond white gold earrings, and a matching pearl necklace with diamond keepers.

A serendipitous choice, Taylor said, as the Pretty Collection was inspired by royal jewellery.

"The thought of those pieces being locked away with the crown jewels would be almost too exciting to bear," she said.

"We've always felt like Catherine would be the ultimate ambassador for our jewellery. She's a people's princess. She has beautiful style. The whole story is so romantic. She appeals to everybody."

Both mothers of young children, Taylor and O'Brien make jewellery intended to last longer than a lifetime.

"Part of why this is so exciting is that this could potentially be in [Catherine's] jewellery wardrobe," O'Brien said.

Taylor added: "Her future daughter may go on to wear it. I love the idea that things get carried on through generations, through loves and lives."

A sale by such distance is unusual for Tory & Ko, who, in typical Kiwi fashion, try to stay in touch with their customers.

"You form quite a relationship. People come in years later with their children, purely to introduce them to me. We are a friendly place. We get to know people," Taylor said.

Tory & Ko has previously created jewellery for film stars, New York and New Zealand fashion week, the Genee International Ballet Competition, runway shows, The Baftas and Oscars in 2013, other red carpet events, and charity events.

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