For a friendship forged forty years ago, it's taken a long time for Brit creatives Stephen Webster and Tracey Emin to finally collaborate. "Our first encounter was at the Atlantis Disco at the entrance of Dreamland in Margate, dancing to rare groove American funk being spun by a very young Pete Tong, recalls Webster. "Some two decades later we became really great friends, always conscious of our Kent roots."
But despite the long gestation period, we can safely say the 'I Promise To Love You' collection was worth the wait. Exclusive for three weeks on Net-a-Porter, this collection of bracelets, pendants, ear cuffs, earrings, statement cuffs and rings is a tribute to the pre-eminent British artist's famous neon artworks.
Featuring phrases like, 'I Promise To Love You, 'More Passion' and 'With You I Breathe' which are written in Emin's spiky handwriting, the pieces are set in 18k gold and decorated with pavé diamonds. Jewellery designer Webster says that use of these phrases was a fitting and somewhat sentimental interpretation of his friends' work. "When we opened our flagship store in Beverly Hills, Tracey made a neon for us, reading 'I Promise to Love You' in a heart," he explains. "She said that she always felt that this work should be in a jewellery store where people buy engagement, wedding and eternity rings and all the other trinkets of romance."
It wasn't long after that Webster approached Emin with his idea of a partnership - merging the spirit of her work with his talents as a jeweller. Describing the collection as "delicate and intricate", Emin loves "the fact that the jewellery has remained classical" - much like all good pieces of art, really. And for two buddies that first met as teenagers in a nightclub in a small English seaside town, they've sure come a long way.
The 'I Promise To Love You' collection launches today on Net-a-Porter and runs exclusively for three weeks. Prices start from $2,787.