The stellar creator of dazzlingly fine jewellery, interiors and the rock’n’roll Hotlips label, gives us a whistle stop tour around her life online.
Fast-forward to 1995 and Solange opened her eponymous red velvet-lined boutique on Westbourne Grove, its threading together of luxury with rock ‘n roll all edged with an intriguing darkness reflecting her work to a tee. Duly, the celebrities flocked, but so did the less fleeting attentions of various hallowed museums, including the V&A and Les Arts Decoratifs at the Louvre, both of which have original Azagury-Partridge pieces in their permanent collections. Similarly when, in 2008, she designed a range of objects from clocks and rugs to chandeliers – all under the banner ‘Unwearable Jewels’ – they were exhibited to acclaim in New York to that city’s cognoscenti and tastemakers.
A founding member of The Leopards, a consortium of like-minded British designers, the collective works, often with the Prince’s Trust, to mentor up-and-coming new designers. To boot, she has actively sought to democratise her work by founding Hotlips, her costume jewellery range which is available only online. Today she has stores in a central London and New York.
Here, Solange acts as our guide around all her favourite online things, from Amazon – or her very own personal genie as she likes to think of it – to 99% Invisible, the only podcast she has time for.
My favourite website...I know Amazon is the enemy in many people’s minds but I see it as the genie whose wish is my command.
My favourite app...The heart app on the iPhone which tells me how many steps I’ve managed in a day. I seem to average about 5,000 to 6,000. Well below the recommended 10,000, unfortunately. But I’m always hopeful of hitting that number.
My favourite blog...I prefer reading books and newspapers. And the physical versions rather than the digital versions at that. I’m still quite analogue.
My Internet hero...Tim Berners-Lee. The genius who started it all.
My favourite podcast...I’m better at reading than listening. But if I did listen to a podcast it would be 99% Invisible which is about the design of everyday things, from the Hawaiian shirt to the history of colour.
Last book you downloaded or read...Girl Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo, the Booker Prize winner this year. It’s such a page-turner. Full of empathetic female characters whose lives and personalities are described so vividly and whom I was sad to leave behind.
Favourite tweeter...I don’t really tweet. Instagram is the only social media I do.
Favourite Instagrammer...I like the museum ones like the V&A, The National Gallery and the Musée du Louvre. It’s nice to get an art hit, especially as my visits to these places don’t happen often enough.
Social media allowed me to meet...All my Hotlips customers. As I don’t have a physical Hotlips store, it’s a totally virtual experience for me and for them. They have mainly discovered the brand online. It’s been an eye-opener. A very 21st-century way of doing business. I plan to make the website for my fine jewellery shoppable early this year.
The best digital advice I've been given...Is to use Instagram as a means of expressing yourself and your brand through the power of visual imagery and storytelling.
My screensaver is...The front door of my home in the summer surrounded by a heavy overhang of pink roses.
My standout online memory...The first time I sold a piece of jewellery to a complete stranger from my Instagram account.
My pet online hate is...Sanctimonious, virtue-signalling types who think their page gives them guru status.
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