International Womens Day - Getting to know our Managing Director and Head of Design, Shan Burdett

As we celebrate International Women's Day today, we thought we'd shine a light on our all women team here at Elizabeth Parker. A diverse group of women help make Elizabeth Parker what it is today, from design to accounts.

Our Managing Director and Head Designer, Shan Burdett has been at the helm of Elizabeth Parker for over 15 years. She has grown the business exponentially through solid design, well-sourced raw materials from all corners of the globe, a keen eye for quality assurance, and solid supplier and customer relationship.

Read our interview and get to know Shan better. 

What are your favourite Elizabeth Parker cufflinks?
I am asked this question a lot and it's a tricky one. We have clients and partners all over the world and each one has different tastes and styles. That aside there are several designs that work anywhere, and these are my favourites for that reason. Our Smooth O cufflinks are a very good example - polished curved edges which can be seen at numerous angles, with a brushed front; not too big not too small. Simplistic designs are the hardest yet most rewarding to design.

How long does it take you to design a collection?
It's not a linear journey, so sometimes it can take a day others will take weeks. Without my team it would take a lot longer. My ideal is to discuss with my colleagues, friends and much appreciated husband - if others are excited, I'm excited.

Do you enjoy designing cufflinks?
Yes, very much so! I don't think anyone can design non-stop though - taking time out is very important and helps me get inspired and create. There's nothing better than taking trips to new places before sitting down and looking at the season ahead.

As well as designing the Elizabeth Parker collection, I also design for clients that want their own bespoke collections. I love that first meeting when you discuss concepts and brain storm ideas.

Shan seen here with our models from Septembers photoshoot. 

Talking of inspiration, where do you get your inspiration?
Gosh, from everywhere. I visit flea markets and vintage stores, look at patterns in architecture and interior design, look ahead to what's going to be on trend in both men's and ladies fashion. I have in the past been inspired by my friends buttons on the back of her wedding gown and manhole cover designs after a visit to New York.

What do you do to relax?
It's important for me to leave the office behind once in a while - to get out there. Whether it is visiting new places with my family, to hitting the slopes with my friends or just enjoying a glass of wine outside our tent with a good book on a camping trip. Of an evening you will find me running, swimming or cycling as my 2020 challenge is to complete a Triathlon.

What do you think is the future for cufflinks?
A move away from novelty and a focus on sharp, classic designs that will stand the test of time. For me it's all in the detail.


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