Welcome to the world of Maqaroon, a brand inspired by independent girls who love all things cute and alternative! Underground trends are reinterpreted using chic jewellery, quirky characters and beautiful illustrations.
Maqaroon® is a new lifestyle label created by award-winning illustrator Joanna Zhou. After studying at Central St Martins and Chelsea College of Art & Design in London, she spent many years working as a kawaii product designer and writing for industry magazines. In 2011, Joanna decided to combine her love for fashion and character design into a brand that is contemporary, cute and entertaining.
The concept behind Maqaroon is to create quirky, high-quality gifts that are part kawaii and part urban geek. From food trends to memes to font snobbery, Maqaroon celebrates the tiny details that define individuality in a fast-paced world. Joanna also wanted to create a concept that sends a message on diversity, on accepting and loving people’s unique identities. Behind every character, you can spot many allusions to culture, fashion and music.
Maqaroon’s jewellery collection strikes a perfect balance between witty design, affordable price and hypoallergenic, high-quality material. Made out of 18K gold-plated stainless steel, each item has the precious look of fine jewellery without the hefty price tag. From coffee bean charms and mustache bracelets to rose-gold cherry blossoms and font bracket necklaces, there's a touch of playfulness behind every piece!
I like designing things that have a story behind them or some sort of symbolic meaning. Each character is based on real styles, beliefs, attitudes and social connotations. With jewellery, I chose designs that represent lifestyle statements such as our ubiquitous smartphone, Starbucks or hipster culture. The font bracket necklaces (coming soon!) give us an abstract appreciation of typography, as well as a tongue in cheek tribute to design snobbery and hate of Comic Sans.
Of course, there's no point being too conceptual if it starts looking unappealing as a product. I always try to see the product in its final context, imagining how versatile it would look within people's existing wardrobes or living space. Emphasis on delicate, simple designs with high-quality detailing ensures that each piece fits easily with any outfit or occasion. This also makes them ideal as gifts.
As a consumer, I've often been disappointed by products that didn't live up to expectations such as necklaces which tarnished or broke after being worn just a few times. So I did a huge amount of research to find what materials would work best so I can offer a product that combines great quality with affordable price. For jewellery, I chose gold-plated stainless steel which is wonderfully durable and far better value for money than cheap alloy jewellery.
Probably the best part of having my own business is that I can run it according to my personal ethos. I don't charge more for something than I would be prepared to pay myself and I always try to add little extras or suprises where possible. I'm really grateful for every customer and stockist that I get because they choose to support an independent designer. Every time you buy indie, your money really goes to help an individual expand their dream and business a bit further. Thank you!