Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the interior designer/author/Lee Strasberg-trained actor, has added yet another skill to his repertoire: jewelry design. Bullard is best known for the vibrant interiors he has created for private and public clients (which include Cher, Tommy Hilfiger, the Hotel Californian and the Colony Palms Hotel). Now, however, he’s channeled his vibrant old-meets-new aesthetic into a 20-piece collection of rings. Carved in rose, white and yellow-gold, Bullard’s debut collection experiments with the signet ring style. While each ring can be customized, several designs are decorated with English-style family crests, crowns, crosses and diagonal stripes. Deep blue sapphires, green garnets, rubies, and black and white diamonds are among his gems of choice.
“Since I was 14 years old I had a fascination with jewelry,” says Bullard, who grew up in London. “And by the time I was 17, I was buying and selling bits of antique jewelry. I used my allowance and would buy and sell things to other dealers.” This youthful side hustle garnered Bullard extra cash and a loyal following—his fans included Ralph Lauren’s head buyer, who enlisted Bullard to find him vintage enamel cuff links. But just a few years in to this fledgling business, Bullard started acting school and his interior design career soon followed. But Bullard’s passion for jewelry was never far from mind. “For the last 30 odd years I’ve had this love affair of jewelry and gathered quite a knowledge of it. Now I’m at a stage in my career where I can sort of design whatever I want to, in essence. And, for me, one of the most fun projects has been this jewelry collection.” Bullard notes that his design career, wherein he developed an eye for mixing and matching colors and patterns, has helped him create standout gem combos.
Ranging from $1,800 to $8,900, Bullard’s unisex rings capture the vintage glamor of traditional signet rings but add a contemporary flair. “Being English, the signet ring has been very important within the English culture forever, because people have worn them and have them in their families for centuries,” says Bullard. “I’ve done them because I love them because I do think that there’s great longevity to them. If you’re buying something that is real rather than costume, you really want it to be something that you can keep wearing and pass to your kids at the end of the day.” As any jewelry-lover will tell you, a universally chic piece is worth its weight in gold.
“I think that (signet rings) are a fun piece of jewelry you can own for the rest of your life without it going out of fashion,” says Bullard. “I honestly think you could wear them with your jeans or your ball gown.”
Bullard’s rings are available at his Los Angeles showroom.