Jimmy Choo trumped by Lebeado

Champagne corks have been popping at the Jesmond branch of Lebeado after staff heard they had beaten a host of world-famous names in a design competition.

The competition, held at the Home House members-only club on London’s Oxford Street, invited hundreds of designers were to submit pieces in aid of the Pirate Castle charity. Those invited to take part included Brit Award winners Kasabian, designers Ted Baker, Paul Costello, Lynsey de Paul… and Jimmy Choo. “We were incredibly flattered even to be asked,” says Lebeado boss Kate Watkin.

Lebeado’s entry was designed by creative director Carla Wood. “Carla was inspired by the charity’s skull motif,” says Watkin, “and created a beautiful pirate treasure box, filled with our own hand-made designs. Several of the other designers said it reminded them of the late Alexander McQueen’s work – and praise doesn’t come much higher than that.”

Each piece was then auctioned for charity, with the Lebeado Treasure Box raising £520 – more than double the amount raised by Jimmy Choo’s creation. “We beat every other designer except one,” says Watkin – the winner was a Hatton Garden jeweller who had decorated her entry with so many jewels it required its own security guard.

“I was so pleased for The Pirate Castle,” Watkin says. “It’s a really worthwhile charity that gives inner-city kids the chance to experience water sports and provides them with a constructive environment in which to hang out.” And she was equally pleased with the praise lavished on Lebeado. “For a north east retailer to be recognised by the country’s top designers is just fantastic, and it’s a reward for the hard work everyone at the shops has put in.”

Lebeado, which also has a branch in Durham, is in negotiations to open a branch in London’s Westfield Centre or Covent Garden.”What’s good enough for Jesmond is good enough for Notting Hill,” says Watkin.