Meet our Designers
2014 marks Waterford Crystal Chief Designer John Connolly's 50th year with Waterford. John has immersed himself in every aspect of the design and manufacture of the world's most beloved crystal, and is the catalyst behind the enduring success and continued growth of the Waterford brand.
Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, John learned his skills from the ground up as a young apprentice in the Waterford cutting department. John rose to the enviable rank of Master Cutter. He flourished in the cutting room for 16 years, cutting some of Waterford’s grandest and most eminent trophies and presentation pieces. John then joined the design department, where he was integral in developing the highly-acclaimed Master Cutter Collection. As the Chief Designer for Waterford, John changed the crystal landscape forever with the creation of a number of Waterford’s most esteemed patterns and collections.
Designer Billy Briggs was born in Waterford City, and joined Waterford Crystal in 1970 as an apprentice cutter from the local Institute of Technology. Billy qualified as a master cutter in 1975 and joined the prestigious Design Office in 1978. Billy honed his skills under renowned Waterford Designer Miroslav Havel, creator of the iconic Lismore pattern.
Some of Billy's better known works include Irish Lace, Georgian and the Grafton St. collections, the original 12 Days of Christmas series and the crystal trophy awarded to the winners of Solheim Cup golf tournament.
Martin Ryan joined Waterford in 1968, qualified as a wedge cutter five years later and went on to become a master cutter. He joined the Design team in 1987, and has been a key figure in the creation of some of the most successful launches introduced by Waterford.
Coming to the House of Waterford in 2009, Martin has been involved with the Times Square Collection since its initial launch and continues to design for the project. Some of Martin's inspired designs include the Snowflake Wishes Collection and a number of outstanding Designer Studio pieces.
A Waterford City native, Tom studied art at CTI Waterford, and joined Waterford Crystal in1970. He qualified as a master engraver 10 years later in 1980 and became a member the Design team in 1994.
Tom's most recent creations for Waterford are the Fleurology collection of floral vases and the lovely Shamrock Bowls and Vase.
Waterford Design Director Matt Kehoe is a 20 year veteran of the Design Department at Waterford Crystal. Unique in that he is not a product of the company’s cutting, blowing or engraving departments, Matt joined Waterford straight out of design school, and at age 21 became the youngest member of the Waterford design team. Working closely with Waterford craftsmen, Matt honed and developed his design skills over the years, becoming a talented and innovative crystal designer responsible for many of Waterford’s most advanced creations.
In 2014, at age 40, Matt was appointed Design Director, becoming the youngest person ever to hold the respected position. In addition to many prestigious awards, trophies and outstanding Waterford collections, Matt’s most recent designs include the Waterford Mixology range and the Mad Men Edition of luxury drinkware and barware. Matt describes his design ethos as “classic contemporary style,” which is evidenced in his many fashion forward concepts.
Waterford has also formed collaborations and partnerships with leading designers in the world of fashion and luxury living to create a unique range of dining and home décor originals. These creative pairings with Waterford include the works of Monique Lhuillier , John Rocha , Jo Sampson , Jeff Leatham , Billy Canning, Jasper Conran and Robert Mondavi.
Monique Lhuillier is one of todays most sought after bridal and red carpet fashion designers. Since the debut of her first bridal collection in 1996, Monique has fuelled her passion for fashion with inspired couture that resonates with well dressed women everywhere. In the velvet rope inner circle of the celebrity universe, her coveted creations are wardrobe essentials for Hollywood’s brightest stars. Monique Lhuillier originals capture the essence of sophisticated luxury and express Monique’s innate sense of refined elegance.
Monique Lhuillier Waterford embraces the feminine, modern, and elegant aesthetic for which Monique Lhuillier is famous throughout the fashion world. With stylish china, flatware, brilliant crystal stemware and luxurious home accessories and gifts, Monique’s unique flair for fashion finds a new outlet for expression within the realm of fine home furnishings.
The Monique Lhuillier Waterford Collection unites two iconic brands in a synergistic symphony of excellence – combining Waterford's rich pedigree of quality, craftsmanship and luxury cachet with Monique Lhuillier's feminine, modern designs. The result is a collection offering glamorous and exciting ways to decorate your table, accessorize your home and bring sophisticated style to your celebrations.
Hong Kong born, Ireland-based designer John Rocha is the singular inhabitant of a beautiful universe of his own creation, a world beyond our imagination. Rocha shares tantalizing glimpses of this cosmos through his fashions, jewellery designs and the John Rocha at Waterford Collection of stemware, giftware, lighting and interior home furnishings.
Moving to Ireland after graduating from London’s Croydon School of Art, John Rocha first established himself with his Chinatown label in Dublin in the 1980s, later designing clothing for both men and women in the Irish High Street stores A Wear and Brown Thomas. A 1993 recipient of the Designer of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards, Rocha signature brands include “John Rocha,” “John Rocha Jeans,” Rocha John Rocha,” and ” John Rocha Jewellery.” Rocha was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2002 for his contributions to the fashion industry. Working with Waterford Crystal since 1997, John Rocha at Waterford reveals the artist’s fascination with light, texture and technique.
British designer Jo Sampson is the creative force behind the London Interiors Collection and the Waterford Contemporary Collections, Glacia, Elysian and London. These dazzling new collections represent Waterford's exciting and innovative approach to contemporary lighting, furniture and fine home accessories. Jo established her career at renowned agencies Studio De Lucchi, Sir Terence Conran, Imagination and United Designers. In 2002 she established Blacksheep, a leading commercial interior design agency, with Tim Mutton.
When Jo started the Jo Sampson Studio in 2012, her talent for designing unique pieces for luxury interiors came to the fore. The Waterford Interiors furniture range, the London Collection, was praised for its ability to fuse a sleek modern aesthetic and cutting-edge lighting technology with the world’s finest cut crystal. The latest collaboration between Waterford and Jo Sampson, the Contemporary Collection of three capsule collections – London, Elysian and Glacia – feature finely cut crystal accessories designed to richly complement luxurious living.
Jeff Leatham is the world’s first florist with true rock star status. As Artistic Director of the Four Seasons George V in Paris, Jeff has created a sensation with his original and extravagant floral designs. A singular stylist in the profession, Jeff is an artist who paints with flowers. Waterford Fleurology by Jeff Leatham represents the initial crystal design collaboration between Waterford and the artist.
Jeff was born in Utah and began his flower career at the prestigious Four Seasons Beverly Hills hotel. When Four Seasons reopened Paris’ famed George V Hotel under the Four Seasons franchise, he moved his base of operations to France. Jeff has won Best Hotel Florist in Europe for multiple years, and is now the Creative Director for Four Seasons Hotels worldwide.
Vases and spaces become a canvas flooded in bold passionate strokes, elevating floral arrangements from static objects to exhilarating experiences. Jeff is the go-to florist to the stars, providing one-of-a-kind floral fantasies for Cher, Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Eva Longoria, and a galaxy of other well-known celebrities.