Welcome to JCK Events’ new series, Bridging the Gap– a place to talk bridge jewelry you’re soon to shop at JCK Las Vegas. The importance bridge jewelry holds is major, that’s why we’ve launched a NEW neighborhood on the show floor dedicated to it. The Bridge will feature sizeable global brands with on trend costume jewelry at accessible price points. This category bridges the gap between fashion and fine jewelry and in similar respect; this series is designed to bridge the gap between a brand and their story, talk challenges, inspirations and get the inside scoop! (Knowledge is power, right?) Look at this series as an online narrative to the world of bridge jewelry you’ll soon discover at JCK Las Vegas. Discover all the bridge brands here and for more information or to register, please visit jckonline.com/lasvegas/bridgingthegap.
Our first profile is with Chan, Owner and Jewelry designer of Chan Luu. If you’re not aware of Chan Luu, you’re in for a treat because there’s much to love about her baubles (for proof search #ILOVECHANLUU on Instagram). Chan Luu is a Los Angeles based contemporary lifestyle brand offering handcrafted jewelry, scarves and apparel products and we’re so excited to have her join the JCK tribe and represent The Bridge community. Her designs combine cultural elements found worldwide with a modern California influence to create the signature Chan Luu style. Each product is made with high quality materials and handcrafted to achieve a natural look and feel. Handcrafted in Vietnam, Chan Luu jewelry is created using an array of semi-precious stones, sterling silver, 24k gold pated, hand knotting and customer dyed leathers.
Can you talk about your indigenous design techniques and how cultural elements play into your designs to create the Chan Luu style?
Many of my designs are influenced by my travels. I love exploring craft markets and finding old world techniques and making them new and modern!
Are all of your designs sketched out first?
A lot of my designs are sketched out first, but sometimes the raw material itself guides me towards the design!
What importance do you see the category of Bridge Jewelry holding
Bridge jewelry is important because women love semi- precious stones and metals. Different than fine jewelry, but no less creative, Bridge jewelry allows designers to play with scale and a variety of beautiful raw materials to create a classic or contemporary look for today’s discerning customer.
On your website there is a destination called the Layering Boutique that is the ultimate guide to learn, layer and love. Is layering a new trend that’s here to stay and how did the idea to educate people about it come about?
The layering trend has been around for a while and is here to stay. The layering boutique was created to inspire our customers and to help them curate the perfect bracelet or necklace combination.
Can you tell us how your work began with Jennifer Aniston?
Jennifer Aniston is known for her Californian laid back style. Her style pairs perfectly with the Chan Luu aesthetic— Californian casual/bohemian. She became a fan of Chan Luu products organically!
Why are you excited for JCK Las Vegas?
I’m excited to showcase my new designs at JCK Las Vegas and to see my customers as well as meeting potential buyers.
What retailer do you think provides the most support and respect for the jeweler today? Can you describe your relationship with them?
Bloomingdales is one of many stores who support and respect jewelers today. We have a shop within shop in a NY location, where they allow us to carry a very large assortment of Chan Luu. We are also in a few of their other key doors and on their website. We have a very positive relationship with the buyer, the DMM, the GMM and the store employees. We work very closely with them to curate a special assortment for their consumer. We also have a very good relationship with Net a Porter, Blue Ruby, Nordstrom, Neiman’s Saks, and Lord & Taylor — and a host of good specialty stores.
Who is a fellow jewelry brand that you admire? What attracts you to them and their work?
I admire any brand with a “give back” or charitable quality.
Tell us more about your line that supported artisans in underdeveloped countries
I started an ethical fashion line, Chan Luu Ethical Fashion International, in 2012. Chan Luu E.F.I. is a line designed by myself in collaboration with artisans from around the world. The line is handcrafted by artisans in Kenya and Haiti and is part of an ongoing effort to develop sustainable industries in underdeveloped areas. This gives artisans in these areas the opportunity to work and build a better life.
If you weren’t involved in jewelry what would you be doing with your life?
I would be a chef and organic farmer or painter!
What was your first trade show? How many pieces did you sell? What was the biggest lesson learned?
My first show was an ENK show at the Plaza Hotel in New York. One of my first orders was from Harvey Nichols in London. Landing this account was a huge accomplishment for me as a young designer. Trade shows are the best place to meet buyers from around the world.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give to an emerging bridge brand?
Have an identity, and always be true to yourself. Stay focused.
Who is your jewelry muse and why?
I’m more inspired by cultures than a specific person.
Still craving more? Watch Chan Luu’s brand story through video here.