Created by StyledOn member and Industrial Designer Carmen Zambrano, LUSASUL is a line we've loved since it first appeared on our radar several years ago. Launched in 2010 with Zambrano's winnings from the Mexican Design Biennial award for Best Jewelry Design, LUSASUL is based in Mexico City and features innovative and incredibly chic jewelry designs for both men and women, which is all hand made-to-order. The designer's blog is full of photographs of people, places and everyday objects from which she draws her inspiration – some as simple as fruit packaging at the grocery store that inspired a bracelet! We recently contacted Zambrano to learn more about LUSASUL's past, present and future! Read our interview below and make sure to check out all of her designs in her designer showroom here and send her a compliment if you're as impressed by her work as we are!
StyledOn: How long has your jewelry brand, LUSASUL been up and running?
Carmen Zambrano: I started the company in late 2010 after I won the Mexican Design Biennial with a design I made in my free time. Part of the prize was one silver kilo, and that investment helped me start the brand for sure.
SO: Did you start out as a jewelry designer, or have you designed other products in the past?
CZ: I’m an industrial designer, and for university projects I designed all kinds of stuff like medical instruments, packaging, toys for kids, etc. My first job during college was making displays for department stores. It wasn’t until I got a job at a jewelry company that I start with all this.
SO: Your jewelry has a very edgy, industrial feel. What kind of customer do you have in mind when you're designing?
CZ: Yes, our designs are very industrial. Since we are all industrial designers, the jewelry is a result of experimenting during the production process. But at the same time, we try to be as poetic and expressive as we can so we have the best of both worlds. We design for the best version of every girl, someone who wants to be better everyday. We’re just looking for a way to express that.
SO: From where do you draw inspiration?
CZ: As a girl, most of my inspiration to design for LUSASUL comes from lovely stories, as well as what my concept of chic, good-looking people want to wear. As a designer, most of my inspiration comes from the excitement behind all our different manufacturing processes.
SO: What is your most popular piece from your collection?
CZ: The Bloody necklace and the Ribbon ring. These are specials pieces for me because they were the beginning of LUSASUL. The Bloody necklace was piece that won the award allowing me to start LUSASUL.
SO: Your collection is sold in a few stores in the US and Europe, but mostly you custom make pieces for your clients. What do you like about custom making each piece rather than mass-producing them?
CZ: I love the individual stories of the people that buy my designs. For example, when some guy wants an engagement ring, I love when he tells me the story about how he has planned the proposal. In a way, it’s such an honor to be part of so many stories with happy endings.
SO: What would you like to see in the future for LUSASUL?
CZ: We are already working on our next collection and expanding the men's series. Something we are starting to explore is teaming up with cool companies like boutique hotels and major organizations to make special collections for them, and we are looking forward to doing it internationally. For short-term plans, we’re working on more accessories to produce locally, like leather goods and shoes. We are also looking to collaborate with local fashion designers in upcoming fashion shows!
What do you think of Carmen’s designs for LUSASUL? Where is the most interesting place you’ve drawn inspiration from?