An Interview with LUSASUL
Posted on 06 August 2016
If you're not quite familiar with Emerging Designer LUSASUL, you probably should be. LUSASUL is the brain child of Mexican Designer Carmen Zambrano. Carmen was one of The Pommier's first 10 designers and has gone on to become one of our most popular too!
Life has been pretty hectic for Carmen as she recently travelled away from her home town to the other side of the world to better her knowledge of her own craft.
Well, we managed to interrupt her busy schedule and catch 10 minutes with her to give you a deeper, more personal look into her journey so far from the origins of the brand, her key milestones through to what she has hidden away in her bag.
Hi Carmen, thank you for taking the time to speak to us, lets get right to it...
Where did you grow up?
In Mexico City
What was your first job out of college?
I started my career at a jewellery factory which works on the licenses of several North American brands
Was there a major event in your life when you realised that you wanted to make jewellery?
I studied Industrial Design so your range of options at the moment of looking for a job is really big and honestly I didn't know what to do. Then I had the opportunity to develop a project for the university, it was in collaboration with silversmith artisans in the north of the country and it was when I fell in love with the jewelry industry.
What was the first piece that you created? How have your designs evolved since then?
I created my first designs when I was working at the factory; they were costume jewelry pieces, full of “bling bling”, big chains and crystals. After that my first piece for Lusasul was a necklace, the Bloody necklace as I named it. I love to see how the designs have evolved since then, it is related with the technical possibilities at the workshop, the collaborations with other designers and the needs of the customers, for example the requests for engagement rings.
Does your local city/town influence your designs? If so, how?
Yes, it is one of my main influences; I really believe that geography means identity. A big part of the work is developed in a town in Mexico, the artisans put a big effort in making these pieces, and their aesthetic and the surroundings of the town are in some way present on the designs.
Can you remember selling the first item that you made? How did you feel?
Of course! It was for a client in Boston, it was a Bloody necklace, she loved it. She wrote an email to me and said that she had seen the necklace on a blog, so she was asking if it was possible to send the jewel to her; so I did it, I was really happy!
What stages do you go through to create a new piece? We would love to know your thought process.
I have an idea and I start making sketches on my notebook but curiously before doing that I write. I like to first put the designs in words. after the sketching part I make 3D models on the computer and at the workshop then we start to produce the samples, first in brass and finally in sterling silver.
Other than your own work, what is your most prized possession and why?
My father’s books and magazines collection, which includes the ones owned by my grandparents and now the volumes that I am adding myself. It’s family history and inspiration.
Take us through your "typical" day at the workshop...
Usually I work in Mexico City or at the workshop in the town of Taxco, but since some months ago I'm in Italy pursuing a major professional development that I want to apply later to the brand.
Nowadays I start working in the morning, I organize the day and send emails to the people in Mexico regarding the things to do during the day, the new designs, the follow up to clients. It has been a little hard to manage everything long distance but, there are amazing people in Mexico, working on the brand, so this way it has been possible.
What part of the day do you look forward to?
I like the late afternoon or the night because I can speak with the people in Mexico.
If you could see any person in the world wearing your designs, who would it be and why?
Iris Apfel, some years ago I attended a lecture of hers and I was amazed, I would love to see one of my pieces as part of her bold style, for example my Paliacate necklace or definitely I would design something special for her.
What has been the highlight for your brand so far?
Last April I had the opportunity of participate in Shanghai Fashion Week as part of a showroom that I have been working with for a while. I went to China and it was amazing, to be there was a big step for me.
If you could reach a huge milestone for your brand in the next year, what would it be?
I see very good opportunities in China, there is the possibility to enter great boutiques, so I want to pursue that. And I want to go back to Mexico to move the studio from Mexico City to the town of Taxco in order to be all the time working with the artisans, I have seen some places that I can adapt as a studio, so in the next year I want a beautiful workshop/office to establish the business.
If you could choose one designer to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
It would be dreamy to collaborate with Jonathan Anderson, I admire his work so much because all the architectural and industrial design inspirations that he uses, his versatility, I would love to collaborate with a designer with that kind of thinking.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt as an entrepreneur?
I think to keep going and to believe in my project
What would we find in your bag right now?
A notebook, pen, ruler, ipad, cellphone, makeup, keys, money and my id.
What item can you not live without and why?
I have to accept that currently my cellphone, mainly because I’m far from home right now. Actually I was reading an article that made sense for me, it was about a project for the Architecture Biennial in Venice, “Home is where your phone is”
Sum up your personality in 3 words?
Independent, calm and spirited
What is your favourite song right now?
Nunca es suficiente by Natalia Lafourcade, a Mexican singer.
Describe your perfect weekend...
I love calm weekends and doing exercise, so it would be going to the pool to swim, cycling for hours outside the city, then come back and watch movies, while I eat some dessert and drink wine.
Discover LUSASUL's profile and jewellery here