Los Angeles–based designer Chan Luu has definitely found her calling in fashion and jewelry design. The South Vietnam-born designer and graduate of Boston University—with a degree in business administration—got her start in 1996 creating baubles ranging from leather necklaces with hand-painted shell pendants to gold chandelier earrings, and layering necklaces made with semi-precious stones such as black onyx, garnet and amethyst.
Now, 19 years later, the lauded fashion and accessories maven (who once owned a boutique at Brick Walk in Rolling Hills Estates) has graced the pages of numerous publications including Elle, InStyle and Vogue for her ready-to-wear pieces, cashmere and silk scarves and bohemian-inspired leather wrap beaded bracelets. She’s also one of the featured jewelry designers at marea boutique at Terranea.
Here the tastemaker shares what she loves about her job … and three go-to pieces recently launched for spring.
You have fashion roots right here on the Peninsula. How long did you live in the South Bay?
I lived in Palos Verdes for 14 years when I owned my Chan Luu retail store. I loved living here.
How did you get started in design?
Although I am not a trained jeweler but rather a fashion designer, I have always had a passion for accessories. As a young buyer for my retail stores, I dreamed of having my own line. I am always looking for inspiration for my designs by traveling the world and interacting with different cultures.
Your beautiful pieces are carried here at marea boutique. What three items are you most looking forward to sharing with guests this season?
1. White bone and silver necklace. “I love the juxtaposition of this necklace since it has an organic yet structured look. It is hand-carved by Vietnamese artisans and is the perfect layering or statement piece for spring/summer.”
2. Silver thread-thru earrings. “These sterling silver thread-thru chain earrings are so effortless and easy to wear. I never take them off.”
3. Leather statement cuff. “This silver-and-leather cuff is so versatile and makes such a statement. I love pairing this cuff with a few wrap bracelets. It gives a great variation of textures. Launching May 8, 2015 on chanluu.com.”
To view more of Chan’s wonderful jewelry designs, visit marea boutique at Terranea Resort. To see all of her collection, visit chanluu.com.
Interviewed by Jennie Nunn