Chan Luu wants to make it clear that she is not a traditional fashion person: "I don't follow fashion like other people, I create my own. And it works for me."
This independent spirit shines through in the jewelry designer's 100% handmade collections. Born in Vietnam to Chinese and Vietnamese parents, education in the French school system, and now living in Los Angeles and Hawaii, it comes as no surprise to learn where Luu draws her inspiration: "I'm very interested in diverse culture. As a designer my specialty is using the craft of the country I go to because their craft is their culture. I recreate it and make it modern for the fashion world."
Luu continues: "All of my products have a soul of their own."
They also have a great back story. Of her signature wrap bracelet (see the slideshow below), she shares an experience she had on a trip to India. From the back of a taxi (and with quite an eagle eye!) she saw a man with a beautiful bracelet on the street. So she seized the moment and asked her driver to stop. She asked the stranger where he got the bracelet, and he said "You have to go to the temple to pray." That's exactly what she did and the rest is history...
Luu's spirituality and style are truly interwoven, so to speak. Her organic designs evoke her joyful way of living (which includes a mandatory Friday night slumber party and more amazing practices you can read about here). When asked how her spirituality influences her design, she says "I believe in things that are very authentic and very real."
The designer also believes deeply in giving back. "Everything I do I'm passionate about--jewelry is one of many things." Among the causes she supports are Haitian artisans (she works with Sean Penn's camp J/P HRO, breast cancer awareness, and P.S. (Public School) Art ("What are children without art?").
While giving back is a big part of her DNA, what does she personally get out of creating jewelry? She laughs. "You go to a shrink, I design!"
To see photos of Luu's jewelry and the travel that inspires her, see the slideshow below. For more visit www.ChanLuu.com