Interesting interview with Leeora Catalan,who designed the jewelry for the Spring 2011 L.A.M.B. runway show,taken from FabricMag:
Spring 2011 New York Fashion Week seemed to have flown by as quickly as you can say “runway.” But after Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B., shown on the closing day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, we caught up with the woman behind the stand-out, slightly tribal accessories on the runway. Designer Leeora Catalan of nOir has been around for the last 14 years, adorning the likes of Rihanna, Gaga, Madonna and the aforementioned Ms. Stefani with her jewelry designs. FABRIC chatted with Catalan on how she made the transition from stylist to designer and just how it was working with Mrs. Rossdale.
We read that you worked for some of the “big boys” in fashion (Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren) before starting nOir. How did you decide to make the leap from an established fashion company to starting your own thing?
It’s one of those things that just happen. I was styling a fashion show for a friend. He wanted some black jet beaded super long necklaces. I couldn’t find any, so I made them myself. After the show, I was approached by a department store fashion director and they placed an order. At around the same time, Italian vogue pulled them for a story. Since all the jewelry was black we named the company nOir.
Was starting nOir something that gave you more creative freedom in your work?
Yes, of course! When you start out you really don’t have any rules. And we didn’t have any money. So we definitely had freedom to explore and create.
You’ve worked with some great labels since starting your label. Do you have a favorite show or designer that you worked with?
No, each taught me something different. I love collaborating with other designers- the challenge gets my creativity going.
And this season (Spring 2011) you collaborated with LAMB. Tell us about the accessories you created for that runway.
Gwen and her team visited our showroom one week prior to her show. Together, we went through our collection and played with the pieces to see what would work best. Gwen selected pieces from our existing styles and new collections. We also made some slight modifications to others, like special color combinations. I couldn’t believe how well the jewelry worked with her collection!
How was working with Gwen?
She is super chill and was wonderful to work with. I have immense respect for her. She is not just a name attached to a brand. She IS the brand and is involved in every aspect of designing, styling, music….
nOir has been around for 14 years (no small feat) do you have any advice for budding young designers who want to start their own label?
Believe in what you do – focus, stay grounded, get connected.