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Friday, July 2nd 2010

Talking Jewelry with Fallon Designer Dana Lorenz

Jewelry designer Dana Lorenz launched Fallon in 2007 following the success of her main line, Fenton. A bold collection, Lorenz’s pieces have been spotted on a bevy of A-listers, including First Lady Michelle Obama. We talked to the designer about her CFDA nomination, her inspiration, and how her painting background influences her designs.

Shopbop: First up, congratulations on your Swarovski Award for Accessory Design nomination! Was this your first time being nominated?
Dana Lorenz: Thank you! I was very surprised and honored since the other nominees at the awards are so “big leagues,” but the whole experience was unbelievable. This was the first time nominated, but hopefully not the last!
SB: We read an article that said you were trained as a painter. How does that influence your designs?
DL: Not only content and emotion, but composition is what makes a painting moving and successful. I feel like my collections are 50% research and 50% about finding the perfect balance, mix, and composition.
SB: Tell us about your design process. How do you go from idea to tangible piece?
DL: I collect and collect: ideas, videos, vintage, materials, clippings. At one point during development it all clicks. It’s never really about saying, “I’m going to Egypt, and this season is about Cleopatra.” It happens more organically, more unexpectedly. And sometimes it happens eating popcorn on the sofa.
SB: Is there a single person or thing that inspires you most?
DL: My dog Blitz! Every day I come home ready to collapse and he’s there racing toward me with a chew toy freaking out to see me.
SB: First Lady Michelle Obama was spotted wearing one of your necklaces. What is it like to see such a prominent figure wearing something you designed?
DL: Well, to have the first lady admire your work enough to wear it to major events is very surreal. Michelle Obama seems like a beautiful person, inside and out, and I’m honored and flattered. It transcends celebrity; it becomes a part of history.
SB: How would you describe the women who where your pieces? Who is the Fallon woman?
DL: Generally, she’s what you would think. She’s cool, strong, unapologetic, knows what’s out there, and knows what she wants. But opening our flagship on the Lower East Side and seeing other customers that sought us out was beyond what we expected. We had a whole family of Latter Day Saints come in with maps asking if this was “the FALLON store.” It was so cool—they were very Chloë Sevigny from Big Love. And they bought jewelry.

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