5 Minutes with Jewellery Designer Lele Sadoughi
American jewellery designer Lele Sadoughi subscribes to the maximal, more-is-more philosophy. She leans on abstract, hand-swirled shapes, signature stones, marble and bright bursts of colour. You can now find the designer’s statement pieces exclusively at Le Mill! We caught up with the Sadoughi, about her unique approach, and her sparkling Resort ’19 collection:
Tell us about how and when you started in jewellery design?
“I have always worked in fashion, but only came into jewellery in 2004. I had experience with patternmaking, creating trims, and designing apparel before I had the opportunity to make jewellery for companies such as Club Monaco, Banana Republic, Tory Burch, and Anthropologie.
In 2005, I had the opportunity to launch the jewellery [division] for J. Crew. I built the department for five years before I started my own collection in 2012. By this time, I had learned so much from these big, corporate companies [that I] felt prepared to go out on my own.”
How and when did you arrive at your more-is-more aesthetic?
“I have always been a more-is-more- kind of gal. Growing up in Dallas, I grew to love colour, pretty things, and everything big. I have stayed true to my own aesthetic regardless of the quick turns in fashion jewellery, and I think this has enabled me to carve out a niche in the market for all things maximal.”
What materials are you obsessed with at the moment?
“Anything with colour! I use a lot of hand-mixed acetate because I can select multiple hues in one material. I also like to use coloured crystals and enamels.”
Can you tell us more about your process?
“I love functional and geometric structures. I always keep a feminine twist to any design. Flowers are a huge inspiration as petals appear soft and delicate. However, I often make them from acetate, so I am able to get the look of lightness with a durable material.”
The challenge with bold jewellery, is making it light and wearable. How do you work around that?
“A lot of the materials I use are light-weight. Therefore, I can go big on scale without compromising comfort. I also like to use clip-on backings for big earrings as it is easier to wear.”
Can you describe the new Resort 2019 collection in a nutshell?
“Resort 2019 was inspired by the colours and textures of Sedona. I took caramel, soft pink, and light blue from the mountain sunsets as the colour palette for the season. Hand-mixed acetate and hints of sparkle were used in architectural hoops and soft floral petals.”
What have been the big milestones in your trajectory so far, and what are your plans for 2019?
“In 2018, we introduced categories beyond jewellery. Jewelled headbands, handbags, and a home collection are now available. I am working on building a lifestyle brand.”
Shop Lele Sadoughi Resort ’19 at Le Mill