It’s easy to have a collection of jewelry, have a brand name or a business—many people can do that. But to stun people with each of your products while letting the name of your brand be etched into the jewelry industry, plus expand a business into the international scene…that’s something only a few brilliant and outstanding people can do.
That is why Chan Luu, a fearless woman who have done all of those things, earned the respect of a lot of people. Her eponymous brand, Chan Luu, Inc., also gained such a big reputation both within and beyond the jewelry industry, as not only its amazing founder and main designer is celebrated, but also the fine and charming jewelry it offers.
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Working her way up
The mind behind the creation and success of the brand has quite a story that led her into the jewelry world. Growing up, Luu never thought she’d end up in the jewelry business, as her sole focus was art. Hailing from Nha Trang, Vietnam, Luu was able to flee her country with the help of her privileged family. When she arrived in the US, she then studied business to grant the wish of her family. She was able to impressively finish the four-year course in just a span of three years, graduating early in the year 1975. At that same year, she finally did things out of her own will, moving to LA and worked for a clothing store. It was her first official experience in the world of fashion.
While Luu was lacking in terms of experience and fashion background, she had enough interest and desire to learn. Her hands-on learning of retail fashion became her “education” about the industry—and she learned everything, from the ground up. By 1983, she was already confident enough to take a leap and build her own women’s clothing and accessory store. She has put all her experience and connections into that first attempt at business. Even when it closed in 1996, it directed Luu to where she should be: jewelry design industry.
After her first store closes, Luu started her jewelry design career in her garage. She did everything there is to do in her own little studio—she took care of the designs and the business side of it, she even answered the phone and connected with prospective clients. Later on, she was able to find a space for her studio and hire her employees. The collection she built on her own and with her team was what she took to a showroom in New York to represent her brand. It wasn’t long before a high-end retailer contacted her, informing her of an estimate of $2 million of probable sales from that collection alone.
Fast forward to today, even after more than 20 years of the Chan Luu, Inc., Luu still wants to engage in its business.
Inspiration and style
Many pieces from Chan Luu are inspired by the travels of its founder and designer. The designer starts with a sketch after inspiration hits her. The main idea behind her designs are the merging of all her inspirations and the modern style, as she often recreates any design inspiration and make it uniquely Chan Luu’s.
All the handmade jewelry released by the brand always go through skilled hands—the designer’s or the brand’s artisans—before it goes out for sale. Each piece has a story to it, expressed by the high quality materials that it is made of. But above the quality and the expert techniques used in making the pieces, the natural and boho vibe is what customers love about the brand. The jewelry made from sterling silver, semi-precious stones, and 24k gold even caught the eye of Jennifer Aniston, as they matched her Cali laid back style. She eventually became a fan, and later on, a partner of the brand.
Top fashion magazines have featured a lot of pieces of the brand—not the least surprising, as they are beautifully made and have striking features that set a trend in the jewelry industry. The jewelry pieces exude modern and fresh styles that can be worn as daily jewelry and modern-bohemian accents to any personal style.
One of the most popular designs of the brand are its bracelet wraps, which are simple pieces with intricacies that are only visible upon a closer look. Its quality, like other pieces from the brand is exceptional, as the leather used is hand dyed, while the stone embellishments are cut by hand. Other known pieces from the brand include the beaded necklace with drop charms and embroidered beaded choker.
Ethical fashion philosophy
Another remarkable thing about Chan Luu is its active participation and collaboration with The United Nation Ethical Fashion Initiative agency because of the brand’s founder. Through this, and the other implementation within the brand, Chan Luu is able to help poor artisans and empower women all over the world. Helping such people gain skills they can use to escape poverty is one of the goals of the label, a mission that is even greater than fashion.
Chan Luu is indeed a remarkable brand, with its fine pieces that capture modernity and fashion trend. But more than that, it is a label that is known for its advocacies as well, earning the love of people through its charming pieces and its love for helping others.