“Our designs reflect a narrative which can be read through jewels. They tell a personal story and a tale about contemporary Mexican aesthetic.” says Carmen Zambrano, the designer behind Lusasul, speaking exclusively to Hausmag about her emerging designer brand.
With roots in the arts thanks to her upbringing in Mexico, where Carmen Zambrano’s parents exposed her to books, history and travel from an early age. Zambrano’s self-educated father inspired her inner artisan in her formative years, leading to the creation of her charming brand Lusasul.
Carmen has kept her Mexican heritage close to her heart during her travels around the world. Now based in Italy, where the artisan is surrounded by the wonders of European art and architecture, the designer creates her pieces with a cultural authenticity at the heart of her work. With a large proportion of her clients in Hong Kong, Zambrano communicates with people from all around the world on a daily basis, giving the designer a cultural awareness which feeds directly into her work.
Lusasul pieces are primarily made from sterling silver and gold – in keeping with the traditional jewellery craft of Mexico. Zambrano’s latest creations are concerned with lightness, so the designer creates pieces by molding silver into the shape of folded paper and ribbons. The designer often integrates precious stones into her work, and has been featured in Swarovski’s Gemvisions Trend Direction for 2017. Marble is a particular favourite of hers and one which she has just started to incorporate into her designs.
In an effort to continuously innovate, Zambrano is beginning to experiment with other materials in her work, such as plastic and glass.
When it comes to the design process, the research that goes into creating her pieces is Zambrano’s favourite part. With the initial part of her research involving writing, the designer finds her greatest inspiration comes from history, philosophy, people and places. The designer has recently been studying Italo Calvino‘s essays which have provoked Zambrano to consider her work from a different perspective. For example, how do you express multiplicity and exactitude with a piece of jewellery?
Lusasul | Amatl | Sterling Silver
With a firm belief in the importance of innovation and modern aesthetic, Zambrano believes that it is of vital importance for designers to merge traditional craft skills with technological advancements. Embracing processes such as 3D printing, laser cutting and micro-molding opens designers up to endless possibilities within their work. While the designer embraces the support of technology, she never underestimates the value of a handcrafted piece in our modern world. For example, Lusasul’s famous Bloody Necklace is made through a totally handmade process, giving its smooth and organic allure.
Lusasul jewels were featured in Shanghai Fashion Week, which provided an opportunity for Zambrano to learn more about the people and culture of China, where most of her clients reside. The designer was mesmerised by the combination of oriental and occidental designers, with their insatiable desire for newness curiously integrated with their ancient culture. Zambrano was enchanted by the excitement and interest surrounding the world of fashion and design in Shanghai.
Through Lusasul’s appeal to the Asian market, Zambrano wishes to provide a connection with Mexican culture. Through her jewels, Carmen hopes to appeal to those who hold a desire to possess something from far away. While ‘exotic’ places are becoming increasingly rare in our international world, Zambrano believes that the greatest differences can be found within culture and tradition. The vast contrast between Mexican and Chinese culture makes working with Chinese people all the more enticing for the designer.
Zambrano expresses her preference for simplicity when describing the aesthetic of Lusasul. The designer’s pieces are always embedded with a deep and meaningful narrative, however, the talented designer strives to relay this in a simplistic manner. Carmen’s pieces are based on knowledge and research, in the hopes that they can be passed on as unique, intellectual gestures.
When asked how she wants people to feel in her designs, Carmen says:
“I would like people to feel that they are fulfilling the desire of owning something significant, emotions are an inherent part of our nature and jewellery can appeal to that part of ourselves.”
With special thanks to Carmen Zambrano for her insightful words and artistic inspirations.
Written by Anneka Shally
Edited by Christina Wright