An interview with Linn LømoWritten by Michaela Widergren
Linn Lømo is the inspiring Norweigan designer responsible for the eponymous jewelry brand, Lømo. Using sculptural shapes both organic and futuristic, Linn creates original and personal pieces with Lola Rykiel as her primary muse.
Where are you right now? And what do you have planned for today?
It is a Tuesday morning, I am at my studio in Chelsea [NYC], and I am sitting by my desk having my 2nd café latte, pouring all my energy into the finalization of the new collection for SS14! This is the most exciting part of my job, developing a new collection and making the first models that really sculpt the collection for the season. However it is also a little scary. There is so much anticipation and many expectations that follow the presentation of a new collection and a new season. It can all be a little nerve wracking.
We are actually using some new techniques for this new season, and later today I have a meeting with a production design lab that is going to help me in the development of some large-scale models. This particular piece will be the main statement piece for the new collection, and I am very excited about it all! I always try to learn new techniques and be open to new ideas, as I feel that you need to move outside of your comfort zone and sometimes push the envelope, to move forward as a designer.
Who’s your favorite person that has worn your jewelry? And who would be the ultimate?
My favorite person that has worn LØMO has to be Lola Rykiel. Not only is she a muse to the brand, but she has also become a great personal friend. Lola could be described as a fashion royalty: her grandmother Sonia Rykiel is a fashion legend in her own right, and her father is the CEO of Brown’s [a chain of luxury department stores in London]. There is no doubt that Lola has inherited some of her grandmothers immaculate style and eye for design, and her father’s head for business. She has inspired me to be proactive and helped me expand my visions for my business. She also always has the most AMAZING manicure that makes my rings look so incredibly fantastic on her. I just love seeing her wear my designs!
When it comes to an ultimate person, I don’t have a specific person in mind. To be quite honest, it is much more satisfying and exciting to see a normal person wearing one of my pieces. Someone to whom I have no personal connection, and has no idea who I am, but fell in love with the brand and design and can fit the jewelry into their personal wardrobe. It is a tremendous honor and it very special for me as a designer.
Who is your customer?
I believe my customer is a lover of fashion, art and design.
I think that my collections have those unique statement pieces that speak to a very fashion forward customer, but also pieces that are more delicate that attract a more discreet customer. It’s all in the details! I believe jewelry is what gives away part of the wearer’s personality. I see it as curating your wardrobe, and the jewelry you wear may change a whole outfit.
I also think my customers range widely in age, from young adults to mature women.
Tell me about the production, how do you work?
Every piece that hits the stores passes through my hands. I work very closely with my assistant and our interns, and together we are responsible for all the production. Everything is made in-house at our studio in Chelsea, in New York. It is a huge challenge, but it is also very important that we know that the quality is up to par and that the product is perfect. We also have our trusted partners in the local diamond district in New York, were we do our castings and gold vermeil.
I think that the most crucial stage to the production actually starts at the very beginning in the development of a new collection. I always make sure that we make perfect models that can be produced cost efficiently, and are both beautiful and comfortable to wear.
How difficult is it to be original in the jewelry business?
It is absolutely a challenge. However, I work very hard in the research of inspiration and collection developing phases. I find if you focus on the feeling you want to exude in the pieces, its much easier to come up with new ideas. I spend a lot of time on the development stage of a new collection. To give some insight on my design process, I can tell you that it always varies slightly depending on the needs of the collection, but it always starts with inspiration!
I love art and history, and I gather most of my inspiration by going to museums to see art and sculpture. I usually choose an art piece, sculpture or painting as the main inspiration piece for the season, and then continue to do extensive research on the chosen piece and its subject matter. I work in a very thematic way, and like to lose myself in in the inspiration. The current collection in stores right now for FW13 is called Salome. My main source of inspiration is a painting by Gustave Moreau by the same name. It is actually the study to a later finished version. I saw it for the first time years ago while I was still a student living in Paris, and it made a huge impression on me. It embodies the story of the historical figure, Salome, her story and her beauty.
Which piece is your favorite?
This is a hard question to answer. I have so many favorite pieces, and it is really hard to choose just one specific piece. But if I have to choose one, I think I would have to say the LOLA Ring. It was very much a game changer for me in terms of my design process and the direction of my later collections. I had the idea to do a double ring that covered the whole finger years ago, but it wasn’t until the SS13 collection it came to fruition.
The LOLA Ring opened up many doors. It allowed me to move forward and think outside the box with my designs and future visions. I also think there is something so beautiful about this piece, that it is so simple, yet so intricate at the same time.
What do you have planned for the future?
Ah, the future!! I have great things planned. I want to expand to shoes and handbags, and travel bags and suitcases. I also have a three-year business plan, but that constantly has to be updated and evolve as the brand and company grow. To be honest, when it comes down to specifics with future collections and sales, I only plan about two seasons ahead. There is so much to keep track of at any given moment, there is only so much you can plan for. You always have to be ready to take on a new challenge and be innovative in your problem solving. In my line of business you have to be a YES person, and dream big! And one of the most important things is to work with a good team! I am very lucky to have a fantastic family that is very supportive, and work with an amazing publicist and sales manager that help me achieve the goals. No man is an island; you need to trust in others to make great things happen.