Designer Interview: Larissa Landinez
Larissa Landinez is a talented Venezuelan-born designer who moved to Florence, Italy to attend prestigious contemporary jewelry designs schools Alchimia and Le Arti Orafe. Larissa's goal is to design "timeless yet contemporary pieces" - and we think she has certainly achieved that. Using traditional techniques and craftsmanship, Larissa infuses her own sense of style to create truly wonderful pieces infused with her heart and soul.
From the ever-so-enchanting Tuscan city and capital of the Renaissance, Larissa talks to us about her inspirations, her design and the woman she designs for.
Hi Larissa! Let's start with our famous question, shall we? What is your unique story?
I am originally from Venezuela but when I was younger I also lived in the United States - in 3 different cities - where I studied music in a conservatory until I graduated as a computer engineer, believe it or not! I then decided to move to Florence, Italy, to learn jewelry design.
So what or who inspired you to make the jump from computer engineering to jewelry design?
Jewelry had always been a passion which resided in me but I hadn't realized it would one day become my official job. Since I was a child, I loved creating artful things and crafts.
My mother was the person who encouraged me to become a jewelry designer. She definitely saw my creative side from an early age. But it was during my last few years at university that my mother really inspired me to embrace my creative abilities to make jewelry. I first decided to go to Caracas and find suppliers then to New York to begin establishing my brand.
Ten years later, I’ve made a career in jewelry. Certainly a long way off from my undergraduate degree in computer science!
But my real breakthrough came when I moved to Florence, Italy, and studied jewelry design at contemporary jewelry design schools Alchimia and Le Arti Orafe. I feel very blessed to had this opportunity and to live in a city steeped in such a rich jewelry tradition as well as a country that gave me the opportunity to grow professionally.
Who is the typical Larissa Landinez customer?
I pretty much design based on the style that I like to wear. My clients can inspire me a lot and I think I have a little of my mom’s style influences too. Ever since I was a child, I admired her great charm and style.
I envision my customer to be a very delicate, feminine and sensual woman with her own style. A woman who carries her unique style with class rather than representing a certain style or status. I'd expect her to have a charming and glamorous personality as well!
Jewelry gives us that final touch which reflects the inner beauty of our souls. We also show off this beauty with our body, movements and style. We women are all like flowers - we just need to add the right elements to be bright and shinny!
At the end of the day, I want to create timeless jewelry and make women look feminine, glamorous and beautiful.
Do you have any style icons?
I love Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly as icons of beauty and finesse.
What have been your greatest challenges as a designer?
My greatest challenge has been creating pieces that are likable to any woman all over the world. I think that I have been able to do so as I have sold my pieces all around the world in Asia, Europe and America.
What is your design process?
I generally design in two different ways. I can sometimes make drawings from an idea in my mind and then develop them or start experimenting immediately on my workbench after a spark of inspiration.
Learning new techniques helps a lot the process of coming up with new designs. I love to give different finishes to my jewelry so I am always searching and investigating from traditional Florentine techniques to adapt them to my jewelry. It’s very important for me to choose the right stones as well.
Each piece I design and create comes with a lot of passion and love - they’re like a child to me!
My technique definitely represents my personality. I try to use simple and basic techniques as well as adding fine pearls, black coral and diamonds creating contemporary jewelry.
What is your favorite piece you've created and why?
The square bracelets and rings in brass
, gold, white gold with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, gold heart. They were my first collection and I never stopped selling them. Everyone loves them and me too. I think they accomplished my goal of creating timeless yet contemporary pieces.
In any of its forms, this ring
it’s really a piece of jewelry and so refined and elegant.
I can’t never get tired of the square shape. I love its movement and the way you can think a square will not fit your finger or wrist but instead, it works perfectly.
I created the heart bracelets
for Valentine’s day. I have to say it was quite unexpected! But everyone is in love with them and I love them too. But I must confess that they are really particular to wear. You must have personality to carry them. It’s not an easy shape to wear on a wrist but I managed to create just the right measures to be worn easily. And with a heart bracelet, you are sure to have a piece of my heart with you!
I am actually now offering one heart bracelet or one brass square bracelet for free as promotion with any purchase.
is one of my latest creations. It allowed me to combine my main elements of inspiration nature and geometry. It has the particularity of seeming like a different ring from different views. It’s so feminine and sensual. Just perfect in dimensions and style!
Which other designers do you like on Boticca?
I love Poupee Couture
bags. Their designs and colors are outstanding. I think they can go with many of my jewelry. Penabilli
and Selda Okutan
are also designers I admire - they are both very powerful in their work and have a great concept and technique.
So what’s next for you?
Lots of things are next! I just started my new blog, which is not just about my jewelry. I want to give more to the people who follow me. I am creating a belt and handbags line which I had a little preview of on Boticca. Also, more new jewelry to come especially with precious stones!