CIRCA, the leading buyer of jewelry, diamonds and watches, recently spoke with Ilaria Lanzoni of Hearts On Fire about her style, design inspiration and life as a jewelry designer.
Name: Ilaria Lanzoni
Current hometown(s): Boston, Massachusetts
Current Position: Director of Design at Hearts On Fire
CIRCA: Share with us some of your hidden gems in Boston.
ILARIA LANZONI: Even though I have been in Boston for over a year now, I am still discovering more that I love about this city. Two of my favorite places to frequent are Trade (amazing food and in a great downtown area) and The Barking Crab, a much more low key and casual place but with great New England seafood! And as an Italian, I feel like I have to love the North End – it really does have so much charm to it. For shopping and other activities, nothing is better than Newbury Street in Boston. Every store and designer you can think of lines this beautiful road, and I can wander for hours. Or, I am always game for a quick trip down to New York City – I love absolutely everything about that city with its culture, business and endless design inspiration. I could definitely see myself living there one day.
CIRCA: At CIRCA, we believe every jewel tells a story. Tell us about your favorite or most significant piece of jewelry.
IL: This is like picking a favorite child! But if I have to choose, I would say that my absolute favorite piece right now is from my Lorelei Collection – the Lorelei Infinity ring in yellow gold and diamonds. It seems like a bold piece, but I wear it every day and refuse to take it off! I also still find myself going back to my Illa Collection (all based on stars and comets) for great pieces for layering and wearing every day.
CIRCA: In a few words, how would you describe your personal style? Has it evolved?
IL: I have no idea how to describe myself, but I asked around and everyone told me these three words hit it best – eclectic, fun, and trendy. I think it’s because part of me likes to keep things simple with neutral colors and styles, but I always play up my outfits with shoes and jewelry. I am obsessed with shoes, especially in bright colors or fun styles! Also, I just have such vibrant, wild red hair (as you can see) that I tend to shy away from too much at once.
CIRCA: What do you feel best wearing? Do you have a go-to outfit?
IL: I think I am like all women…it really depends on the day to decide on what my go-to outfit would be. My mood, what I am doing and the weather all play huge factors in those decisions. But I do love anything that is made with silk – you can wear it dressed up or casual, and it always makes you feel good!
CIRCA: Do you have a current favorite designer(s)?
IL: This is really hard. But I think to choose two, I would say Vivian Westwood and Donna Karan. Both of them bring a side to design that I try to emulate. All together I think they represent classic design with fun, cool styles that still stand out from a crowd.
CIRCA: Favorite handbag or pair of shoes?
IL: This might be harder than choosing my favorite piece of jewelry! I love them all – honestly, I do. I think I already mentioned that I am obsessed with shoes, but I am also obsessed with bags. A few that I really love are Balenciaga and Mulberry…their leather is just so soft. And as for shoes, I like anything that is comfortable and sexy (yes, this is possible!). I always think Jimmy Choos are amazing, but I also just got my first pair of Manolo Blahniks…and they are silver glitter. I think that says enough right there! But I really have a bit of everything in my closet, I can’t stop buying them.
CIRCA: We all make impulse purchases – Any regrets or mistakes ?
IL: Bags and shoes are my weakness. I just splurged when I was down in New York City recently, again. I just can’t help it. I definitely didn’t need them, but I don’t ever regret it!
CIRCA: Do you have a role model that has inspired you?
IL: I thought long and hard about this one…and I have to say that Diana Vreeland is definitely my style icon. She was always so fashionable, and so far ahead of all of the trends. Design is a vision, and this is what she represented.
CIRCA: What do you love the most about your job?
IL: As a designer, the best thing is the freedom and creativity that you are given. I love that I don’t have to be stuck in an office all day to come up with good ideas – I actually find most of my inspiration wandering around and going about my everyday life.
CIRCA: Any career advice for aspiring young professionals?
IL: It sounds cliché, but there is nothing better than hard work and determination. You would be surprised how many people have dreams but just give up along the way. I also think it’s really important to get as much experience, professional and personal, as possible. In fashion, jewelry and design especially, integrating those experiences into your work can take you further than you ever know.
CIRCA: What has been an influence to you for your current collection?
IL: So, I just launched two new collections in June – Lorelei and Atlantico – which are both very different from anything Hearts On Fire has ever done before. And both are very different from each other. Lorelei was my chance to integrate trends that are current today with diamonds to create a timeless and elegant feel. The designs in this collection include bows, interlocking hearts, flowers in bloom, lace and infinity shapes – all styles that symbolize friendship and love that I feel are essential to any diamond jewelry brand. Everything feels soft and feminine, much like what I see all around me every day. Atlantico, on the other hand, was actually inspired by the sea. I have traveled a lot – from Italy to England to Boston, and more – and have always been infatuated with the power and beauty of the ocean and its waves. I feel like I was finally able to capture that in Atlantico, with designs that all include twisting lines and bold metal colors for a truly unique look.
CIRCA: An integral part of CIRCA’s culture is philanthropy, and there is nothing more gratifying than the opportunity to help others. Are you involved in a favorite organization? If yes, please share the name of the organization and what it means to you.
IL: I can’t say that I have a favorite yet, but as I have been getting more comfortable in the city and introduced to more things, I have started to think about this much more. At Hearts On Fire, we luckily participate in a lot of philanthropic efforts as a group, but on my own I recently have been applying to participate in the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Walk. I think this just such a powerful organization and event, and I would love to be a part of it and see what else I can do from there.
**Original Blog Post: http://www.circajewels.com/circa-features-hearts-on-fire-jewelry-designer-ilaria-lanzoni-2/