Chan Luu, the creator of the iconic wrap bracelet, is a trendsetting jewelry designer from Vietnam. She started handmaking jewelry at an early age stringing shells she collected from the beach in her hometown, Nha Tran. She dedicated decades to the Retail business and in 1996 began her jewelry line out of her garage in Los Angeles after obtaining two degrees back to back in Business and Fashion Design. While many of her pieces start with inspiration in the natural world, they're often transformed into chic finished pieces glossing the cover of fashion magazines, scores of celebrities and fashion lovers are smitten with her earthy/urban aesthetic and the quality and personality of her craft are now an admired treasure for jewelry lovers across the world.
"People say when they put on one of my bracelets or pieces, it instantly feels personal. It has an effect on people, and I think it is spiritual."—Chan Luu
The wrap bracelets Chan Luu is most known for, are a combination of handwoven genuine leather, semi-precious stones, and Swarovski crystals that wrap around the wrist offering an original piece of wearable art. Her easy-relating to mountain and beach landscapes comes across when combining gems and traditional handmade crafts that become a personal treasure to women of all ages.
She says "I'm very interested in diverse culture. As a designer, my specialty is using the craft of the country I go to because their craft is their culture. I recreate it and make it modern for the fashion world."
The wrap bracelets were not how she became famous, however, in an interview with Chron.com she tells the story:
"One of my first trends was pieces created with hand-painted seashells. I sold them to a store in L.A. Brad Pitt saw one and bought it for Jennifer Aniston, when they were a hot couple. She was photographed wearing it sitting between George Clooney and Brad at an Armani fashion show. That put me on the map. Celebrities love my things. Sometimes when I go to an event, I'm almost embarrassed how many people I see wearing my pieces. A lot of stylists go through my L.A. showroom and pick out things for movies, like "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight."
A piece showcasing Chan Luu’s gorgeous selection of semi-precious stones is the Multi Cabochon Wrap Bracelet, a multi-color array of turquoise, sodalite, red jasper cabochons, and bronze shade Swarovski® crystals compliment the natural brown leather strand.
Chan Luu has a variety of designer jewelry pieces to die for. Her yellow gold horn necklace is another famous piece that perfectly demonstrates an elegant design but keeping a bohemian vibe. The relative simplicity of the chain and the bold horn pendant makes it perfect for layering. While the crescent shape symbolizes the moon, it is also a representation of goddesses during ancient times. Plus, it was featured in the movie "The Shallows" worn by Blake Lively in the beach scene making this horn necklace a genuinely iconic piece. There's a touch of refined flair and handmade beauty condensed into an accessory well-worth adoring.
Other pieces that demonstrate her elegance in design is the pearl collection. Chan's feminine combination of sparkly diamonds, creamy mother-of-pearl, stunning labradorite, earthy abalone, and other gorgeous gems, elevates them into the Fine Jewelry category.
In addition to her designs, her jewelry is manufactured in factories that pay their workers a real wage with real health benefits, a privilege not common in many impoverished parts of Asia and Africa. Presently, she is a truly inspirational figure who seeks to encourage the growth and livelihood of many of those who work for her, and especially those who buy from her.
Today, Chan has left her legacy to her niece, Tessa Tran, who has successfully created a collection of stunning pieces that takes us back to Chan's roots where it all started: the beach. Earrings, chokers, anklets, friendship bracelets, charms, wraps, and rings are made with a variety of shells including the trendy cowry shell.
At Girl Intuitive, we're inspired by artists like Chan Luu and other artisans of fine gemstone jewelry that stand out and offer something unique. We believe fashion represents more than just style, it represents the aspirations and individuality of the wearer. Visit us and learn more when you browse through our curated collection of handmade jewelry.