Q: Where do you travel for inspiration?
A: My collection and work are based on diverse cultures, so I travel extensively for fresh ideas. My goal is to visit at least two different countries every year. Last year, I spent time in Istanbul (Turkey) and Kenya.
Q: Your wrap bracelets are wildly popular. What inspired you to create them?
A: It was a trip to India, where I met a man dressed all in white except for his colorful thread bracelet. The bracelet was cool and it really stood out against the white. I asked him where I could get one and he said, “With many prayers to God in the temple, you could get these blessed bracelets free of charge.” I went to the temple, said my prayers and got my own bracelet — and the idea for the first Chan Luu wrap bracelet was born the next day!
Q: We love that the majority of your jewelry is handcrafted in the U.S. Where else are you manufacturing?
A: We’re known for taking indigenous, ancient techniques and modernizing them, so we have skilled designers that realize my vision right in our studios in Los Angeles. All prototypes are made in Los Angeles, under my supervision. I have a small factory in Vietnam. We also make jewelry in India. It really depends on the intricacy of the work.