Friday, February 3, 2012

KAORU: A Look Inside

Kaoru Nakanishi is the head designer and director of KAORU, by far one of our best selling collections (and we're lucky to have her, she is carried in only a handful of stores stateside). Hailing from Kyoto, Japan, Kaoru is the perfect person to kick off this series with us. She's uber talented, very prolific - practically a jewelry legend in Japan - and is going to be in town this weekend doing a trunk show with us (more on that in a minute)!!

How did you get into jewelry making and how long have you been at it?
Since I was young I was into fashion and accessories, and I especially loved and was
fascinated by jewelry with fine and delicate workmanship. It was natural then for me to
go into jewelry making and it has been 18 years since I started.

Describe a day in your life as a designer...
I am a late starter to the day. I get up late and have my own time at home in the morning, arriving at the workshop by early afternoon. I work late but I do pop out to take a break in the afternoon to refresh myself and also to seek inspiration. I get my best ideas at night as my engines start late in the day. I also enjoy the city’s night life which I like to share with my team, which always involves the amazing cuisine of Kyoto.

What are some of your inspirations?
My family for generations have lived in Kyoto and made SHAMISEN (a small Japanese
Guitar) so I have been hugely influenced by the tradition and old customs of Kyoto
Therefore, my design has been inspired by the style of historical architecture and
traditional crafts of my home city. I believe that jewellery should be uplifting and joyful so whenever I design a piece I concentrate on how a person would feel when they wear it.

What trends do you think will be big this year?
Something bright and colourful, which also gives us energy and makes us happy.

Give us one fun fact about yourself/line...
We have a cat in our workshop who was a stray and she adopted us. Sometimes when I
lose my temper with my team she meows as if to say “leave my friends alone”. It makes me laugh and I forget why I was angry in the first place. She is amazing.

What's on your playlist right now?
I love the musical "Mamma Mia!" and I have already seen the film over 30 times! Whenever I am in the mood to design and make jewelry, I have to listen to those fabulous Abba songs.