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Lili Claspe's Instagram feed is filled with gorgeous gems donned by gorgeous women. Launched in 2011 by Stephanie Tchamanian, the Orange County-based brand has slowly worked its way into the jewelry boxes of today's hottest models and genetically-blessed influencers, including Hailey Baldwin, Taylor Hill, Jasmine Tookes, Sahara Ray, and Rumi Neely.
Intrigued by this model magnet, we sat down with Tchamanian to learn about Lili Claspe's rise to fame and which British pop star she'd have a "permanent ugly cry face" for if she saw them in one of her pieces.
What were you doing before designing jewelry?
I started out in the corporate world in order to make ends meet, because certain circumstances forced me to provide for myself at an early age. But this also never allowed me the opportunity to explore my passions and figure out what type of work I really wanted to do. I eventually got that chance and I'm so glad it led me to jewelry.
What inspired you to launch Lili Claspe?
About six years ago I came across an agate necklace that I liked, but couldn't afford. I had this urge to make a similar version for myself, so I did. It was bought off my neck, and I just continued with it - teaching myself new methods, different styles of pieces, and expanding from there.
The brand was launched after three months of making jewelry for my friends, and it became Lili Claspe—inspired by a nickname I had given to my late sister, Lisa, when I was little. She's the driving force behind everything I put into my brand.
What was your line's big break?
A big moment for the line happened in 2014 when Victoria's Secret angel Candice Swanepoel posted a photo on Instagram wearing the "Rope The Moon" lariat ($185). It translated into long nights fulfilling orders, but it was worth it, and I'm so grateful that she continues to support the line!
So many models love the line. Do they reach out to you, do you gift them, or do they just buy them on their own?
Honestly, it's a mix of all. It's pretty exciting when well-known names come through our online orders. These are people who constantly receive free merchandise from designers, so when they decide to place an order because they genuinely like a piece, that's pretty damn cool.
What is your current bestseller?
The current bestseller is the Coraliz Harness ($215). I noticed that we started receiving a lot more attention for our body chains once this piece was released.
What is your bestseller of all time?
The "Rope The Moon" lariat I mentioned. It's remained a classic Lili Claspe piece, and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to let it go.
Who would you love to see wearing one of your pieces?
I don't fangirl much, but, Adele. I would have permanent ugly cry face. What up, Adele?!
What do you love about working in OC? Would you ever consider moving to LA?
This is something I take into consideration every day. From a creative standpoint, I find working in the OC more appealing—it allows me the freedom and the space I need to tap into what inspires me. But from a production standpoint, being outside of LA can be a struggle sometimes— that 405 freeway gives me nightmares! I'm always keeping an open mind in order to find the right balance and what works best for my company.
What are your big dreams for the line?
The sky is not the limit. Jewelry will always be my first love, but I'm also looking forward to expanding my designs outside of jewelry and possibly into handbags, eyewear, and clothing. My dad always said to me, "slow down, life is not a race." That is what has helped me get to where I am today; I plan to hold onto it as I venture into more of these passions.