Lana Bramlette of Lana Jewelry is known as the Queen of Hoops, but her dominion includes much more.
By Britt Burritt
"I believe a hoop can take 15 years off your face," says Lana Bramlette, founder and designer of Lana Jewelry. "It's the cheapest, easiest, fastest facelift you will ever have." Her evangelism for the spherical earring is sincere; the jewelry designer wears a pair of her Upside Down hoops every day.
Bramlette founded Lana Jewelry in 2002 in Chicago, where she still runs her company along with her father, Naum Fertelmeister, a Kellogg School of Management graduate who oversees marketing. Bramlette's eight-year-old daughter Blake helps design the Lana Girl line of children's jewelry. "It's very much a family business," she says.
From the beginning Bramlette understood that women desired precious jewelry that wasn't necessarily romantic. Her styles are modern and sleek, something a woman purchases for herself and wears daily. "The way she buys her jeans, her bag, her shoes, now she's buying hoops, necklaces, rings and bracelets," says Bramlette. "It's very approachable and attainable and beautiful."
Her fine fashion jewelry appeals to young professionals and celebrities like Bella Hadid, J.Lo, Priyanka Chopra and Jessica Alba, who want beautiful and meaningful pieces. "It's an investment for yourself," says Bramlette. "Fashion trend jewelry is great, but it doesn't have the same feeling as something that's made of pure gold and diamonds."
Although classics like her Upside Down hoops and Blake necklace are perennials, Bramlette adds many new styles each season. "I start every collection with 'what's the next hoop style?'" says Bramlette. "The hoop this season is our Hollow Ball hoop. We have these beautiful gold beads in various sizes on a wire or flat hoop. They're so fun and cool, very bold."
They are part of the Vice Collection, Bramlette's tribute to her second home, Miami. "We shot the collection at the Soho Beach House in Miami. I pictured beautiful women and what they would wear to a VIP party or the opening of the hottest nightclub," Bramlette says. "They're stunning and precious, but you can dip in the pool or run around in a bathing suit in them, wear them with an evening gown, then to work. They're never to be taken off. It's your favorite piece that you keep layering on."
The wearability of her creations stems from Bramlette's background in apparel. Her considerations go beyond adornment. "When I design jewelry, I look at it from the proportions of a woman: where the earring hits her neck or shoulder, how does it look big or small, where the necklace hits and what she's going to wear it with," says Bramlette. "The bottom line: our jewelry is very sexy. I've heard women say we've brought back the ponytail because they want to show off their earrings or necklace."