Behind the Brand: Loren Stewart
Accessories are the things that can transform an ordinary look into an extraordinary one, so we always stay stocked with tons of options in The Shoppe. Jewelry specifically happens to be our CURATEUR-and-chief Rachel Zoe’s favorite ways easily to amp up any ensemble, and we know it’s one of our members’ favorite categories as well! That said, we’re confident you’re going to fall for one of our latest featured brands, Loren Stewart!
When it came time to curate our new fall box, the Los Angeles-based jewelry brand was a no-brainer to include. We love the fact that its East Coast-meets-West-Coast aesthetic is edgy yet still so wearable for a variety of personal styles, and even a simple piece can become such a standout. The Deux Open Band Ring and the Toggle Double Wrap Bracelet (which members can choose between) embody this cool, modern vibe perfectly, and we know you’re going to love incorporating them into your fall wardrobe in so many different ways! But since they’re also so classic, you’ll also be wearing them for seasons and years to come!
But even if you’re not one of our Curation Members, you can still get your hands (and neck, and ears) on some of Loren Stewart’s bestsellers through CURATEUR! All members can shop the brand’s chic pieces in our curated e-storefront for exclusive prices!
To celebrate this exciting partnership, we chatted with Loren Stewart’s founder, Rachel Loren, to share the story behind the buzzworthy jewelry brand. Read on to get the full scoop, including the nostalgic piece of jewelry that inspired her journey, why Los Angeles is such a driving creative force in her design process, and how she love to wear the pieces featured in our fall box and Shoppe.
Not yet a member? Head to our homepage to learn the different ways you can get access to brands like Loren Stewart plus so many more products and perks!
What are the three adjectives that best describe the Loren Stewart aesthetic? And why?
Nostalgic, experimental, classic. Nostalgia is a major theme for the brand. We want to evoke the magic of the elegant heirloom jewelry your grandparents may have worn, while also paying homage to the underground movements and style vanguards I looked up to as a teenager. We often reference pop culture from the 80s and 90s, as these were formative eras for me, and such creatively and politically dynamic times. That culture clash is still shaping fashion today, and is something represented in our jewelry. Experimental and classic, because we want to honor the tradition and integrity of fine materials, but reinvent and re-contextualize them to be something new and unexpected.
Tell us about your first (or an early) memory of how jewelry became so significant to you.
My Great Aunt Pearl and Grandma Lilly were both glamorous and sophisticated, I loved raiding their closets when I was a little girl. Exploring and playing dress-up in their closets was my fetish as a kid. Closets were a playground where I could peek into someone’s past, they are so intimate and intriguing. They had jewelry boxes of both fine and costume jewelry, and always had long painted nails and big cocktail rings on. Their hands are imprinted in my mind. I also have memories of my grandpa Sid wearing his thick gold “S” chain and my grandpa Ozzie with his Chai pendant, both of course with unbuttoned open collar shirts. I inherited the “S” chain, among several other amazing pieces that I get inspiration from everyday.
And how did you make the move from a passion for wearing/collecting jewelry to launching your own line?
When I was in my twenties, I knew I loved real gold, but my appetite for fine jewelry exceeded my ability to buy it. I wasn’t finding things that I liked and could afford, so I melted down some of my old jewelry and made my first signet ring. I loved the process of having a conceptual idea and making it into something tangible. I’ve been making jewelry ever since.
Can you share a bit about how your hometown of LA inspires the brand on a daily basis?
The brand was born and bred in LA. It was built as a love letter to the idiosyncrasies and diversity that define Los Angeles. I started Loren Stewart by diving into the labyrinth of the jewelry district in downtown LA, where it was possible to learn about a trade and craft. It’s packed with artisans, craftsmen and dealers from all over the world—Persians, Armenians, Indians, Guatemalans, Mexicans, etc. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles so it’s really inspiring to work in these beautiful ornate buildings among some of the most talented jewelers in the world.
How has the Loren Stewart brand evolved since its beginnings?
Since the beginning the brand has been about fine materials and pieces that are cool and forward, but also timeless, “live-in-it” jewelry meant for everyday. This is still consistent with the brand today, but we have evolved by introducing more bold statement pieces. We started working with vermeil (14kt gold plated sterling silver), which is a more affordable option, but still precious and beautiful.
How do the two pieces you chose for our fall box best represent the brand to our CURATEUR members, particularly anyone getting to know you for the first time?
Both the Deux Ring and the Toggle Double Wrap Bracelet are a twist on nostalgia. The Deux Ring has an eighties feel, with 2 oversized bands, one that sort of floats above the finger. The Toggle Double Wrap Bracelet is reminiscent of a vintage toggle style, and has a two-for-one function, which our brand is all about: Self-styling. Wrap it twice around the wrist or as a choker with the toggle as a pendant. We love multi-functional products.
What are some of your favorite ways to wear these pieces?
Layered with other jewelry. I love the Toggle Chain as a choker, layered with other longer chains, or double wrapped on the wrist mixed with other bracelets. Layering jewelry is such a great way to re-invent pieces, giving them a whole new purpose.
What are some of your other favorites to wear this season and why?
The Mini Triangle Safety Pin Earrings are a staple for me, I never take them off and they are so comfortable to sleep in. 14K gold safety pins are subtle punk statement, but elevated in real gold.
I love the Corazon Pearl Necklace. The rose quartz heart is really mood lifting and boosts feelings of self-love and gratitude. I especially love this pearl necklace layered with other chains, it’s perfect to mix different textures together along the neckline. The 14K gold details also make this piece have a special heirloom quality.
The Crescent Hoops are a subtle power hoop: Bold, but also very classic and polished. I love them worn with a stacked ear with lots of piercings, but also worn solo. They are very versatile, the crescent shape is very flattering and can be styled for any occasion from day to night.