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New Skins and Colors

New Skin and Colors

Kara Ross knows what women want. Just ask Demi Moore, Eva Mendes and Cameron Diaz, who have all worn the designer’s beautiful creations in gold, diamonds, pearls and other glittering gems on the red carpet. Since launching her fine jewelry and exotic handbag lines, Ross has developed a faithful following of stylish women everywhere. Fresh off a recent visit with our own Style Council, the New York City-based designer chatted with us about her latest collections, modern luxury and her plans for the future.

What was your inspiration for your fall accessories and jewelry collections? What are the key pieces a woman needs in her wardrobe this fall from both?
This fall for me really centers on artisanship. My resort line, in particular, plays with complex textures and techniques while still maintaining that elegantly effortless aesthetic. I have these amazing hexagon cuffs in different skins and colors that you can stack. Unusual combinations of colors and skin textures are key for fall. It’s the perfect way to individualize that lush, yet rugged style so prevalent on the runways. The same is true of a new skin I’m working with—a buffed python. It’s python skin, but treated to be as soft as suede. This amazing subtle touch makes the exotic into a familiar and comfortable texture. 

What’s the best way to personalize a woman’s style with jewelry and accessories?
Never give in to a trend just because it’s a trend. Always accessorize, but make it about you. 

Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
From childhood, after being given the chance to design my own ring with a stone chosen during a family trip to Africa, I was captivated by the feeling of being wholly original and having something to show for it. I always knew I would be in fashion, and it wasn’t long before that feeling directed me into design. My mother introduced me to vintage when I was very young, and the process of searching and finding that quality and that level of design has remained a very active interest to this day. 

What is it about Florida that inspires you? How would you characterize the style of your clients who live here?Florida’s light is wonderful. It brings out such vivid color and crisp lines in everything. It’s really magnificent. I think it would be hard to generalize the style of my clients across Florida, but I imagine that many have the same appreciation of bold color. 

Your collections have always had an element of luxury that makes them unique. How important is that in today’s challenging retail climate?
I think especially now it is important to continue with my commitment to luxury, because in today’s climate, we truly appreciate what it means to have something of that quality—items that are timeless in both aesthetic and construction.  

Where do you see your label going in the future? 
We are expanding soon with a sterling silver, gold and gemstone line exclusively through Neiman Marcus and www.net-a-porter.com in the United States, which is so exciting—the pieces are very architectural and absolutely beautiful. Otherwise, I have to say that with my love of travel and the technology that enables you to “be” in the office from anywhere, I see small leather goods for those [electronic] tools as a natural next step. 

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