Considered by many to be works of art, Paula Mendoza’s jewelry is heavily influenced by her Colombian roots. And in addition to her work for her namesake brand, the Bogotá-born creative has just been named creative director of L.A Cano, the oldest and most respected jewelry makers in Colombia.
A family brand, L.A. Cano has been collaborating with native artisans to produce handmade jewelry for over 100 years, and is known for its unique reinterpretations of pre-Columbian art and artefacts. The company works mostly in gold, and indeed has a longstanding relationship with El Museo del Oro, the capital’s Museum of Gold, after furnishing it with a third of its world-renowned collection.
And it’s the rich, red-hued gold of her native country that has also inspired Paula Mendoza’s career, her sculptural statement pieces a favorite of celebrities, fashion editors and stylists alike. Despite now being based in the United States, the designer’s family run workshop is still located in Bogotá, and all her gems are sourced from Colombia. She is also an ardent supporter of fellow Colombian designers, and her jewelry can often be seen adorning the models on Esteban Cortazar’s runways.
The first Paula Mendoza collection for L.A Cano will be launching in September, and in the meantime she will be mentoring Latin American artisans at Omina2018, the inaugural summit co-founded by Carmen to address the sustainability challenges facing the fashion industry.