Interview With Marie-Lise Lachapelle: Designer, Artist & Director Of Her Own World

by guestofaguest · March 4, 2009

Marie-Lise Lachapelle, the very talented Montreal-born jewelry designer, now residing in NoLita is no stranger to the New York scene. Having started out as a stylist, before finally finding her true passion in jewelry design, Marie-Lise has had the experience in all aspects of the fashion world to know just what it takes to make her craft stand out. Though clothing trends come and go, a great piece of jewelry can last forever and really create a look, and Marie-Lise has mastered this art of timeless design that complements anyone’s personal style...



A trendsetter not follower, Marie-Lise Lachapelle’s first signature style was to create beautiful jewelry with genuine leaves and flowers accent, a trend that we are now seeing a lot in jewelry design. Making such pieces and versatility her trademark, most pieces from Marie-Lise’s collections can be worn in more than one way, thus allowing any buyer get many more looks to match various outfits from any single piece.

It is no wonder this young designer has already caught the attention of some major A-listers, who are now fans of her line. We wanted to see what has inspired this fellow New Yorker and also learn about what is to come, read below to find out!

How long have you been living in New York? Has it been hard adjusting when you moved? I've been in NYC for 8 years, but I had spent so much time visiting it before I moved, that it felt like home even before I got my first place.

(LEFT: Marie-Lise Lachapelle Necklaces at the Walter Baker F/W 09 Show)

How have your travel experiences impacted your work and designs? I'm definitely influenced by my travels. One really inspirational trip I took was to Holland some time ago, during which I visited the breathtaking tulip gardens outside of Amsterdam. Mesmerized by the vibrant, bright colors, I was motivated to eventually begin working with natural elements. Throughout the years I have collected stones and beads from all over the world, which also make an appearance in my collections. I actually just finished a piece which includes various purple and green amethyst stones from Brazil.

Were you always interested in such a creative career? I was very creative as a child. Theater, painting and designing were among my main interests. I knew from an early age that regardless of the path I take, I would have to embrace my creativity.

What jobs have you held before deciding to be a jewelry designer? Mostly styling, acting and modeling. While I was in acting school I started taking workshops in jewelry to learn about different techniques of creating it. After a stint in acting in short films and some modeling, I realized that my passion was always in accessorizing.

All of your jewelry is extremely versatile and can be worn in a number of ways, what is your biggest inspiration for designing it in such a way? During the designing process I envision most pieces with flexibility...

(ABOVE: Marie-Lise Lachapelle Earrings at the Ana Maria Fashion Show)

A lot of celebs have been spotted wearing your pieces, how have you been able to get it into their hands? I have often met them at events where they've been introduced to me by mutual friends or acquaintances. Many celebrities have also worn my pieces on photo shoots, and I sometimes offer them to keep it after. Sometimes it's their publicist who approaches me with interest. I have also been a part of different gifting suites such as the ones at the Sundance Film Festival, the Oscars and the Emmys which also gives me great exposure to key people in the industry. There, I get to present my line in person and get the ability to choose who will wear my pieces.

What has been the worst experience you have had in your career as a jewelry designer and how have you been able to get past it/learn from it? Recently, someone that I had been training to assemble pieces stole my trade secrets as well as some signature designs and attempted to breach a non-compete/confidentiality agreement. Fortunately, I was able to intervene through legal action. I learned that it is essential to have a contract with everyone who works with you, especially in the creativity process to protect you interest. Without the contract, it would have been harder to take the proper actions.

What are you looking forward to the most in your career & personal life? Well, I have a baby on the way, so becoming a mother is definitely something I'm looking forward to! I'm sure a child will bring a whole new side to my creativity. I plan on continuing to live in New York City, keep expanding my company and doing what I love.