Leslie was just interviewed for a fantastic Spanish-language online site, Culturamas. (www.culturamas.es).
Just click on the link below, and enjoy.
Here is an English translation:
The designer, co-founder of Cinemania magazine in Mexico, daughter of Marcos Fastlicht (Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City), talks in this interview about her jewelry collection, her fascination with Hindu culture, her vision for the jewelry industry in Mexico, annual collections, inspiration by her grandmothers and various upcoming projects.
LFR Designs collections are timeless pieces; the finest jewelry designs, handmade evocative and vibrant, eclectic refined, bold and original, created with the purpose to allow women to express their style with a touch of culture and art.
With Maharaja Indian influences and a tribute to the master craftsmen of Italy and Thailand, Leslie Russo Fastlicht jewelry designs are authentic and rich tapestries of stones and gems. Weaving a juxtaposition of materials, feathers chain quartz baroque pearls, woven with chamois, turquoise mixed with rose gold, Leslie creates jewelry designs imbued with wisdom, culture elegance, energy and ancient wisdom.
Leslie is constantly inspired by her grandmothers, who were both very stylish women.
Mauricio A. Rodriguez Hernandez: Did you study design or any related course?
Fastlicht Leslie Russo: I studied literature and history at Boston University. Nothing to do with design.
MRH: Is anyone in your family dedicated to the artistic world?
LFR: In my immediate family, I have a distant cousin who is an actor– Ricardo Fastlicht.
MRH: Why are you interested in Hindu culture?
LFR: I have a fascination with Indian culture since I studied history; I think this is a culture that in many ways is similar to the Mexican culture. Both are characterized by their nobility and warmth, for their colorful and artistic wealth.
I actually just returned from a trip to North India and it was a wonderful experience!
As I take inspiration from Indian culture for my collection, I am very attracted to the colors and aesthetics of the jewelry worn by the Maharajas.
Rajasthan has a rich tradition of jewelry. Jaipur remains one of the world capitals for the cutting of precious and semi-precious stones. I love the fact that with Hindus, no matter what their social class or caste, all women are adorned with jewelry, and if you subscribe to the theory that more is better, well… I love that. In India, you see women walking the streets or fields in gorgeous saris and with arms full of bracelets. Earrings are huge, and they wear jewelry as a celebration of their art, culture, and beauty!
MRH: Tell us a little about your jewelry collection. How were you inspired?
LFR: I think what most defines my collections is its eclectic nature. I like big and colorful designs. I love to combine the look of the 70s with modern materials such as wood and resin. My necklace chains are large and heavy, inspired by models of the 70s, but I use interchangeable charms and pendants. I also use Buddhas, carved corals, pearls, rough-cut stones.
The inspiration was my two grandmother; they learned not to be afraid to wear anything! They used to wear huge pieces of jewelry, unique and authentic.
That’s what really defines me and my look. It’s encouraging to transmit an ethnic look with an original aesthetic, to combine a myriad of textures and materials.
MRH: How do you build a collection?
LFR: The first thing I must do is find the stones and materials, so I travel to different places and absorb the richness of different cultures and try to express that in my pieces.
Inspiration comes from everywhere. I love the cultures found in Africa and New Guinea, which use wild boar horn to produce divine necklaces. What I try to do is recreate that ethnic look and feel; perhaps use the same boar horn but mix it with golden link chains. In my workshop, I collect different materials, and combine them to make pieces that I would wear and I know my clients will wear.
MRH: In your professional life, has it been difficult to bear the surname Fastlicht?
LFR: Not at all, in fact I feel quite comfortable in anonymity.
MRH: Are you satisfied with your achievements so far?
LFR: I feel very fortunate, very blessed. I did not expect to have such success. Sometimes I can’t believe my good luck, but I have worked very hard and love what I do.
MRH: What are your dreams?
LFR: My dreams are to continue to take inspiration and produce different and original collections. I want the woman who wears one of my pieces to feel transported to the place that inspired it. I do not take anything for granted. Every day that passes is one that I appreciate that I can engage in this professional part of my life.
MRH: What are your expectations for this collection?
LFR has been widely accepted. My biggest challenges are to convince women not to be afraid to wear large jewelry designs..
MRH: Let’s talk about arts appreciation in Mexico?
LFR: In Mexico, we have a rich jewelry tradition. I would love, for example, to see that young people have more access to our outstanding goldsmiths, and I’d like to see more young Mexican designers be represented at international jewelry fairs. There is much talent that should be exported to the rest of the world.
MRH: What’s next in the professional life of Leslie Fastlicht Russo?
LFR: I would love to grow the brand of LFR Designs, design a line of home accessories… but we’ll see. For now, I’m very happy with the four annual jewelry collections we create.