Joanna Laura Costantine – aka JLC – is not only beautiful, but her creativity, hard work and strong will to succeed have landed her on the pages of esteemed glossy magazines including the likes of Vogue. The Beirut-based designer shows FashionRepublik her new Baroque-inspired collection where she mixes the old with new, to bring out originally designed pieces that stand out beautifully. And that’s not all… read on…
When did you realize that you wanted to become a designer?
As long as I could remember, I always wanted to be a designer!
Do you normally follow a theme while designing a new collection?
Following a theme is a must! There’s always a strong theme which is developed into different earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets and in different color combinations. Some examples of recent themes were Americana collection inspired by Native American Indian design and culture. Another theme was the Baroque Collection, which is inspired by French design and architecture during the Baroque and Rococo periods.
Where did you study?
I did Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design in New York after I completed my MBA at the Lebanese American University here in Beirut.
What was the first item you designed?
The first item that I designed was a hammered earring with chain fringe with a matching necklace.
You’re featured in international glossy magazines, tell us the feeling you get… and we’re sure it wasn’t easy getting there…
Getting international press is not easy at all. It’s expensive and quite competitive. The feeling is always amazing especially when I got featured three times in a row in VOGUE PARIS.
Tell us about the hardships you faced and how you overcome them?
It’s a continuous challenge because you always want more. Getting in more stores, new markets, designing new collections etc… The only way to overcome these challenges is by loving the job in all it’s aspects and immerse into it.
How come you decided to come back to Lebanon, although you were in NYC?
I wanted to create my own atelier in Beirut in order develop my line and to be able to control the quality and the cost. I decided to do it in Beirut not only because I am Lebanese but because of the great jewelry craftsmanship available.
Tell us about your new collection…
The new collection is inspired by Baroque design. It consists of different designs of leaves, flowers , statement necklaces, unique ear-cuffs and earrings. I mixed old with new. Some necklaces and earrings for example are made with laser cut plexi-glass combined with gold plated brass.
If you want to give advice to young and talented people out there, what three things would you tell them?
- Be passionate in what you do
- Be patient because it will take some time to get you name and designs out there
- Be bold and striking in your designs. If your designs don’t stand out then you will be just be another line of clothes or jewelry
What trends are you into this season?
I am obsessed with ear-cuffs! I cannot stop making more and more designs.
What are your favorite items in your closet and why?
Balmain leather pants, Zadig et Voltaire t-shirt and black blazer, Barbara Bui black python sneakers!
If we open your bag now, what will we find?
Emm, a mini-note book, pencil case, hard disk with all my files and pictures, my iPad and my favorite red Guerlain lipstick