Jetsetting With Fashion Designer Chan Luu
Artistic skill in combining organic shapes with contemporary ideas has become the trademark of designer Chan Luu, who creates jewelry, accessories, and ready-to-wear pieces. The Vietnam native continues to be a trend leader in the fashion industry, designing pieces that have been featured in the top fashion magazines and adorned Hollywood’s hottest celebrities.
From October 31 to November 3, Chan will be at the AlmArte Boutique at the Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the “Chan Luu Collection” package, a pop-up event where attendees can purchase limited edition pieces made especially for Capella and interact with Chan, the featured designer. This event, which is part of the “Capella Collection Trunk Show Series,” will also recognize the Day of the Dead holiday.
Q: What type of traveler are you? (i.e., adventurer, cultural explorer, free spirit, rejuvenator, spa aficionado, etc.)
A: I am a cultural explorer, always soaking in the culture wherever I go.
Q: What types of activities do you like to do on your travels? Do you look for a place where it’s quiet and you can relax or someplace that has great activities or nightlife?
A: I like a place surrounded with nature, a little on the backward side, and still raw and very, very green. I love to mingle with villagers. Less is more for me.
Q: When thinking about where you will travel to next, what inspires you to make a decision? And what, if any, research do you do about that destination?
A: I read extensively about the place I will travel to next. I like to explore and am always intrigued by interesting culture, art, history, and people.
Q: What is the most memorable trip you’ve taken and why?
A: I was in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. There, I visited an elephant sanctuary where abused elephants are rescued. I adopted my baby elephant Famai, which means “sunshine,” there.
Q: What is the best food you’ve ever found on a trip?
A: Istanbul. You could pop into a casual restaurant anywhere and the food is authentic, freshly made right in front of you, beautifully presented, and delicious. Turkish coffee and Turkish tea—yummy!
Q: What, if anything, do you always take with you when you travel?
A: I always take my iPhone to communicate and to listen to my music as well as my iPad to read while on the go.
Q: What’s your best piece of travel advice?
A: My best advice is to respect the culture of a place and go with the flow. If you are traveling alone, stay in a decent hotel, hire a driver who has a contract with your hotel, and let the concierge know your plan of the day. Always be aware of your surroundings by reading about your location and doing research. It is best to get acquainted with the locals. Explore and explore. Be sure to always look around you, there is so much to be seen and to learn.
Q: Is there a destination to which you can’t imagine not returning?
Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
Q: Where would you like to travel to next?
Q: Tell us about your upcoming project(s)?
A: Right now I have upcoming projects working with Native Americans using their amazing craft and skill. I also am working to try to raise money to prevent animal poaching in Africa. I admire the Prince William cause called Tusk. I want to do something to help stop elephant poaching; that really has to stop sooner than later. I will also be at Capella Pedregal at the end of October for a very special fashion pop-up event at the AlmaArte Boutique in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Chan Luu’s Bio:
Jewelry, accessories, and ready-to-wear designer Chan Luu moved from Vietnam to Boston in 1972 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Boston University. In 1975, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer, receiving a degree in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She opened her own boutique in Rolling Hills Estates, which carried European designer clothing and accessories for women, and, in 1996, began designing her own accessories, marking the beginning of Chan Luu Inc. Chan is now known for her beautiful wrap bracelets, which come in an array of sterling silver, gold vermeil, custom-dyed leathers, and hand-cut, semi-precious stones.