Diamonds might be forever, but for Lana Bramlette, the designer behind Chicago-based line Lana Jewelry, it’s glittering gold that’s the symbol of eternal love. “In the beginning, I wanted to let the world know that I was committed to my boyfriend, who is now my husband, so I designed a nameplate necklace with his name on it,” she says. It wasn’t long before her designs became a staple of Hollywood starlets — Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna are all well-documented fans. InStyle magazine has even crowned her the reigning queen of hoops.
Despite being sold in more than 300 stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, her majesty has never forgotten her roots. “I wanted to make jewelry for a girl like me,” she says. “[When I started] I was 27 years old and finally making my own money. Fake jewelry just wasn’t appealing. I felt like I was worth more.”
This September marked the 10th anniversary of Lana Jewelry and to celebrate, Bramlette brought back her signature nameplates with a twist: They have romantic words like “Love” (pictured below), “Taken” and “Luck.” “It’s like that idea in the ’50s when girls got pinned,” she says. “The nameplates are so personal.”
And there’s much more on the horizon: The spring 2013 collection will be “very, unbelievably colorful,” Bramlette teases. “It’s extremely new for Lana because we’re so known for gold.” Whatever colors the future might bring, it’s sure to set the gold standard.
To recharge her creativity, she spends Sunday with the people who make her shine.
After Bramlette, her husband, Rob, and 2-year-old daughter Blake wake up, they take their golden retriever, Rocco, for a walk around the city.
It’s time to take Blake on an educational field trip; favorites include the polar bears at Lincoln Park Zoo (2001 N. Clark), butterflies at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon) and the sea lions at the Shedd Aquarium (1200 S. Lakeshore).
Lunch is served. “We love Greek Islands [200 S. Halsted] for a little saganaki. Opa!”
Naptime for Blake. “Every parent knows this is a sacred, happy time. I get to rest, watch all my housewives on Bravo, eat ice cream in bed and run out and get a massage at Urban Oasis [939 W. North].”
Dinner at their favorite spot: Piccolo Sogno (464 N. Halsted). “We like places where you are treated like gold, because you know I am into that.”
— Zak Stemer