Matthew Campbell Laurenza, famed jewelry designer and founder of MCL, was recently in Houston showing his gorgeous collection at Tootsies.
MCL woman’s collection launched at Bergdorf Goodman in 2007. Today, the brand is sold through more than 100 retailers in 36 countries. The jewelry is known for its eclectic, worldly and colorful designs. They are statement pieces…true wearable sculptures.
I'm going to start this interview right off the bat and ask about your lucky number 29. What is that about?
29 has always been my lucky number. I was born October 29th and have five good friends who were also born on October 29th. I also have good friends who were born on the 29th of every month except Nov. and Dec. I lost my computer while going through security at an airport and it showed up at terminal/gate 29. Neiman Marcus and Harrods of London both showed my jewelry for the first time on the 29th of the month (they set the dates, not me).
You recently founded the on-line magazine M29. Tell us about that.
We started M29 to share the MCL lifestyle way beyond people owning a piece of our jewelry. M29 is a fantastic platform to promote a wonderful lifestyle of travel, restaurants, beautiful things and interesting people. Most people who write for M29 are friends of mine. Our readers are those with a curiosity for a lifestyle out of the norm.
You are extremely well-travelled. You average 4 countries and 12 cities per month. What are a few of your favorite places?
I love New York for its energy. I love Hong Kong because everything works just right there and on time. I love Paris for its depth, it has layer after layer.
On the same note, as well-traveled as you are, what places on your bucket list have you yet to travel to?
I want to go to Egypt and Bali. I also want to go to Cuba, it’s supposed to be like a time-warp there.
Where is home base for you?
I spend most of my time in Hong Kong and Bangkok because I do a lot of production there. I am the only designer in my company and like to be very hands-on.
What is one of your hobbies?
I am obsessive collector. I collect things from all over the world and always manage to find a place to put them.
I know that your jewelry is a favorite of stylists and has been worn by many celebrities. Any particular type of woman?
No, that’s what I love. My jewelry can be worn by so many different types of women and it can compliment so many different types of looks. It has been worn by Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Willow Smith, Nikki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Annette Benning and Meryl Streep, just to name of few.
You grew up in Kentucky and went off to college to study architecture. How does that lead to becoming a world-renowned jewelry designer?
Well, I love architecture, but turns out I hate math. That led to me switching schools to study sculpture, which led to me making molds for jewelry.
Tell us something humorous about yourself.
I am the most computer illiterate person you will ever meet. I can barely do emails. I design all of my jewelry on paper and if something has to involve a computer, I have someone else handle it.
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