Very few designers can claim to have dressed both the First Lady and Lady Gaga, but fewer share the imagination of jewelers, Erickson Beamon. Founded by Michigan natives Karen Erickson and Eric Erickson in 1983, Erickson Beamon jewelry dazzles worldwide, pioneering the coveted, handcrafted necklaces that are their trademark. Erickson Beamon’s Fall/Winter 2014 partnership with LeSportsac takes the brand’s signature style and gives it the ultimate jewelry treatment. We got the chance to stop and chat with Karen Erickson about all things LeSportsac, Erickson Beamon, and this glamorous travel collection.
LeSportsac: So when did you first learn about LeSportsac?
Karen Erickson: LeSportsac holds a dear place in my heart. My mother loved it! She worked in little special store in Michigan, where I come from, in the 70’s when I was kid. They started selling LeSportsac and she was so excited about it. She brought home the garment bag and all of the bags. She loved the product and shared that love with me. I’ve always loved LeSportsac!
LeSportsac: When you design with jewels, what is your ultimate goal?
Karen Erickson: To make the woman who wears it feel fabulous. We want any woman wearing Erickson Beamon product to feel pretty, smart, creative, and artistic.
LeSportsac: What was it like to work with LeSportsac?
Karen Erickson: Working with LeSportsac has literally been a dream project for me. I was able to take jewelry pieces, of my collection, turn them into prints, and bring them to life on a handbag.
LeSportsac: What was your process of turning transforming jewelry into bags?
Karen Erickson: It was so important to incorporate signature elements of Erickson Beamon into this collection. I had so much fun. I love textiles and it’s no surprise that I love to play with proportion and color. I enlarged images of the jewelry to create my own prints. The result is at once photo-realistic and somewhat abstract.
LeSportsac: Can you tell us about some of your jewelry inspiration for the collection?
Karen Erickson: I gave these [print] stories my favorite pieces! Glenda, Glenda the good, is from [the Wizard of] Oz of course. It is a combination of pearls and crystal. We did a jewelry collection called Butterflies are Free so we took the idea of graphics of butterflies and did a placement on the Goldie Cosmetic. I’m a punk rock girl and the Talking Heads are a new wave band. We made this amazing chandelier [for home] with crazy acid pink cameos and called it the Talking Heads. We were able to take this Talking Heads concept and put it on my beloved garment bag – the Patti Garment Bag in Christie, and on the Andy Tote in Talking Heads!