Lana Fertelmeister

One-time clothing designer Lana Fertelmeister launched her jewelry business six years ago after unsuccessful attempts to find chic, affordable styles. She commissioned a jeweler to make a pair of earrings—her signature Upside Down hoops—of her own design, which got noticed by admirers. “Traditional [jewelry] vendors didn't speak to me or my girlfriends,” she explained to JCK during a recent trunk show at Neiman Marcus in King of Prussia, Pa. “[My friends and I] were the people paying $200 for jeans and $1,000 for purses, and we wanted to buy jewelry to finish our looks.” Fertelmeister, who isn't a bench jeweler, continues to call on others to craft pieces in her home base of Chicago. Signature styles feature a sleek 1970s flair with mirror finishes, tricolor gold, and diamond or emerald accents. She calls the look uncomplicated and “universally pretty.” Another goal:

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