It all started in 1977, while working as a jewelry repairman in Philadelphia. Steven Lagos recounts taking time to gain experience and wisdom from established jewelers in the area, but really getting his foot in the door when he cold-called Neiman Marcus. As a young man growing up in the seventies, he paid attention to importance of craft and began to develop an eye for what sets quality jewelry apart: consistency in branding. Lagos happened upon the jewelry scene when brands weren’t that important, and he set out to make his brand the one people thought of when they thought of jewelry made of consistent and fine craftmanship.
Designer Spotlight - LAGOS Jewelry
In 1984, Lagos was working on a hematite necklace with a beading pattern that “reminded him of caviar”. Caviar, which universally represents luxury, seemed to be the perfect name for the brand he was trying to build. The unique texture of the beads and the way they nested made the jewelry seem to move with the body and create a second skin. Over forty years later, Caviar has become the trademark of his brand. To this day, every piece produced is influenced by and involved around Caviar. While it takes hundreds of steps to complete just one single Caviar creation, Lagos continues to deliver the same quality throughout his collections with Caviar as its foundation.
Inspired by and for strong women, like his daughter, Kate, who joined him seven years ago, Lagos’s distinct collection offers a bold and feminine style, while encouraging self-expression. Any piece designed is made with three things in mind: fun, class, wearability. Lagos loves to add “something easily transferrable from day to night!” He believes that there is a human need for jewelry, without even without having to market for it. “Jewelry is the most personal form of art you can own”, he says, because it makes people feel good, is a status symbol, and provides adornment. In essence, jewelry is part of the human condition.
Lagos made his mark (again) recently when he partnered with Apple and developed the Smart Caviar bracelet for the Apple watch. He didn’t think people should have to choose between fashion and function. He saw the need for women, especially, as they moved from workplace to a night out, to keep their watches on but still be able to match them with a fancy dress. Lagos doesn’t see himself as an artist because he believes that art doesn’t have to function, but jewelry must. He sees himself in the business of craft.
Lagos credits his brand’s authenticity and consistency as the key to their success. He champions their approach to marry form with function and believes that it isn’t just about making a great looking piece of jewelry. He believes that jewelry can fill a physical or emotional need and that what makes people cherish it so much. In addition to being in the business of craft, Lagos views himself as “treasure hunter”, a man who takes old-world craftmanship and enhances it with technology. We’re excited to see what he finds and brings back next!