Leonor Heleno Interview

Parisian designer Leonor Heleno recently took a moment from creating her current glamorously romantic collection to tell us a little bit about her history and inspiration.

Where did you grow up? I was born in the South of France, but grow up most of my life in Lisbon, Portugal.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be Uncle Scrooge and own a bank!

Do you think your background has influenced your current jewelry design style? If so, what specific element in your background is most pervasive in influencing your current fashion design writing style?

Definitely, I lived all my life in very old and beautiful houses.  My parents have lived for the last 25 years in a mansion from the 17th century, and it is all decorated with real antiques and beautiful objects.  Napoleon's troupes stayed there and used it while trying to invade Portugal.... Of course this influenced my taste for elegance and style. 

Which basic elements of creativity did your family teach you? 

Style and education, which means that I will not like proper outfits, or very ostentatious ones.   I easily fall in love for antique, vintage pieces too!

Did you have a profession prior to designing jewelry?

I was an IT Banking Consultant.  I have a Maths degrees and a MBA!

How did you get into designing jewelry?

Love and passion!  

What inspired you to be a jewelry designer?

I wanted to bring into France the notion of fashion jewelry, very little is developed here still.

In which way do you consider yourself an innovative creator?

I think I mix a lot of cultures (French, Portuguese, also American and English) and styles (elegance, glamor and fashion)! 

Are you ever afraid you will run out of inspiration and creativity in your job?


Do you have any other creative ambitions or dreams to which you aspire?

I always have to many ideas in my head, but no established plan or aspiration at this moment but developing my jewelry business and make more and more creations!

 How did you get the idea for your latest collection?

This year's fashion is all about lace, which I adore. That is what inspired me, and the 50's, period of Hollywood celebrities glam.

What do you consider to be your greatest masterpiece?

I'm still trying to make it!  The master should never point his own masterpiece, you should tell me which one you think it is, if any...

Do you have a favorite jewelry designer yourself?

I love many jewelry designers, it would be unfair to only name one!  My favorite brands are Ashley Clarke, Tiffany's, Van Cleef, Cartier, etc...

Do you have a favorite company or exciting other creator with whom you would like to work?

I'd love to work with any of the above companies! 

What is the most difficult thing in your job?


What is the most fun part of your job?

Final result and seeing the finish piece. And of course wearing the jewelry!  ;) See more of Leonor's designs. Visit Leonor on Facebook!