La Mer Collections was founded by Martine Ilana in 2001. Unable to find a stylish and feminine watch to wear, she took a soulful approach and created what has come to be known as the company’s signature wrap watch.
Inspired by travel, adventure and the colors of the world, La Mer Collections designs and assembles all of their unique timepieces in their design studios in Los Angeles. Each piece is handmade with close attention to detail and with utmost care. The brands’ focus is to create pieces that are affordable, chic and act as a souvenir for memories, moments and experiences had by the wearer.
Each La Mer Collections wrap watch features a classic face and Italian leather straps both custom designed by Martine. The collection features over 200 styles, from Simple Wrap watches to embellished chain, stone & charm wraps. Diamond and custom options are also available.
Each season, a new destination sets the tone for the color palette. For the Spring of 2017, Martine choose to take design inspiration from the dramatically beautiful and wildly natural island town off the coast of Sicily, Salina, The Aeolinan Island. Crystal blue waters, green caper farms and picturesque vineyards lining the sparkling coastal landscape are featured in this season’s styles.
La Mer Collections is available at Nordstrom, ShopBop.com, Anthropologie and better boutiques worldwide. The company has retail locations in Japan, Korea and their flagship store sits in Jakarta, Indonesia. For more information, please visit www.lamercollections.com.
We sat down with La Mer Collections founder, Martine to find out what how she launched her brand, her biggest challenge in running her own business and one tip she swears by when she travels.
How did you launch your brand? I launched La Mer Collections in 2001 after taking a year off of my design studies to travel overseas to Africa and Asia. I love souvenirs because once I’m back from any trip I can look at an object and dream of where I picked it up. I was so inspired by my time away that when I returned home, I wanted to design and create a line of watches that reminded me of my travels. In addition, I wanted to create a brand that allows women to express themselves in a fun and interesting way so that when they look down and check the time, they are reminded that fashion can also be paired with a piece of simple technology.
What inspires you? Traveling the world - I try to go somewhere new and ‘off the beaten path’ at least once every two years. I live by the Pacific Ocean and that too inspires me. I also am very inspired by the team in my office – they each bring a unique style to the office each day.
Favorite Brands? Sandro Paris, Missoni, Ivy Kirsner Shoes and Teeki Yoga pants.
Biggest Challenge of running your business? One of my largest challenges is keeping up with the customization of our collection, as there are so many options to offer! We want to accommodate all of our customers. As with running your own business, there are always 10 more things that I want to do each day and there is never enough time!
Best advice you've ever been given? 'Take one step at a time’ and 'think about the moment after’ if there is anything that seems like a challenge to face.
What app changed your life? WhattsApp - I can call my 96 year old grandma all hours of the night in South Africa!
One tip? On international flights bring some mint tea, it always makes me feel recharged after a long trip.
Your biggest aha moment? Seeing a woman wearing one of my watch designs in NYC who served me my coffee after getting off the train. I secretly did a happy dance!
Happiness is? My newborn twins Opal & Oscar, my husband and my Brussels Griffon, Frank! Also a Saturday morning Yoga class in Venice.
Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband? Aviator Nation hoodies and monogrammed leather bags from Clare Vivier.
SHOP LA MER COLLECTIONS HERE