Laura Ciccarello: Designer

My NativeAdVantage:

Strategic, luxuriant focused, and extraordinarily driven, my first business cards as a young entrepreneur read “ Laura Ciccarello - Force of Nature.” My obsession on creating had started in coloring books but then evolved to selling my paintings by 13 and going on my first business trip (with my awesome Mom for legal reasons) by the time I was 14 after winning an international design contest by The Sak Company.

While studying design at The Fashion Institute of Technology, I designed for multiple fashion companies where my work ended up on the racks of several major retailers. And still, I wanted more.

After completing my degree, I took a job as a wholesale brand manager for the fashion house Fernando Sanchez. I was afforded the opportunity to take the reigns of the design department at the early age of 23 following the passing of the legendary designer. I worked with clients Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Home Shopping Network, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s, as well as hundreds of nation-wide boutiques, where the customers were a constant inspiration. 

What do you do best?

I make accessories that are inventively sophisticated. The ideas behind each style are always for the funsters of the world who are brave, bold, and beautiful. My jewelry designs are lingerie inspired and created with the latest technology here in New York. Many of the jewelry designs I was told could not be made, yet I believe anything is possible and we eventually reached our goals…with the help of new technology as well.

What makes you the best?

It’s rare to have designers that design everything themselves in several different categories. It’s even rarer to design while operating on the business side as well. I’m the best of both worlds-right brain and left brain. I’m a balance of extreme creativity yet all about the business.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: I would like to get more sleep. This is a New Year’s resolution that I set every year and have yet to follow.  I’m that person that says they “are going home” 3 times until ending up watching the sunrise.

Business: I never invented the rainy day but  hope to be that designer that eventually makes the best umbrella. Mainly, I would like to have longevity in the fashion business purely from doing what I love. That is a serious accomplishment that many people overlook or take for granted in unethical sourcing practices.

Favorite Motto:

"The thing with Monopoly is that when the game is finished, the property and pieces always go back into the box." Trading On Air

"Some girls were just born with glitter in their veins..." Unknown yet shows up on Pintrest a lot  

Favorite People:

My complete list would take over 30 minutes to read but my family and friends are always at the top of the list.

Favorite Places:

New York. It has everything and anything you want at any hour. It’s impossible to compete with that! Eventually I'll have to split my time between Hong Kong and New York but time will tell as China continues to change. I love that it's very similar to New York yet not as commercial.

Favorite Products:

Too many to list!  I try everything just once. Fast phone chargers, gemstone infused everything, ginger shots, and grey goose martinis.

Current Passions:

Manufacturing better and manufacturing honest. I don't settle when it comes to sourcing ethical materials and responsibilitie factories.  There are a lot of really awful practices going on in the world in either labor or pollution that are resulting in major issues that have lasting effects on people's lives.  I'm not sure if bringing production back to the United States is a solution for this. I have actually found my sourcing efforts here in the US to be the most frustrating in the accessories and jewelry category.

It’s quite simple if you are doing ready to wear because we have more than enough highly skilled people in the category…in accessories in the US, if you aren’t doing mass market it’s very difficult to find a reliable manufacturer. All of the manufacturers in New York I have met with have a kind of attitude that if you aren’t producing a ton of product they just aren’t interested…when I’m just trying to see if they can actually make what I’ve designed. If anyone from an organization or from a manufacturer in the US has great resources, I would love for you to call me.