The name Mark lash may be unfamiliar with those just exploring the broad surface strokes of modern fashion. But Mark Lash is the creative powerhouse behind the aptly titled Mark Lash Jewelry. Since the late 80’s, Lash has been reinvigorating crossover fashion. His meticulous style flips between high-end precious jewels and the more accessible open market. He is known for creating jewelry for celebrities such as Bruno Mars, 50 Cent, Rachel Bilson, John Legend, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Drake, Cee Lo Green, Heather Tom, Naya Rivera, Jayde Nicole, Marina Sirtis, Becca Tobin, and Martin Sheen. Outside of his celebrity appeal, he has sustained a name for himself with exclusive limited runs of jewelry, and partnering with organizations in moving forward with a positive motif.
I sat down with Mark Lash to sort of hammer out some of his ideas in the creative process, and explore the paths he has kept open in moving towards the great big unknown we call the future.
What led you to begin to work with jewelry?
My parents wanted me to attend dental school however, I realized very early that I enjoyed creative environments – I loved fashion, art, architecture and travel. While in high school I started looking for different avenues to utilize this creativity. It was actually my mother that sparked my interest in fine jewelry. I started designing jewelry for her and soon word spread that I was designing affordable but stylish pieces and people started placing orders. Thus my career evolved and I have been in business for over 25 years.
How would you describe your style, what kind of jewelry do you make, and what type of materials do you prefer?
I think my styles are understated, and timeless, yet with a twist – they transcend vintage but also remain contemporary. Many of my pieces can be dressed down for women to wear with jeans and a t-shirt yet stylish enough that they can also be worn with a gown to a black tie event. I design for every lifestyle. The uniqueness of my custom made pieces is that they are truly one of a kind. I design for every price point – my moderate price line is available on line at http://shop.marklash.com and my couture and custom line are available in store. I try to match the piece of jewelry to the personality as I want my customers to feel beautiful & confident while wearing my pieces.
What is your process in creating?
I travel extensively looking for new inspiration for my lines. Architecture, art, fashion, music all influence the way I design. I love to constantly explore new ways of working with gold and diamonds to create pieces such as my men’s black diamond bracelet set in black gold. I have many requests from celebrities for men’s yellow gold pieces and women’s rose gold with and without diamonds.
What new directions do you hope to move in the future? Do you have big plans, new ideas or designs you will be exploring soon?
I work with a team of very talented people that help propel my business forward. I have been instrumental in the design of our new store that will be opening in Toronto this fall and have enjoyed the process immensely – and I have been looking at different avenues for expansion into the U.S. I want to expand my on-line shop so that I can sell internationally and want to concentrate on expanding my brand.
The most valuable lesson you have learned?
From a young age, I learned nothing comes easy and hard work is essential to be successful. I credit my father for my strong work ethic. I am humbled by my success – I have had the good fortune to work with many high profile celebrities, community leaders and prominent politicians. I have learned to be patient as success does not come overnight and I also feel that it is vital to give back to the community. I support many charities each year but also serve on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Brain Health Initiative. Combating women’s brain disorders is a cause close to my heart as I have experienced first hand the effect that Alzheimer’s and other dementias can have on family and friends. To support this charity I designed a pin, which is called the Hope-Knot, a contemporary interpretation of the human brain. The Hope-Knot can be worn by men and women to remind us all of the women in our lives – our mother, daughter, sister, partner or best friend – and how much we depend on their memories and insights.
What are you interests when not working?
I try to spend as much time with my family as possible but I am always working as designing is not work to me. I have recently started creating my own pieces of artwork as well as taking on interior design and residential design projects. My passion is design, art, travel and fashion – they are all inspiration for my designs.
What’s next for Mark Lash?
I have many projects on the go right now – but I would love for everyone to own a piece of Mark Lash jewelry.