Though minimal jewelry is an enduring classic, La Manso is embracing maximalist statement pieces. The bright and bold ’90s inspired rings are making a comeback—thanks in no small part to Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa, and Miley Cyrus. The three have been posting selfies on Instagram wearing the Spanish brand’s cubist-meets-pop-art collection.
La Manso was founded by Barcelona-based designer Adriana Manso three years ago. Manso was inspired by her grandmother’s collection of glamorous acrylic jewelry, inspiring her to create colorful bling of her own. Manso would scour vintage shops across Spain, repurposing forgotten plastic pieces. It’s a hobby that turned into a global business.
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Manso promotes the message, “Be yourself and do what you want to do.” It is this down-to-earth attitude, along with an open channel to her customers, that she says is the driving force of her brand: She creates a piece, posts it on social media, and takes the advice of her followers.
Ahead, the designer dishes on her inspiration and how she sees La Manso evolving.
How did you get started in fashion?
I never studied fashion in school. When I created La Manso, I merely decided to make something because it was a passion of mine. I didn’t think it could be a big business. I’ve been collecting plastics since a young age and began working with them as a medium since I was 21.
I’ve always made my own accessories. People would stop me all the time asking where my jewelry was from, so it was easy to start selling. In the beginning, about three years ago, I would go to all the prominent festivals in Barcelona, like Sonar, and bring my rings and try to get them everywhere by introducing people to the illusion and process of my brand.
What inspires the collection?
My grandmother. Her plastic jewelry was very glamorous and not what someone would imagine of plastic jewelry today. I could see all the good things of plastics in fashion; the vivid colors, shiny, and lively pieces. She would give me pieces, and I would play around with them and eventually started working with them.
When did you first launch?
I initially started designing jewelry with plastic three years ago, and up until eight months ago, I was developing the entire process on my own. Now, I work with a lovely family-owned factory for my production.
Where does the name come from?
Manso is my surname, Adriana Manso. In school, I would get called La Manso. The rings allude to our 90’s childhood. I didn’t have the best days in school, so in order to reclaim and become comfortable with what I was called, I named the brand La Manso.
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What can you contribute to the success of the brand so far?
Lots of hard work and dedication. For me, it’s about building genuine relationships with people in fashion. I pushed out a lot of the rings to influencers and celebrities. We make everything on our own, down to the packaging, which makes the cost super affordable.
Blanca Miró was one of the first to support my brand. Since then, people genuinely appreciated the pieces and began reaching out. I started a cute friendship with editors and influencers and other people in fashion. Eventually, it just started getting around.
How often do you launch new styles?
The thrilling thing with a brand like mine is that I can make it on my own and have my own timeline. I don’t follow traditional or organized rollouts. It depends on when I find a new mold or style that I think is La Manso.
Where do you get the plastic? Is it recycled?
I travel all across Spain on trips to vintage shops finding vintage molds. The material I utilize now is incredibly magical. All pieces are recyclable, but once you do, they just turn black; they’ll never have the shine or color that they do now. I create the products to be in each of my customers’ lives forever, something that they will hold onto and cherish. The way I develop each piece is so artisanal.
What’s next for La Manso?
I think of crazy concepts all the time. I have this dolphin hair clip made in the ’80s that I posted on Instagram, and people loved it. I initially didn’t plan on selling them, but people went crazy. So why not give them what they want? I also started making tables during quarantine, which have been selling pretty well. I would love to do more accessories. I started working on belts and bags, and I’m excited to see what people think of them. I’m like a child; I just do whatever I want. There’s so much upcoming for La Manso this year.
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