Alma López, aka La Morenita, Palma’s popular jewelry designer, about creativity, tradition and criminal law
Some of Alma López’ gems made it to Hollywood. Her designs are as diverse as the materials she uses but all of La Morenita’s jewelry bears a typical handwriting. Delicate, timeless and elegant or bold and edgy. What started out as a whim twenty years ago soon became a success story. I was curious to know more about the Mallorcan brand and the designer behind it. So we met in her light flooded private showroom in Santa Catalina. And Alma López provided an insight in the treasure chest of La Morenita.
Your career comprises professional modeling as well as a law degree and jewelry design. You are multi-talented person, obviously.
This seems to be very distinct, indeed. But even when studying law I focussed on criminal law. Because it is the most creative part. So creativity is the core of my career and the heart of La Morenita.
Which literally means the brown-haired girl. How would you describe your style?
I remember my first earrings, a style I would never wear today. At that time I didn’t wear much jewelry myself and only made designs for my friends. But they became quite successful and over time I developed different styles, some of them more avantgarde, others more fragile. Depending on the diverse types and personalities of women. And of course the occasion when a piece of jewelry is worn. La Morenita also features a small bridal collection.
Do you have a specific personality in mind when you work on a new design?
Not really. Can be the memory of a friend I just met, or simply a piece of material lying on my desk. Something I play around with, can be anything – a stone, feathers, a piece of wood or mother of pearl. The only substance I don’t work with that much is silver. I am a gold girl. And I love to mix and match materials.
Is this how you came up with the idea for your jewel fans?
In a way, yes. I have always loved fans and until today carry one in my purse. So one day I took a fan that was randomly lying on my working table and thought of doing something with it. Paint it, use a different material, give it a different style. Eventually I came up with the idea to combine the fan with a necklace and turn it into a kind of pendant. So what used to be a grandma thing became a novel idea in jewelry, a charm for every age and style.
Even Queen Sofia owns one…
Yes, indeed. The jewel fans became one of La Morenita’s most emblematic pieces. But it took me a while to develop the right technique. I visited the artisans who still manufacture the traditional Spanish fans and asked them for a cooperation. While 99% of all fans are made in China today, I can proudly say that mine are all stamped “Made in Spain”.
Your roots are Andalusian but you have been living on the island most of your life. What is your favorite place on Mallorca?
On the island I really don’t have one place but many. In the summer, I enjoy a day at the sea, Cala Deià maybe, or visit friends at their house in the countryside. It’s not so much places that I love but the people I’m with. For me there is nothing better than a holiday with my whole family. Sitting along a big table, enjoying a a meal and ourselves.