AccessoriesTheShow New York – Designer Spotlight: La Mer Collections

la mer headhot

Martine Schwartz


Booth: 412


What inspired you to create La Mer Collections?

This collection began because I could not find a simple, stylish, feminine watch. I also had traveled overseas and studied design and wanted to create a watch collection that was more artistic and contemporary in the marketplace; in 2001 there was not a lot to choose from besides Swatch watches. My intention was for the watches to express visually some of the international locations I had been to and act like souvenirs.


From where in the world do you draw inspiration?

All over the world! The main intention of La Mer is to capture the colors seen and experienced when traveling. ‘Unique Timepieces Inspired by the Color of Travel’ is printed on all of our packaging and is what the company is founded on. Most recently the inspiration has been drawn from Thailand, Iceland and Paris.


Explain your creative process in designing this collection.

I begin by creating designs that are most unusual and unique – the brightest colors, the craziest jewelry designs and the most expensive to create. I also choose the top colors I want to focus on based on my most recent trips. I then create the top line collection (the most expensive and unique) and from there I pair down the styles to make them more wearable and more affordable to our customers.


Where is your product made?

La Mer Collections is handmade in the USA. Every leather wrap watch is hand assembled out of our VeniceBeach design and production studio. We have a team who makes the watches from scratch. Our pre-made pieces and also all of our watch cases (the actual movements of the watches) are imported from Asia.


How do you personally stay up-to-date with fashion?

I am constantly checking out what others are wearing all day every day. I love social media; specifically Instagram. It is the quickest insight into other’s daily lives. Since a watch is such a personal accessory, I want to make sure that its color and design makes sense with the full picture. It has to be seamless and comfortable with our customer’s clothing.


What do you consider to be the world’s best fashion city?

New York City is a top choice; however, ultimately I love Los Angeles’ fashion as it is casual and obviously influenced by the sun and the ocean surroundings.