Caroline Néron is a Canadian jewellery and accessories designer who started her career as an actress and singer. After a successful career, Caroline Néron made the most of her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, and launched her own private-label jewellery company, Caroline Néron. It’s been nearly six years since the designer made her debut, and now, in the brand’s 13th year of business, Caroline Néron has made her return with her SS18 collection at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week this October.
What made you want to start a jewelry line?
I was working with clothing designers for all my galas when I was doing music on stage, and at one point, I realized I wanted to make my own designs. I’ve always been a serial shopper—I even wrote a song about it—so I was always a fan of fashion. But accessories, for me, is like that little detail—that extra something that you put on clothing, and, because I’m a perfectionist, I was always all the about the details—especially the jewellery. One day, when my career was going well as an actress and a singer, I noticed I was seeing so many artists losing work and unable to find jobs, and I was worried that one day it would happen to me. I realized I needed to become independent. I decided to jump into retail and accessories, because I was a fan of it, but I didn’t know how to make it. So I called a designer and she helped me to create a line of 30 items, and I got it into a store, and from there it grew very quickly. By the next season I was doing it on my own, and my company just grew from there. I realized this was my true passion. I thought I would be an actress for all my life but I made the switch and I love it. There are no limits with it; everyday I get to create new things and there’s nobody holding me back. I have 200 employees, I have fun, I can work with people I love, and I love that.
What inspired the SS18 collection?
Everything is always inspiring me, I’m always taking pieces that are on-trend, like stars, crosses, medallions, and then I’m putting my own flare on it and making it my own. Obviously for the show I went a little crazy—I wanted to make couture pieces, that you can only wear on the red carpet. I mean, some of them are wearable, but most of them are made to really stand out. I wanted to create something that was inspired by all the pieces that I love but also to bring a message of how important it is to express yourself—you know, say what you want, be who you are.
Can you describe your brand in a few words?
I emulate my own persona within my brand: confident, strong and passionate. My brand is that, as well as “glamour with a touch of bohemian spirit.” The SS18 collection emulates this—it’s edgy, yet elegant, with hammered metals, silk threads, and precious stones.
How do you want people to feel when they’re wearing your collection?
Just beautiful. I want them to feel strong, feminine in the case of women, masculine in the case of men, but what I love about my jewellery is that I don’t create any jewellery that won’t have that little something. Women come to me and they say “everyone always talks about my jewellery,” and it’s because I create it with that extra something, that little thing that makes it stand out, makes it catch the eye. That little detail is really important to me, and sometimes the detail is to make the wearer’s eyes stand out, sometimes to compliment their hair, or their clothes, and this is what my collection is about.
Do you have a favourite piece of jewellery that you always wear?
I love chokers. I’ve always worn them. So I would say those are definitely pieces that I wear a lot. There’s also the cuff earring. It’s been around for, what, two seasons now? But I still can’t take it off. I just love it. The anklets too—they just add that little something to an outfit. I love those little details.
Why come back after six years away?
Well we’re opening a store in the next year. When I did the runway last time, I didn’t have any stores carrying my brand. I was just based in Québec and now I have sales in Toronto, Vancouver, and flagship store in Edmonton. My brand has grown and that’s the reason I’m coming back. I love the “fashion show” environment, so I’m excited to be back. I’m back now and I’m here to stay.