Chicago Native Meghan Lorenz has killer style and a badass jewelry line. Get to know the brains behind this unique line in our exclusive interview. 

cities in dust lookbook

SHK: HAD YOU BEEN CREATING JEWELRY BEFORE YOU HAD LAUNCHED CITIES IN DUST IN 2010?

Meghan Lorenz: Yes, my friend, Sarah Shikama, and Imade up a jewelry line for fun called Aragon which was named after the Aragon ballroom in Chicago. She has a jewelry line now too it’s just called Shikama, And we kind of made stuff for fun and we did pop ups but it was pretty avante garde statement pieces. We did that for about a year and kind of decided that we just wanted to make different things so we branched off, and both started our own brands.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST PIECE YOU MADE FOR CITIES IN DUST?

The dagger cuff, which I still make. It’s a brass cuff with two dagger beads on each side.

dagger cuffs

BIGGEST RISK YOU TOOK FOR YOUR CAREER?

I guess quitting my day job where I was an assistant to the owner and kind of doing everything, and it was a really great job that I quit. I guess just quitting something so stable was probably my biggest risk.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR MATERIALS FOR MAKING JEWELRY?

I just sort of buy things. I spent time going to the garment district, both in LA and New York, and just buying odds and ends. Sometimes I’d buy things online too, anything that inspired me. I love brass, I always have. I have a lot of brass fixtures in my house. I just pick things that I like and create shapes and designs with them that I want to wear myself, and also I am inspired a lot by interiors so all the brass tubes and things that I use, I have a lot of candelabras and things like that at my apartment that look like that.

cities in dust jewelry

WHEN YOU’RE NOT CREATING WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

I work one night a week at a bar, which is nice, because when I make jewelry I’m literally by myself all day so it keeps me socialized. I’m from Chicago so I have a lot of friends and family here that I spend time with. I really like going to the museums. I love going thrifting. I try to have a good balance of work and play for sure.

WHAT INSPIRES THE OVERALL LOOK OF CITIES IN DUST?

Even though I feel like as I’m getting a little older my styles changing a little bit, from the very beginning it’s been inspired by mid-century modern sculpture and modern interiors in general. I’m actually inspired more by decor than fashion.

cities in dust bracelet

WHERE DO YOU CREATE?

I have a studio about two miles away from my apartment in a building called the Feather Lofts in Chicago, which is an old feather factory and it has a lot of other jewelry designers as well. I work out of there 4-6 days a week.

DO YOU EVER MAKE ANYTHING ELSE BESIDES JEWELRY?

I dabble. I took ceramics for four years of high school and two years in college so I do enjoy making ceramics and it’s something that I sort of picked up again for fun and it’s something that I might continue exploring. I really enjoy sculpting, especially working with wax or casting, that’s what I love about ceramics, the sculpting element to it.

PINTEREST, TUMBLR, OR INSTAGRAM?

I love all of them. I had a really intense Pinterest phase that almost ruined my life. Tumblr I’m really in and out of but I’d say instagram is the most fun.

MY CLOSET IS…

A really wide mix of independent designers, vintage, and a couple handfuls of ZARA and H&M.

DO YOU HAVE ONE PIECE OF JEWELRY THAT YOU WEAR EVERYDAY?

I have a necklace. The chain is as thin as hair, it’s gold. And it’s got a small gold charm of an angel, I’m not religious, but my mom gave it to me and it’s just kind of a nice reminder.

WHO IS YOUR DREAM CLIENT TO WEAR CITIES IN DUST?

I love Chloe Sevigny but I don’t really think it’s her style. Madonna for sure though.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE LAST LOOK BOOK YOU CREATED?

I saw this bedroom in a magazine and I thought it was amazing. I wanted to recreate a scene that looked like it. I was really into Sharon Tate makeup. I had this idea of a character that was Hollywood regency in the late 60s and she has this amazing home and she’s just bored all the time in her huge house. I wanted it to be pretty stuck in time.

cities in dust rings

WHAT’S YOUR IDEA OF A PERFECT DAY?

A day without stressing out at all. Spending time with friends and family and maybe going to the beach. Definitely being outside.

ANY BIG PLANS FOR THIS SUMMER?

I’m planning a trip with one of my best friends. We are debating between a lot of cities, maybe Germany, maybe go to Rio.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR CITIES IN DUST?

Right now I’m working on my fall collection. I’m using a lot of, in a non-patriotic way, red, white and blue. I’m using a lot of circles and a lot of different shades of red. I want to have a lot of chunky bronze sculptural pieces.

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