When it comes to the glitzy jewelry on Hollywood red carpets, no name is bigger than Neil Lane. The Brooklyn-born jeweler has made quite a name for himself, with his rings appearing everywhere from the most chic of celebrity fingers to the ladies who manage to snag the hearts of “The Bachelor” on ABC. He just launched a line with Kay Jewelers, making it possible to scoop his jewels at a more accessible price point. We chatted with the designer last night at a party for his new line at Nobu 57, and we couldn’t resist asking him about what it was like designing Miley Cyrus‘ engagement ring, his favorite red carpet moments and more. Read on to see what Neil had to say.
StyleCaster: Tell us about your new collection.
Neil Lane: It’s a journey I’ve been taking for the last two years — how do I bring all of the glamorous things I’ve done in Hollywood over the past twenty years at the highest level of couture to everyone else? I’ve always had people who have wanted my rings, and I wasn’t sure how to do it. It was a meeting of the minds with Kay Jewelers, and we were able to make a beautiful collection that’s attainable and aspirational.
How did you become some synonymous with the Hollywood red carpet scene?
God put me in Hollywood twenty years ago. I never wanted to do this, I had no idea I’d be involved with the red carpet. I didn’t ever think I’d be designing jewelry for stars like Renée Zellweger or Angelina Jolie. It just grew organically, and I’ve had some great shout-outs over the years, like when Renée shouted my name when she won a Golden Globe. And I just designed Miley Cyrus‘ engagement ring. It’s crazy!
What was designing Miley’s ring like? Are you doing her wedding rings too?
She’s not married yet, but when they do get married, I’ll be doing the wedding bands. Her ring was amazing for me to work on. Amazing. Working with Liam Hemsworth on designing it was great. You share with each other, you hear what the guy wants, and you have to bring your creativity and your aesthetic. I had to interpret. He’s, what, 20, 23, 25 years old? (Ed. note: He is 22.) He came to me for a reason. I’ve got to give them my historical level, knowing who they are. He was very open. He had a wonderful sense of what we were doing. Using gold, which is not typical, and the remarkable design. She loved it! We also worked with Britney Spears‘ fiancé Jason Trawick. He knew he wanted a pretty and simple ring, with tiny diamonds. I love working with people. I wouldn’t have been able to do this collection if I didn’t work with people everyday.
You famously design the rings for “The Bachelor” — what is that like?
Working with “The Bachelor” on ABC has been an incredible opportunity. I’m seeing the new guy, Sean Lowe, on Saturday for a date. He’s choosing a girl, and will be bringing her to meet with me. Then we’re going to choose jewelry for her to wear!
What’s your favorite Neil Lane red carpet moment?
I guess you would say my favorite piece would be the latest thing — like Sofia Vergara at the Emmys. She wore a gaggle of diamond bracelets and amazing diamond earrings. Madonna‘s a muse of mine. I love everything Jennifer Lopez has worn. She always has fabulous jewels. Of course, working with Angelina Jolie is amazing.