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Meet the Maker: Kate Lagos

In Borsheims’ Meet The Maker series, we shine a light on the incredible stories of our makers. Customers new and old get a glimpse into their world, what makes them tick and how their designs can highlight each moment in your life. In this edition, we take a slightly different approach, interviewing Kate Lagos, brand stylist and daughter of Steven Lagos about her design collaboration, KSL.

KSL stands for Kate Shares Lagos, Kate’s social media handle. The collection expertly melds Kate’s modern tastes with her father’s classic Caviar designs. No stranger to the design world, Kate has grown up surrounded by jewelry design and has served as LAGOS’ brand stylist for years, representing the brand across the country. Her fast-paced days are spent moving between photo shoots, styling sessions and of course influencing the latest designs.

Kate + Steven Lagos

Tell us a little about the LAGOS brand and how it came to be.

LAGOS was founded over 40 years ago by my dad, Steven Lagos. After he graduated from high school he got a job as a stock boy in a local jewelry store. He was looking for a creative career and was inspired by the Master Jewelers who worked there. He spent the next seven years learning the craft. In 1984 he launched his first jewelry collection and started the LAGOS brand.


You’ve worked with your father as LAGOS’ Brand Stylist for a while. What was it like to shift gears and work on an actual collection with him?

It wasn’t a huge shift. As a stylist, I create different looks to show how versatile our brand can be. I found that styling helped me see where we could fill in some holes and also allowed me to add a woman’s perspective. Bringing those ideas to my dad helped me understand how much more we could do and led us to collaborate on the KSL collection.

Collaborating with him is always a special experience. I get to see the world through his eyes and vice versa. We learn from each other. The hardest part is finding a balance between our business life and personal life, but in the end we both want the same thing so it all works out.

What is your favorite part of the LAGOS “aesthetic”?

I love the versatility of our collections. The design of the Caviar beading helps all the pieces pair well together, so you can stack and layer. They’re great for day-to-night, for dressing up or down, and it’s wonderful that there’s really something for everyone. This makes my job fun and easy.

What is your favorite LAGOS collection (other than KSL)?

It’s hard to pick just one collection. Mainly because it depends on my mood and what I’m wearing. I love accessorizing – one look can turn into a few depending on how you style yourself. My personal style shifts day by day. We have so many options, I can’t pick just one!

KSL rings
KSL cuffs

Where do you go for inspiration? How does this factor into your design process?

I love traveling. I always feel inspired by new places and people. I’m very observant and I’m a big people watcher. I enjoy attending different events to keep a close eye on new trends. And I love learning from watching how others accessorize. It’s so much fun seeing other people’s point of view, especially in another state or country.

What’s a typical day like at LAGOS?

There’s really no typical day at LAGOS – that’s what I like about my role. Some days I’m styling at a photo shoot or in-store at an event meeting with customers. Other days I’m at the office just preparing for what’s next.

What’s next for the KSL collection?

We have some fun new silhouettes coming out for spring 2020. They have a similar edgy, geometric design but we played a lot more with scale this time. Excited to see what customers gravitate to within KSL this spring season!

Any design trends you’re excited about for 2020?

I love layering within every category. I’ve been focusing more on earrings lately. I even got another piercing in my ear so I could play around with this trend. Also, links and charms have been super popular. As a stylist, it allows me to play more with layering and personalization. I also love the movement in the charms, whether it’s on a necklace or an earring.

If you didn’t design jewelry (or represent the LAGOS brand) what would you be doing?

I’d probably still be doing something visual and creative. I’ve always loved interior design and personal shopping. I help out my friends and family just for fun. I could see exploring that more full time if I wasn’t at LAGOS.

Finally what one word sums up LAGOS, the brand and the philosophy?

The first word I think of is Caviar because it’s our signature design and it’s instantly recognizable as LAGOS. But when talking about the brand and philosophy, I’d say “integrity”. There’s integrity in our products – we only use top quality materials in order to develop brand trust. And how we treat our partners, our employees and our vendors – we’re always fair and we do what’s right. It’s an important brand value that’s really at the core of everything we do.