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August 3, 2012 8:26 pm
Lara Bohinc, 40, creates original jewellery for clients including Michelle Obama, Kate Moss and Samantha Cameron. She was appointed MBE in the 2012 Birthday Honours List for services to the fashion industry.
. . .
What was your earliest ambition?
I always knew I wanted to be a designer.
Public school or state school? University or straight into work?
Where I grew up, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, there are no private schools – they’re all state schools and they are very good. I studied industrial design at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts, then an MA in jewellery and metalwork at the Royal College of Art.
Who is your mentor?
I don’t have a mentor – I would love to have one, it would make life a lot easier! My business partner Ernst Malmsten and Professor David Watkins, my tutor at the RCA, have been huge influences.
How physically fit are you?
I’m quite fit. I do yoga two or three times a week and I walk whenever I can.
A circle or a sphere – a recurring symbol I use. A continuous line. Something to do with metal, perhaps a fire. And I draw everything on a computer, so a computer.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
Without talent it’s very hard to get noticed, but without ambition it’s very hard to get ahead.
Have you ever taken an IQ test?
Yes, I’m sure, many times, in school. They didn’t tell us the score.
How politically committed are you?
Not enough. There are certain issues that bother me, but I just don’t have the energy. It’s something that will have to wait.
Do you consider your carbon footprint?
I don’t fly unless I have to. And now technology is faster, I do as much work as I can without travelling.
Do you have more than one home?
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
I dream about a house on a lake. And I would love an Andrew Grima wristwatch – and more time!
What’s your biggest extravagance?
Sleep. I’m not one of those people who can function on six hours.
In what place are you happiest?
It’s not really about the place, although I do love London. It’s cosmopolitan, exciting and there is always something going on.
What ambitions do you still have?
A lot. I feel like I’m only starting at the moment. I would like to build a new luxury house for jewellery and silverware. It’s a big ambition that will take a lifetime to fulfil. Persistence is the way to go.
What drives you on?
Love of all things bright and shiny and the desire to make something new and original that will stand the test of time.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
I haven’t got there yet.
What has been your greatest disappointment?
Perhaps the realisation that you have to invest a lot more time than you thought you would have to. When you finish college you think you’ll be a superstar in a year. Then you realise it takes a lot longer!
If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would she think?
I don’t think I’ve changed that much. “Do I have a twin sister?”
If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?
Start again. In business, every day you have things that pick you up and things that knock you down; every morning you prepare for that.
Do you believe in assisted suicide?
Yes. There are certain occasions where people should have the right to decide. After all, it’s their life.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
I don’t know!
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
You have to keep moving. Maybe 9.
The Palladium Fine Jewellery Collection and The Palladium Collision Collection are available from Harrods and Lara Bohinc.
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