La Manso dominated Instagram during the lockdown. It’s likely that the Barcelona-based jewellery label popped up on your feed, whether in the shape of pop perfectionist Normani flexing an extravagant white plastic rock, or model Iris Law proudly flaunting a pink and gold sparkly gem.
La Manso is fast making a name for itself, one magenta knuckle duster at a time.
Via a shaky FaceTime call, founder Adriana Manso gives me a virtual tour of her creative studio. Having studied lighting design for theatre at university, the 25-year-old spent three years working at Barcelona Opera House before taking a U‑turn on her career.
“My grandma was a super plastic lover,” says Manso on her on her love for the “bistueria” (Spanish for cheap and cheerful “imitation jewellery”), “even if she could pay for expensive jewellery, she would never pay – yet she always looked so elegant and glamorous.”
Following in her family’s footsteps, Manso fell into a four-year-long obsession, collecting ’90s plastic offshoots and upcycling them into the jazzy one-of-a-kind rings – with names like “Thirsty as Fuck”, “Grape Soda” and “Period Knuckle Duster” – that you see today.
“I’m able to create what I want, what I see in my mind,” Manso says. “When people ask for help on how to start a business like mine, I always say: ‘Don’t feel stressed, you have an idea – just make it.’”
Manso’s free flow thinking is reflected in the off-the-wall packaging that’s become synonymous with the brand. Each ring is delivered on the finger of a latex glove that reads: “we cover your hand, whether you clean your dishes with glam, take your bike out on a rainy day, or grab a cold glass of icy mojito.” The La Manso mantra? Be proudly OTT in every endeavour that everyday life throws your way.
As for the future, Manso is writing her own rulebook: “I do what I want. Right now I’m making my own table,” she says as she focuses the camera on her DIY furniture project. “I don’t want to get married to anyone, or any style. For me, it’s more about the experience of creating.”