21 Sep 2021
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Vintage with a Twist-Nicole & Kim Carosella, Sorellina
Sorellina is a brand that is a melange of beauty and brains. The eloquent designs comes from Nicole Carosella’s mind that has no boundaries when it comes to creativity and the art of understanding the pulse of the audience has been mastered by sister Kim who handles the business side of things
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 21 2020 12:46PM
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NYC is filled with such great art, music, architecture and people. Our office is in midtown Manhattan with a view of the Chrysler Building from our window, one of our favorite buildings in the world. We’ve always used the Art Deco era as a jumping off point for our designsCo-founders and sisters Nicole & Kim Carosella grew up in Long Island, NY, where they were raised with a deep appreciation for the arts and shared a love of design. After graduating with a Fine Arts degree from USC, Nicole studied Jewellery Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Kim attended Tulane University for Art History, and then relocated to Florence, Italy, to continue her studies.

Upon Kim’s return to New York, the sisters decided to set the course for their future business. After working in the jewelry industry, in early 2012, with a clear vision, Nicole and Kim founded Sorellina – meaning younger sister in Italian. With an opportunity to develop jewellery that expresses their own unique sensibility, the sisters began clearly defining what great design means to them and how that translates to their clientele. Neither subtle nor discreet, Sorellina pieces are bold statement pieces made for the urban, modern woman. Sorellina creates a harmonious dichotomy by seamlessly blending opposing ideas of feminine with masculine and vintage with modern.

Can you talk a little bit about how both of you chanced upon jewellery designing?
Nicole: After college, I went to FIT to study fashion design. I took a jewellery fabrication class for fun and fell in love and switched my focus to jewellery. I would bring home projects and show them to Kim — and that’s when we decided to join forces and start Sorellina.

Yellow gold and diamonds are always my go-to, but as we’ve expanded our collections, gems have come more into play. Our most popular signet rings are offered in an array of gemsHow would you define your label’s spirit?
Vintage meets modern with a bit of a rock and roll edge.

Can you walk us through your latest collection?
Nicole: Our newest collection is based on Tarot cards. The history and imagery has always been something we are both fascinated by. The collection is being launched later this month and focuses on 5 of the 22 major arcana cards.

Would you say both of your creative process is always in sync? Is it much easier to work as a pair than by yourself?
Kim: We have very different strengths. Nic does all of the designing and I do more of the business side of things. Her creative process is way too disorganized for me to understand but I love the results!

Where do both of you draw your inspirations from?
Nicole: I am constantly inspired by my surroundings. NYC is filled with such great art, music, architecture and people. Our office is in midtown Manhattan with a view of the Chrysler Building from our window, one of our favorite buildings in the world. We’ve always used the Art Deco era as a jumping off point for our designs, so it’s a perfect location for us.

From a spark (idea) to how it becomes a finished piece of jewellery, can you explain your creative process as a team?
Nicole: I am always sending sketches to Kim late at night and she always says the same thing: “Put them together in a presentation and let’s go over it in the morning.” It’s good that we balance each other out in that way. We go over every piece together and then I start the journey of searching for stones and working with our production team to make each piece a reality. Kim is the one who keeps a tight reign over the budget to make sure that I don’t get too crazy!

Define the style sensibility of your audience.
Kim: Fashion-forward and most importantly confident.

What metal and gemstones do you like working with and why?
Nicole: Yellow gold and diamonds are always my go-to, but as we’ve expanded our collections, gems have come more into play. Our most popular signet rings are offered in an array of gems, including Onyx, Quartz, Moonstone, Lapis, Malachite, Opal, Tiger’s Eye and Turquoise — and our cocktail rings often feature custom cuts of gems like Spinel and Tanzanite.

Every brand has its own sense of aesthetic. And people on the other have their own preferences. Your brand doesn’t cater to massproduced jewellery, each piece is unique. How do you find the balance of satiating your own creative desire while giving clients what they want?
Kim: We’ve been able to create a robust custom business that really allows us to work one-on-one with clients and create their dream pieces. This allows us the freedom to put our stamp on the core collection, but then take that vibe and help clients imagine engagement rings or other one-of-a-kind jewellery that speaks to them directly.

How important do you think it is for a jewellery designer to be abreast with trends?
Nicole: While it can be really fun to play with trends, I think it is more important to create pieces that stand the test of time.

What kind of jewellery is most in demand these days?
Kim: People love anything that can be customized! Our signet rings are extremely popular.

Where do you think luxury fashion jewellery stands in the market today, amidst consumers and what does the future for this market look like?
Kim: We’ve seen that people are still purchasing fine jewellery even during the pandemic — customers want things that have innate value and that they can hold on to long after all of this is over.

How are you weathering these unprecedented times – as a brand, please give our readers a few tips to cope.
Nicole: We’re just trying to lean into the time with our families, knowing that we won’t get this time back with our young children. We’ve also used it as time to design and explore some concepts that we didn’t have time to fully flesh out back when we were too busy.

In your experience of travelling, which country do you find most inspiring for your line of work and why?
That’s a tough question! We both love to travel and miss it terribly right now. Italy is one of our favorite places, though! You cannot help but be inspired by its beauty and history.

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