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We love an iconic It item that epitomizes a designer's vision and purpose. The dynamic design duo behind luxury jewelry line Spinelli Kilcollin offers a range of delectable pieces from bracelets to pearl earrings (with the entire collection spanning $650 to upwards of $12,000), but they're best known for these stunning, luxe stacking rings.
Yves Spinelli and Dwyer Kilcollin met in 2008 and bonded over a mutual desire to create minimalist, architectural pieces in a market dominated by sometimes overly-ornate jewelry. Spinelli's storied experience in the luxury market (his work at Maxfield exposed him to some of the best designers in the world) gave birth to a brand that is both cerebral and wildly imaginative, ideal for pairing with a black tissue T-shirt and boyfriend jeans or basically anything from Rick Owens.
SK is quickly becoming a media darling, with the likes of Barneys now carrying the line and heavy-hitting industry publications beginning to pay attention to the continually expanding collection. Here, Spinelli elaborates on his inspirations, favorite LA spots and creative process.—Jennifer Astin
When did you know that you wanted to create your own jewelry line?
"I had the itch to start my own brand years ago, and these rings inspired me to take the jump. I felt that they were unique and a perfect embodiment of my vision for jewelry that was bold, structural and clean. I started Spinelli Kilcollin with my partner Dwyer Kilcollin in 2010. We wanted to work together, and we also wanted to work for ourselves. The idea of building a jewelry brand based on the concept of the interlocking rings was a progression that just naturally fell into place. We saw a void in the marketplace for fine jewelry, and felt that we could be a new, defining voice."
Where did the idea for the design of your iconic linked rings originate?
"In 2008, I was working at Maxfield, and I wanted jewelry for myself that I had never seen before. I visualized a ring that could be worn across several fingers, or stacked on one. I am inspired by versatility in design, and envisioned that this ring could have at least 2 to 3 different configurations for the wearer. I developed two different sets of rings with mixed gauge thicknesses (one five-link and one three-link) and these became our first two styles."
Who is your design muse?
"Our muse is someone who is forward thinking but timeless. Someone who creates their own style, and collects pieces that they will use and keep in their lives for years to come, and pass down through generations. At the risk of sounding trite, we aim to design pieces that everyone can wear. Our jewelry is worn by men and women. They range from youthful to sophisticated, and their careers range from artists to executives and everywhere in between."
How do you see Spinelli Kilcollin's unique aesthetic within the luxury market?
"Spinelli Kilcollin is a new voice in fine jewelry. Through our collections, we seek to define a vocabulary of fine jewelry that is too simple to be luxurious, too luxurious to be simple, too unique to be simple, too simple to be unique. In the land of Spinelli Kilcollin, we have no representation, no symbolism, no icons, nor iconography. We do not have a hierarchy of materials, where gemstones are allowed to reign over their feeble metal enclosures. In the land of Spinelli Kilcollin, we have…mainly circles."
What are some LA spots you frequent to feel creative and inspired?
"There is so much that I love about LA, and I discover new things everyday. That's why I've lived here for 17 years! LA has always felt like an blank canvas to me, and all of the vastness and diversity of culture is very inspiring and conducive for creativity. I love that you can get lost in the anonymity of a new part of town, head out to the hillside to see hawks and falcons, and then 20 minutes later grab a drink with friends in Silver Lake. I am intrigued by the sordid history of the city, and have spent some amazing afternoons retreating to Rustic Canyon or Greystone Manor. Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I love the musical history here. One of my favorite venues is The Rainbow. I used to live around the corner, and I would go there weekly. You really get transported to a different era, and there's an openness and acceptance that's really refreshing. Plus, I like the music. It's my favorite place to bring visitors, and there's never a dull moment."
Can someone wear diamonds and still adhere to a minimalist aesthetic?
"They can if they're wearing Spinelli Kilcollin! Our design aesthetic focuses on balancing the extremes of minimalism and luxury; these are a key binary in our process. Formalism and innovation, newness and agelessness are two more. We find that by balancing these poles with a counter weight, it's possible to achieve a harmony of both. In our work, diamonds are not ostentatious or overbearing. They are balanced by the simple curved geometric forms in which they are set, and the steady weight of solid precious metals."