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Celebrity style stars like Rihanna, J. Law and Khloe K. are well aware that life in the public eye makes you subject to both lovers and haters—so perhaps it's why they're fans of Sydney Evan's good vibe-giving gems. Founded in 2001 by designer Rosanne Karmes, the fine jewelry line is all about mixing superstition and style with semi-precious stones and spiritual charms—like a 14k gold hamsa amulet or an iced-out Evil Eye.
Known for her diamond-encrusted beaded bracelets and charming accoutrements that have been spotted on countless covers (Vanity Fair, InStyle and Nylon, to name a few), the designer tells us her goal is create "personal, meaningful pieces that could be treasured and passed on through generations." Karmes has just unveiled her new fall collection of earrings and charm necklaces, available at Neiman Marcus, Fred Segal, Ron Herman and host of other high-end retailers. Stylish standouts include pretty (and pricey!) pieces like these dainty White-Gold Diamond Chevron stud earrings ($595) and this Double Protection Charm Necklace ($3,105).
We sat down with the LA-based designer to find out the inspiration behind her line, her favorite spots in the City of Angels and more.
What inspired you to create your line?
"When I was 12, my best friend and I would buy puka shells, sterling beads and turquoise at the craft store and I would sit for hours making jewelry for myself. I would wear the jewelry to school and before long, my friends starting asking me to design pieces for them as well. [I sold] bracelets in the schoolyard for $5 each and I was making a killing!
[As] a senior in high school, I was lucky enough to have a friend whose family was in the fine jewelry manufacturing business and they offered me a job; I worked in every department from design to diamond sorting and learned the business inside and out.
I took my entire savings and bought 14k gold charms and chains that I would sell on campus to classmates, friends and teachers. Eventually, I ventured out on my own, launching a multi-brand jewelry and accessories showroom called Le Trend. I began to see that there was a void in the market for a fine jewelry brand that was less traditional and more trend or fashion based."
Mini Yellow-Gold & Diamond Hamsa on Red Coral, $465
Who your design muses?
"Both my mother and my daughter Sydney have always been my design muses. My mother was from France, [and she] was very spiritual and superstitious and would sew red thread into mine and her brother's clothing as protection from the evil eye—she believed in it wholeheartedly.
In 2005 I designed my first beaded bracelet, a red coral beaded bracelet with a 14k gold and pave diamond hamsa charm as a homage to my mother. I'm so happy that I did because my beaded bracelets have become a cornerstone of the Sydney Evan collection and are one of the brand's best sellers!"
Small Yellow-Gold Diamond Tear Drop Evil Eye Necklace, 1,565
Of all the pieces you've designed, what's your favorite?
"I would probably say that my favorite pieces are the love collection because you can never get enough love in your life, my fossilized wooly mammoth bracelets with diamonds [because they're] like wearing history on your wrist and each one is unique and special. Also, I love my tear drop evil eye, it is super sexy and falls perfectly on the décolletage."
Where are some of your places to go in LA for inspiration?
I am always at the Fairfax Swap Meet on the weekends, Sydney and I have so much fun shopping there. Not only is bonding time for us, but I always find the most unique and interesting things that are truly inspiring. I would have to say though, my absolutely favorite place to find inspiration is my own back yard—When my kids have gone to sleep, I love to just sit outside, clear my head and sketch."
And when you're not busy designing, where are your fave places to shop in LA?
"Villa Melrose Antiques, Morgan Le Fay on Montana and Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. And my guilty pleasure is going to Zara—I always find the best stuff there!"
· Sydney Evan [Official Site]
· Jeweler Natalia Benson Is Inspired By Tarot Goddesses & More [Racked]
· LA's Beso Beso Crafts Minimalist Jewelry With Hidden Messages [Racked]