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Spinelli Kilcollin

Spinelli Kilcollin (Est. 2010) The Spinelli family, half of the brand’s name, has a long history as jewelry artisans. Antoine Spinelli, father of Yves – the brand’s founder and half namesake – always worked with his hands. Born in Italy, son of a blacksmith, Antoine worked alongside his father, hand-forging iron gates, tools, and horseshoes. In 1959, at age fifteen, he immigrated to North America and quickly found a job that used, for the most part, just one tool, a scissors. He became a hair stylist.

Antoine, born Donato Antonio, was drawn to hairstyling because he enjoyed the ease of needing nothing but a pair of scissors to work. Antoine’s many talents include designing and building furniture, fixing classic European cars, painting a variety of subjects, and working with metals.

After working for a while as a hairstylist, Antoine had saved enough money to propose to Cesarina Allessandrini, a fellow hairstylist, and encouraged her to join him to begin a life together in the US. She accepted his proposal on one condition: they must move to Hawaii.

In 1970, the married couple landed in Honolulu. Antoine began working at Liberty House beauty salon and was recruited as an instructor for Glemby International cosmetology school where he worked with and trained under legendary stylists including Paul Mitchell, Roger Thompson, Vidal Sassoon, and Kenneth.

Today, Antoine Spinelli remains a Hawaii-based artisan and tastemaker in numerous trades. He is a renowned hairstylist, salon owner, painter, woodworker, leatherworker, and jewelry maker.

His son, Yves, was born in Honolulu and was introduced to the fashion world by his father. Yves studied jewelry in high school at Punahou. When Yves studied jewelry, Antoine was inspired to revisit his family roots in metal-smithing. To this day, Antoine has maintained a small jewelry studio in the back of his salon where he hand forges rings, bracelets, and hardware in sterling silver and gold. He also sews leather goods, paints watercolors and large-scale oils, builds furniture, and plans further projects when he’s not making jewelry or cutting hair.

When Yves moved to Los Angeles in 1997, he began his career in luxury fashion working at Maxfield Bleu, the iconic boutique, and moved up to store manager and top salesperson between 2005 and 2009. After working for nearly a decade at Maxfield with some of the best designer collections in the world, Yves was inspired to start creating jewelry.

Spinelli Kilcollin was founded in 2010 by Yves Spinelli and artist, Dwyer Kilcollin.

“I had been dreaming about starting my own brand for a few years,” recalled Spinelli in a November 2014 interview with PlanDevilleNYC, “but I was experimenting more with sewing at the time. I met Dwyer Kilcollin around that time, and we soon discovered that we shared a vision for design, and that we both wanted to work together to start a brand. We liked the permanent qualities of jewelry, and felt that there was room in the market for a collection that was bold, modern and clean.

“We officially started Spinelli Kilcollin in 2010, and slowly built a strong following over the next couple of years by working with iconic retailers. I did a lot of things that some people say you “can’t do.” I would call a boutique owner on the phone to make an appointment, or would literally walk into stores to speak to the buyer about carrying our brand. It helped that we were building a network of great stores, and that we had a unique collection. I always felt that I would rather work with fewer retailers who loved and understood our collection rather than dozens who might just stick us in some random jewelry case.”

In a marketplace of ornate and figurative jewelry, Yves and Dwyer yearned for something clean and architectural. They created a set of linked rings of different thicknesses which could be worn a number of ways – spread across three fingers, or stacked on one.

Spinelli Kilcollin launched their first group of interconnected Galaxy Rings at Maxfield and began incorporating diamonds into their collection. In 2012, they made a custom linked ring for Ikram Goldman with 5 carats of diamonds and immediately garnered national press and the attention of luxury retailers including Barneys.

Galaxy Diamonds, or colored diamonds, offered in the brand’s Galaxy Rings and in its Wedding Collection, are graded differently from white diamonds. Galaxy diamonds are known and appreciated for their natural colors and character. Grey diamonds are in fact white diamonds that have numerous natural inclusions. These inclusions are not considered flaws. Instead, they provide diamonds with darkness and character. Galaxy Diamonds can also contain carbon that has not crystallized and this carbon creates tonal darkness and complexity.

Spinelli Kilcollin also works with cultivated Diamonds sourced through the Diamond Foundry. These require the skill of human craftsmanship and precision.

Rather than being mined from the ground, every diamond is grown by a highly skilled team in California. They’re genuine diamonds which are anatomically and physically identical to mined diamonds. As with diamonds that form in the earth, each stone has its own unique growth pattern, imperfections, inclusions, and characteristics.

No two cultivated diamonds are the same—just as with mined diamonds. The only difference between the two is their origin. The Diamond Foundry re-creates the conditions in which diamonds form under the earth. Spinelli-Kilcollin works with these stones so customers can choose the perfect one for them without sacrificing stone quality or individual, personal ethics.

The brand has rapidly grown because of the versatility of its creations in addition to the endless customization options. The striking aesthetic and tactility of the pieces makes them quite popular with customers for their trendy and elegant look. In a marketplace saturated with highly-ornate jewelry, Spinelli Kilcollin compositions stand out with clean, architectural lines that attract attention with their class and design.

When the brand began producing a signature set of linked rings of different thickness which could be spread across three fingers, or stacked on one, the design garnered instant attention and evolved to encompass diamonds, pearls and luxurious woven fabrics. These can be coordinated with other Spinelli Kilcollin jewelry including earrings and bracelets with linked hoops and opulent adornments.

Spinelli Kilcollin oversees all aspects of its jewelry production from the initial sourcing of stones to the final polishing of each piece. Spinelli Kilcollin ensures the highest standards in both quality and ethics. Every piece of Spinelli Kilcollin jewelry is handmade in downtown Los Angeles by a small team of artisans. Pieces are made from solid 18k gold and/or .925 sterling silver metal, the majority of which is recycled.

Spinelli Kilcollin is a supporter of the international Diamond Development Initiative and annually donates a portion of its sales to the group.

Spinelli Kilcollin collections include the iconic Galaxy Connected Rings and Bangles, South Sea Pearls, plus solid silver cuffs and other rings as well as some new styles that build on its existing concepts. All of Spinelli Kilcollin’s creations are characterized by dynamic composition and versatile design, which allows for multiple ways of wearing them.

Ranging from youthful to sophisticated and edgy to elegant, the pieces boast striking fluidity from the blending of masculine and feminine elements. The Spinelli Kilcollin style defines a new vocabulary of fine jewelry – one of simple luxury or luxurious simplicity that is singularly unique. While symbolism is a powerful tool in the jewelry world, the brand’s willingness to strip every piece down to its core essentials and let the pieces speak for themselves is the defining characteristic of the brand.

Notable Spinelli Kilcollin creations include the Orion ring designed in 2009 for the brand’s first collection. It remains one of its best sellers. The Spinelli Kilcollin Nova Rose ring is a mix of cognac, champagne and white diamonds and was the label’s first diamond ring. The Spinelli Kilcollin Pegasus hoop earrings are big and are complemented by accent rings that add dimension to their classic shape.

According to an April 2017 article in Harper’s Bazaar, Yves Spinelli and Dwyer Kilcollin, co-founders and designers of their namesake fine jewelry, married in the summer of 2016 and surprised each other with custom rings at their intimate wedding. For Kilcollin, Spinelli had created three bands, each with a different color of diamonds: white, orange and olive green. And Kilcollin, who knew that Spinelli had always wanted a platinum ring, used the metal to construct a 5-millimeter band joined by three accent bands in 24-karat gold.

This inspired the designers to create their own line of engagement and wedding rings. Rather than sticking with bands for their bridal range, the brand introduced customizable solitaire settings–which can feature a diamond or another precious stone of a couple’s choosing. The solitaire rings are intended to be engagement rings, with the option to purchase linked or single-band wedding rings after the engagement, and have all of them linked together for the wedding.

The possibilities, therefore, are endless. Couples can choose to continue to add to their sentimental stack as they wish, be it for anniversaries or future milestones. In addition to rings and interlocking bands, Spinelli Kilcollin also introduced bridal jewelry including a few pairs of stellar statement earrings to be worn for the ceremony.

The Harper’s Bazaar article quoted the couple saying, “The symbolic power of the linked rings is incredibly strong…Perhaps it took getting married ourselves to figure out how to manifest that symbolism into a collection of rings for others.”

The 15-piece bridal collection offered several variations on the Galaxy, with some featuring white, cognac and champagne diamonds. The collection is available in 18k white, yellow and rose gold as well as in platinum with options of conflict-free white or colored diamonds, sapphires, emeralds or rubies.

There’s also a versatile pair of earrings comprising white gold and-diamond discs and removable pearl studs. “Similar to our designs, our wedding wasn’t traditional,” Spinelli says. “There’s definitely a movement for alternative bridal.”

As the collection developed, the brand decided to provide options for the alternative bride. The brand tapped into its inherent architectural, contemporary aesthetic to offer fashion-forward brides a look that’s both wearable and sentimental.

The line launched April 11, 2017 on the brand’s website, where it remains. It consists of eight core styles, which clients can customize in collaboration with the brand.

In May 2018, the brand announced the launch of the Ada Collection which features all baguette rings. The designers spent almost two years developing them and the initial response has been overwhelming. Yves’ favorite in the collection is the Manava that has three different types of settings with baguettes and carre cut diamonds.

Most recently, in June 2018, the brand introduced the Antoine Collection that is a series of rings individually designed and hand-forged by Antoine himself. The sterling silver, single-band rings are produced in the metal smithing studio Antoine operates in the back of his hair salon in Hawaii, Bottega Antoine. The collection features 4 minimalist styles available in 3mm or 5mm gauges that are unique and, at once, bold and wearable.

In his 2014 interview with PlanDevilleNYC, Yves said, “We started as a luxury brand, and we’ve never strayed. Each piece is a unique creation with its own personality. Our customer comes to us looking for something new and interesting, and we work hard to create something of value. The idea of mass-production gives me anxiety. I like that I can personally inspect every piece of jewelry that we make, and that I can stop into our workshops to watch the progress – which I do daily. We’ve seen the luxury market grow in the last several years – especially in the area of designer fine jewelry. A lot of retailers have discovered that they have customers who are looking for fine jewelry that is new and modern.”

In the time since, the brand’s creations continue that philosophy. Customers will find the brand at the firm’s Los Angeles headquarters, Barneys, Maxfield (where Yves previously worked), Elyse Walker, Forty Five Ten, Ron Herman Japan, MatchesFashion, and Holt Renfrew to name a few. Celebrities who have worn their pieces include Gwyneth Paltrow and Emily Ratajkowski and many other famous fans.

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