Nicole Carosella and her younger sister Kim had their familial bond front of mind when they came up with the name for the jewellery label they founded in 2012. The Brooklyn, New York-based sisters named their venture “Sorellina”, the Italian word for little sister, which chimed perfectly with their set-up. The sisters’ aesthetic involves a clever melding of vintage with modern. Their unique pieces include eye-catching snake rings that feature diamonds set in oxidised silver; a set of deliberately mismatched earrings or sweeping earrings that are fashioned with Venetian gold box chains, to echo the flourishes typical of the Art Deco movement.
For Nicole, the love affair with jewellery began during her most formative years, at a time when she says that her mother’s sparkling jewellery would mesmerize her and lull her to sleep. After studying fine arts and photography at The University of Southern California, Nicole eventually reignited her passion for jewellery, studying its design at FIT in New York. Kim, meanwhile, studied art history at Tulane University in New Orleans and then moved to Florence.
When the sisters joined forces to launch the collection in New York in 2012, it was their mother’s jewellery that provided their touchstone – for their first collection, the duo melted down her Eighties pieces to reimagine them as new designs.
And today, recycling or repurposing old fine jewellery pieces is something that the sisters often undertake. “I love it when a client brings me her mother’s or grandmother’s diamonds and I can design a ring that suits her personality,” notes Nicole.