Couture Musings

What Happens in Vegas…

There’s no question that brands Marc Alary and Spinelli Kilcollin caused a huge buzz when they hit the COUTURE scene in 2015’s Design Atelier. While they were new to our community, their artistry and reputations preceded them. Marc already had the backing of fashion’s famed CFDA, as well as throngs of well-heeled fans, and Yves Spinelli’s interconnected Galaxy rings were already iconic, earning him tons of press and a huge following. So we couldn’t have been more delighted to learn of a collaboration–born during COUTURE 2015–that led to the recent launch of MASK.

COUTURE: How long have you been designing jewelry?

Marc Alary: 8 years in total, soon it will be the 6th anniversary for my brand.

Yves Spinelli: I created my first connected ring in 2008, and started Spinelli Kilcollin in 2010.

COUTURE: COUTURE 2015 was your first year exhibiting with us; did you know one another prior to showcasing in Design Atelier?

YS: Marc and I met about a year ago at Ikram’s party in Paris. I was already a fan of Marc’s work, and we became friends pretty instantly. Being on opposite coasts, we didn’t really spend too much time together until we met up again at COUTURE. I was excited when I received the floor plan and saw that our booths were right next to each other.

MA: I was familiar with Yves’ work before we met at Ikram’s party. After meeting, we stayed in touch by email and hung out another time during Paris Fashion week in February of 2015, where Yves told me he was going to be exhibiting at COUTURE. I was just about to get confirmation that I was a part of the show too, and we ended up being right next to each other in Design Atelier.

COUTURE: How did the concept of MASK come about?

MA: Our proximity to each other in Design Atelier definitely facilitated things. We were going back and forth between our booths whenever there were breaks, and we would just try on each other’s jewelry. Actually, I remember people who visited both our stands were going back and forth between our stands. The collections seem to complement each other pretty well; they are both very different, but there’s also a kinetic/movement element that is present in both collections.

YS: Marc’s collection is pretty different from ours on the surface. But spending time looking at each others work, we realized that we actually share a love of movement – in ours through the connected rings, and in his through the articulation. On the second day of COUTURE, my partner Dwyer was hanging at Marc’s booth, and they both came up to me with Marc’s articulated Serpent ring saying that it would be great to detach and put the head and tail on opposite sides of our Galaxy Rings. We kind of made up our minds right there that we should collaborate if the ring actually worked out. I saw Marc in NY the week after, and we realized that the ring worked perfectly and that we worked really well together. A few hours later everything was pretty much finalized. The name was easy to connect, too. The whole process was really invigorating and creative.

MA: Both Yves and I are signing our initials, with MA for Marc Alary, and SK for Spinelli (Yves Spinelli) and Kilcollin (Dwyer Kilcollin). When we put it together, it becomes MASK which sounded really cool.

COUTURE: Tell me a little more about the design process….do you get together in person? Email design concepts? How does it work?!

MA: Soon after COUTURE, Yves came to visit us at our New York studio for a full day to work on designs. We had started to take his and my rings apart to put them again together to create the first MASK designs, by the end of the day we had come up with a few styles and we were getting very excited by the potential. I think the process was pretty organic. Once the very first samples were here, we worked by email, fedex and phone to refine the first prototypes. Some parts were done in LA and some parts were done in New York, which I think gives MASK a unique identity.

YS: A lot of phone calls and emails! We try to meet in person as much as we can – I’m frequently in NY –  but once we come up with the original concepts, it’s pretty easy to mix in the various colors and configurations.

COUTURE: What do you see in the future for MASK?

YS: We wanted to get this capsule collection finished and in stores for the holidays, but it was quite obvious that there are a lot of other opportunities in our collections to combine. Next season we discussed some earrings, and a really amazing bracelet concept that Marc thought of. We both want this to continue growing.

MA: I think MASK right now is at its infancy stage, and we are going to let it grow organically. The advantage of this collection is that it feeds from both of our universes, Spinelli Kilcollin and Marc Alary.

COUTURE: In what other areas do you two bond?

MA: I think we both really like art in general, in all its’ forms. We also have a lot of friends in common.

YS: We all really enjoy hanging out which is really great. It’s so much fun to actually be friends with your design partner. We have so many mutual friends, and work with many similar stores. We’re working in the same showroom now in Paris, so I’m looking forward to some adventures abroad!

COUTURE: What’s your favorite memory from your first COUTURE?!

MA: It was great to meet so many people that are so passionate about what they are doing. But we also had some fun dinners and fun nights!

YS: There are so many, but the most stand-out thing for me was just getting to spend time with fellow designers, and getting to know them better. I feel like I made so many new friends, and that I’m part of a community. This MASK collaboration is obviously an extension of that.

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Michelle Orman

Michelle Orman

Michelle Orman is the president of Last Word Communications, which spearheads the public relations for the COUTURE show. A 15+ year veteran of the COUTURE community, Michelle is obsessed with all things jewelry and watch related! To be included in COUTURE Musings, email Michelle at michelle@LastWordComm.com.

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