This bracelet and necklace combine Sydney Evan’s best-selling symbols from the past 15 years.
This bracelet and necklace combine Sydney Evan’s best-selling symbols from the past 15 years.

Los Angeles--When Rosanne Karmes launched Sydney Evan in 2001, her concept of wearable, delicate fine jewelry was a novel one.
20161205 SydneyEvan-InsertSydney Evan designer Rosanne Karmes

Fast-forward 15 years and Sydney Evan is synonymous with dainty good luck charms and personal jewelry that appeals to an array of demographics, providing an entry for many into the fine jewelry category.

Karmes is commemorating her most popular symbols in a 14-piece collection retailing between $440 and $19,800, which debuted last month at Bergdorf Goodman and select retailers nationwide.

The collection features wishbone, horseshoe, hamsa and evil eye pendants, plus Karmes’ “love” script necklace, all rendered in 14-karat gold with white diamonds.

The pièce de résistance is the maximalist necklace that combines all of these symbols, which is available in white gold with diamonds, yellow gold with diamonds or a multi-colored gemstone version. There is also a bracelet version.

National Jeweler chatted with the design veteran on lessons learned over the past decade and a half.

National Jeweler: How did you get started in jewelry?

Rosanne Karmes: I got a job in my senior year of high school working for a jewelry manufacturer. I stayed working in the business, learning everything from soup to nuts for eight years.

NJ: There must have been many pivotal moments for the brand since you started. Is there one in particular that has contributed to the growth of Sydney Evan?

RK: The most pivotal moment for Sydney Evan would probably be 10 years ago when I wrote out the word “love” and later made it in gold and diamonds. This launched my iconic “script” words collection that has definitely made an indelible mark on the jewelry industry. The script pieces remain top sellers year after year.

I was asked to create a custom diamond “Kate” script necklace for Kate Moss that she wore on the cover of British Vogue. Now we offer the option to customize a pave script necklace or ring with the word or name of your choice.

NJ: What are some of the major changes you’ve witnessed in the marketplace over the past 15 years?

RK: There were virtually only a handful of people doing designer fine jewelry that was affordable, wearable and fun 15 years ago. Early on in my career, I had to convince fine jewelry buyers that a new wave of women wanted jewelry that had a personal touch, when the market was saturated with oversized, costume pieces.

Feel-good jewelry is my strength.

NJ: What have been some of the keys to building brand longevity?

All Sydney Evan jewelry is timeless. I like to design pieces that are classic, with a little twist and sense of humor. My collection has been the best-selling designer jewelry collection at Bergdorf Goodman for years.

What was your concept for the anniversary collection?

It’s a celebration of my trendsetting jewels and charms. The collection is comprised of 16 icons that are new interpretations of my most loved designs and bestsellers from the past 15 years. There is a statement necklace and bracelet and 12 charms that are available on necklaces or beaded bracelets.

What are you most proud of having accomplished with Sydney Evan over the last decade and a half?

I’m so proud of my relationships with my retailers and customers, but the No. 1 thing that makes me so proud is that all my customers say the same thing about my jewelry: It makes them happy. What can be better than that?

NJ: If you could do something over business-wise, what would it be?

RK: I probably would have started copyrighting and trademarking my jewelry in the beginning years.

NJ: How do you see Sydney Evan evolving?

RK: We just keep opening up more amazing doors all over the world! And our categories have expanded; we have a new children’s collection called “little loves” at Bergdorf Goodman that is doing amazing. We will be launching the collection in more stores come February.

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