Fine jewelry brand Spinelli Kilcollin is debuting in the Hamptons this summer. The brand’s now iconic galaxy rings will be sold at Tenet and Copious Row on the East End. Los Angeles-based founder, Yves Spinelli, was working in retail when he came up with the design concept for his brand. A National Geographic poster from 1971 served up divine inspiration when its space photography got Spinelli thinking about the cosmos and how gravitationally bound systems of stars are tied into patterns that evolve over time. And voilà, the basis for his interconnected triple ring design was born! The company was officially founded in 2010 and has been a hit ever since. We caught up with Spinelli to hear about his extraordinary expansion.
What inspired the first Spinelli Kilcollin design?
I wanted a ring that could be worn across several fingers and I thought that the connectors would make the ring more comfortable to wear. I was interested in asymmetrical and high-polished jewelry and the connected circles made sense to me. I also realized that they allowed versatility so that there were several different ways to wear one ring.
Was there a defining moment when Spinelli Kilcollin came into the spotlight?
When we started adding diamonds to our rings in 2013 people started to take notice. We were immediately picked up by Barneys and then editors, celebrities, stylists, and great luxury retailers started reaching out to us. By the end of 2014 we were on our way.
What are your best-sellers?
All of our rings have their own personalities, and they seem to almost choose their owners. The Vega SG ring is our number-one seller across the globe. The mix of grey and white diamonds and silver and yellow gold just seems to resonate. It’s a versatile ring with some sparkle and some toughness. The Sonny ring is probably number two. It’s delicate and timeless. The rose gold version is our most popular, and we also make it in yellow and white gold. The Nexus ring is an easy third place, and probably my favorite. It’s a more strident version of the Vega SG and adds a few more elements to the color mix. It’s also one of our biggest at five bands. Even Oprah has one!
You recently launched bridal. What has been the response?
We’ve had an overwhelming response from clients reaching out to us. One of our first appointments was with a bride-to-be who had been to a few jewelry stores before us and hadn’t enjoyed the process. We spent some time with her and her fiancé and she told us that it was exactly the experience that she was looking for and that she would always remember us. It’s touching to take a meaningful part in someone’s life story. It’s exactly why we launched the collection.
What is your favorite bespoke piece you’ve created for a client?
Honestly, there are so many bespoke pieces that clients design that inspire me. I love that there are so many variations and combinations of the first ring that we designed, and that clients can customize their own unique piece.
You started in retail at Maxfield. How did your knowledge of retail inform your business?
My background in luxury retail has helped me immensely. I’ve always loved working directly with clients and getting to know them. It’s important to listen to the market and understand where your designs fit, and who responds to them. Retail is immediate and keeps you focused each day—there are always new challenges. You also need to keep an eye on what’s coming and plan accordingly. I love putting pieces of the puzzle together.
If you hadn’t founded Spinelli Kilcollin, would you still be in retail?
I was branching out from strict retail a year before I started Spinelli Kilcollin, and I was working in wholesale for a while and also sewing clothing. I like working on several projects and paths at the same time. I’ve been working in sales since I was 14, and will probably do it for the rest of my life.
SK just landed in the Hamptons! Have you been before?
I’ve always wanted to go to the Hamptons! I’m very excited to now have a reason to visit. I am planning my first trip there in July. I’m going to need to get a list of friends’ favorite spots.
How will you be spending your summer?
I’m taking June off to visit friends and family in Northern California, Venice, London, and Puglia. I’m back on the trunk show circuit in July and August. But I always manage to have fun when I travel for work.
You grew up in Honolulu. What do you miss?
I’m a pretty laid-back person, and I probably get that from my growing up in Hawaii. People are friendly and there’s a lot of down-time to just focus on whatever you want to do. It was a great place to be a kid and teenager in the ’80s and early ’90s. Honolulu was a booming place with a lot of tourists and a thriving music scene. I have a lot of great memories.