Original article by Bo Sorensen.
A true designer at her core, Australian jewelry mogul Sarina Suriano is changing the game, one jewel at a time. Her innovative pieces are lusted after by a worldwide audience and celebrated by celebrities, top bloggers and stylists alike. The designer spoke to Welum about her journey, creative process and brand new collection.
After completing her degree in Industrial Design at the University of Technology Sydney, Suriano gained international experience working in Milan, designing products for Alessi, Fisher-Price, Barbie, Mattel, Olivetti, Swatch and Telecom Italia. After four years, her creative spark yearned for a change. So Suriano decided to follow the long-lost advice of her high school art teacher and began working for cult jeweler Erickson Beamon. Based in London, she began focusing on merging her technical skill set with her love of fashion and design. In 2001, Suriano returned to Australia and launched her eponymous jewelry label. Within three years, she was approached to present a collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, becoming the first ever Australian jewelry designer to stage an individual show.
Today, her pieces are very much reflective of the era of modernity in which we live. A pioneer of new ways to wear jewelry, Suriano single-handedly started the ear-cuff trend. She continues to push the boundaries of innovative design with her palm cuffs (an elegant alternative to wrist wear) and chic body armour for the contemporary woman. Inspired by art, culture, architecture, fashion, texture, nature and materials, Suriano designs jewelry for the woman “who isn’t afraid to stand out in a crowd” and who knows the value of well-made, unique works of craftsmanship.
Her creative process is, like her designs, quite technical. With fresh ideas penned onto whatever she can find in those moments of ingenuity, Suriano then pins these snippets together on a board until she is ready to sit down and sketch a full collection. She says, “My mind is like a photographic catalogue of colour, shapes, styles, lengths, materials – it’s sometimes months of thinking and observing my little world, whilst I am working on other projects”. Once a collection is fully sketched, scale paper models are made out of card stock and the design is then transferred into a digital state using computer software. “These working engineering drawings are very detailed with lots of solid lines, dotted lines, centerlines, arrows and numbers everywhere. I’m very passionate about fully itemized manufacturing drawings,” Suriano states.
In light of these challenging aspects of carrying out a business from a continent that is often disconnected with the rest of the world, Suriano has still managed to carve out an unequivocal presence in the international market. Her latest collection exudes timeless femininity. Sphera, the Latin word for the spherical shape of planets, is a tribute “to the eternal beauty, mystery and power of the moon, the sun, the stars and the galaxies”.
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