Emilie Shapiro

Handmade in Emilie’s studio in New York City, each piece is carved into a hard wax cast with metal and embellished with raw gemstones to celebrate the beauty of natural imperfection.

Couverture & The Garbstore

Hi Emilie, we are over the moon to be your exclusive stockist in the UK. For those who aren't familiar, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to start your brand?

I'm so excited for my work to be represented at Couverture. I began making jewellery when I was 13 and haven't stopped since! I used to take apart my Grandmother's costume jewellery and experiment with new ways to put it back together. After studying jewelry design in New York and Florence, I worked in the industry for a few different designers and also taught jewelry classes before starting my own brand.

Couverture & The Garbstore

You come from a family of creatives, who encouraged you to explore different mediums from a young age. How did this help you find your path into jewellery design?

My Father works in the garment district in NYC, so I grew up going to his office and raiding the sample floor. I was always so inspired by the colors and textures of the many different types of fabrics. My Grandfather also owned a toy company that was manufactured in Brooklyn. I loved going to the factory and seeing how things were made - from the casting the doll heads to hand painting the faces.

I spent so much of my childhood going to their offices, and I've always been intrigued about the knitty, gritty of how things are made behind the scenes, but also the ability to be an entrepreneur and put beautiful pieces into the world.

My favorite saying is "Art into Industry" which was a pillar of the Bauhaus art school in Germany from 1919 - 1933. I was always interestin art and design, but when I found jewelry I loved that it was a piece of art you could carry with you all day.

Couverture & The Garbstore

The designs you create are so intricate and sculptural. Could you tell us a bit about the story of your designs?

My biggest inspirations are textures, color and movement in nature. I've always been a collector of things and I love to comb the beach for treasures. That's how I think about my work - a treasure that someone chooses to carry with them.

Your pieces perfectly encapsulate the beauty of imperfection. Is there a certain process you go through to create your designs?

I grew up as a dancer so movement within a piece and with a piece on your body is so important to me. When I sit down to design, I usually start with a gemstone or a shape and really just let the piece guide me and tell me where it wants to go.

Couverture & The Garbstore

Is there a particular gemstone that stands out to you? If so, why?

My favorite stones to work with are aquamarine. I love the ranges of the hues, from the palest to deepest blues and greens. Water is a big inspiration to me and I really feel the colors of the ocean in every aquamarine.

For the aspiring designers out there, what advice would you give them on starting their own brand?

It takes time to find your own voice and style. Design is a daily exercise and make it part of your ritual. Experiment and learn by trial and error. Never stop learning!