Los Angeles-based jewelry brand Starling has partnered with designer Carly Cushnie on a five-piece capsule, out Monday.
Handmade in Los Angeles using completely postconsumer recycled 14-karat gold, aquamarine gems and diamonds, the collection was inspired by the ocean and sky, “a hopeful horizon,” said Cushnie.
“It felt natural,” she continued of the collaboration. “The pieces built on each other.”
Cushnie, who is New York-based, and Starling founder Chelsey Bartrum met through a mutual friend and began working on the line — two earrings, two necklaces and a ring — in January.
“It started with this piece,” said Bartrum of the “Horizon Eye Pendant,” a $2,980 circular charm set with trilliants and baguette-cut aquamarines, surrounded by diamonds. “The original sketch that Carly did was on this evil-eye premise that she had.”
Collaborations are nothing new for Bartrum, who has partnered with the likes of Olivia Wilde. But this is the first time she is releasing a collaborative capsule, beyond a singular piece.
“Carly’s initial design direction really pushed me to do something bigger,” said Bartrum. “We’ve focused on basics that I felt were easy to buy online, layering pieces that were simple, modern classics. To be able to do something with her that was beyond that was really fun.”
Collaborations are a way to expand the direct-to-consumer brand’s reach.
“We don’t sell at retail,” she continued. “Collaborations are important to our brand, and we try to do one or two a year.”
Founded in 2016, Starling has SCS Certification for postconsumer recycled materials and stones. All 14-karat yellow gold and sterling silver is postconsumer recycled metal, and Bartrum is working to source more postconsumer recycled diamonds.
“There’s not many designers out there who work the way that she does in terms of being so thoughtful with how she sources and the sustainability aspect of it, repurposing what’s already out there,” said Cushnie. “It’s beautifully made.”
In September Bartum will launch Heirloom Revival, with consumers able to reuse existing pieces. She plans to unveil a “Revival Engagement Ring Collection” and “Memory Charm Collection,” turning “sentimental gold pieces into new necklaces and bracelets.”