Designers / Industry

How We Got Here: Lifelong Friends Kelia Toledano and Kelly Souied of Rainbow K


Sometimes you can’t fight fate: First Kelia Toledano and Kelly Souied grew up on the same street in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris. Then they both chose to study finance and economics, which appealed to their practical sides.

But the main fascination that bonded the two childhood friends for life was jewelry—their desire to turn vintage inspirations into modern artistic statements through gemstones, precious metals, and bold shapes. The result was Rainbow K, their Paris-based jewelry brand founded in 2019.

If fate decides your friendship is for life, then you couldn’t ask for a better blend of talents: Toledano’s jobs in finance, architecture, and ready-to-wear fashion plus Souied’s economics background that quickly funneled into a gemologist degree are potent and memorable. In other words, when you see a piece of Rainbow K jewelry, it has that jewelry magic where it is both beautifully desirable and instantly identifiable.

Piercing double ring
The piercing-style circle and diamond-covered round shapes are a Rainbow K motif, making this double ring in 14k gold a standout ($4,300).

“We decided to combine our two worlds—our mutual passions,” Toledano says. “For Kelly, the diamonds. And for me, fashion. We both could no longer find what we were looking for in the fine jewelry market. The jewelry brands in France almost only offered classic style brands, but we wanted a more fashionable, trendy model while being chic and precious.”

“We needed something inspiring and edgy, and in Paris that was nonexistent,” Toledano adds. “This gave us the opportunity and need to create a brand.”

You have to go back to their mutual childhoods to find the seeds for Rainbow K. Toledano says while other girls were taking dance lessons, she was learning to sew.

“My pleasure was to design and create my own clothes or customize pieces that I already had and make them even more eccentric,” Toledano says.

Medaille necklace
With a look that is dog-tag inspired yet also reminiscent of arched windows, the Medaille necklace is genderless and roughly elegant at the same time ($4,925).

She dreamed of owning a ready-to-wear fashion brand. Instead, Toledano says she got pulled into finance. “I registered at the University in Assas in finance currencies. I got my license, then I decided to change industries and do something that was more in my element,” she says.

“I went to an architecture firm, where I was taught the trade. What I liked was that I could be creative and offer vintage furniture in projects,” Toledano says. “And then I decided to launch myself and make a ready-to-wear brand, Indyane. Drawing, creating, and making my drawings was a real dream.”

Down the street, Souied went down a similar path initially, getting a bachelor’s degree in economics. But her childhood obsession with jewelry and diamonds called to her. Souied learned Hebrew at Tel Aviv University so she could study at the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan. That adolescent passion turned into a very grown-up career.

handcuff earring
The Handcuff collection is another of Rainbow K’s silhouettes, creating a sharp edge but a molten-metal feel to earrings, pendants, and bracelets ($3,150).

“The big houses like Cartier or Bulgari fascinated me due to their design and high quality,” Souied says. “I even learned that my grandfather, whom I did not know, had a jewelry store in Paris in the 1960s. It was meant to be. I graduated as a gemologist and I knew it would be the only job I wanted to do in my life. Having the soul of an entrepreneur, my desire to achieve it never let me down.”

Rainbow K was Souied’s dream, and she brought Toledano into the project. Their next goal? Expand into the U.S. market and see their jewelry become iconic.

“A great deal of our inspiration comes through our passions of vintage and the art deco ear as well as current runway looks,” Toledano says. “Then we add our twist, bringing the modernity angle into the mix.”

Top: Kelia Toledano and Kelly Souied are the designers behind the Parisian jewelry brand Rainbow K, which blends their mutual love of diamonds and fine jewelry with vintage fashion, furnishings, and accessories (photos courtesy of Rainbow K). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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