A new direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand has entered the e-comm sector of our industry, and before you fall asleep wherever you’re reading this, just hold on: Some very important jewelry designers are involved!
Cast, which launched earlier in the month, calls itself a female-focused “jewelry collective” centered on a stable of international designers including Alice Cicolini, Francesca Villa, and Kristy Ford, with others on the horizon.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Rachel Skelly (formerly VP of creative for both Olly vitamins and Plum Organics baby food), with Eric Ryan (founder of Olly, Method, and Unilever-owned Welly bandages) as investor, the brand seeks to become the go-to jeweler for a new generation of jewelry collectors through the power of storytelling and a fresh supply of creations from the industry’s most provocative and covetable fine jewelry artists.
For Skelly, the “wonderment” factor is missing from the current fine jewelry landscape, and with Cast she hopes to bring customers “that magical feeling of discovering the perfect piece and knowing it was always meant to be yours,” according to a press release.
All the collections are exclusive to the platform and developed in collaboration with Skelly, who has a lifelong love of storytelling, design, and art (and a gemologist grandfather). Her career has been built on shaping brands’ identities, from product development to packaging design. Now she’ll be applying those skills in collaboration with creators who make wildly appealing, terribly chic, and artful jewelry designed to tell a story.
“To be part of the beginning of somebody’s story is a really special invitation,” Alice Cicolini, who joins the launch of Cast with two collections, tells JCK. “It was the first time I was asked to create a tone of voice for something that isn’t my own…to get into somebody else’s head, but do it in a way that still felt true to who I am as a designer. It was an extraordinary experience.”
Certainly the word cast is familiar to JCK’s audience of jewelry professionals, but Skelly landed on it because it speaks not only to the craft of jewelry-making but also to the “cast of characters in our lives—those that we make so many wonderful memories with” as well as “the cast of light that comes off beautiful gems and jewels” and “the cast of vibrant energy radiating off an individual when they are adorned in gorgeous jewelry.”
The aesthetics of the site, from logo to visuals, are lush and inviting and definitely immerse you in an atmosphere of warmth and approachability.
And the launch collections have meaty, evocative themes that make you want to know more.
Cicolini’s Mad Mod (pictured at top) draws on the designer’s trademark graphic patterns and vibrant colors. Rebel Icon, with its tough-luxe, knife-edged chain links, steers Cicolini in a metal-forward direction—definitely a fresh take for her.
The centerpiece of Francesca Villa’s Italian Heist Getaway ring flips over to offer four different looks in a single design.
And Kristy Ford gives us quiet luxury with Brazen Beauty—effortless interpretations of classics like huggies and curb link bracelets.
The goal right now is to introduce four to six new limited-edition collections to explore per year; new collection drops are planned for later this fall and for holiday shopping.
Top: Mad Mod cuffs in sterling silver, 14k gold, and enamel with amethyst, citrine, or blue topaz, $1,450; Alice Cicolini for Cast
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