JCK Asks…Sydney Evan Designer Rosanne Karmes

Given the enormous popularity of personalized jewelry (see JCK’s November–December 2016 “Fully Burnished” still-life feature), there couldn’t be a better time for Sydney Evan to release its 15th Anniversary collection. Designer Rosanne Karmes picked a dozen of her “best-selling and most recognizable designs” for the 14k gold and pavé diamond celebratory collection, including a horseshoe, smiley face, evil eye, and more. And if you can’t settle on just one, there’s also a necklace and bracelet that puts them all together, side by side. So what’s Sydney Evan’s most popular charm? “Love, of course.”

Age: Old enough.

Number of years in the biz: 30

Number of employees you oversee: 30-plus.

Karmes’ family

Family and pets: Two children, Sydney and Evan. We just lost our beloved rescue dog, Charlie.

Describe your personal style: Classic with an edge.

First piece you ever designed: A white gold and pavé diamond horseshoe necklace.

15th Anniversary Collection necklace

The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: My 15th Anniversary necklace that I just finished. It represents 15 years of my most beloved charms and symbols.

Best piece of advice you ever received: “Listen to your instincts.”

Worst piece of advice: That I can’t do something.

First job ever: In my senior year of high school, I worked part time for a jewelry manufacturer in downtown Los Angeles.

Turquoise paisley flower studs

How did you get started designing jewelry? I owned a showroom representing accessory designers and noticed a void in the industry for fashion-driven fine jewelry. I wanted to design jewelry for the self-purchasing woman who didn’t want to wait for a man to buy her jewelry. The goal was to introduce fun, fashionable, and affordable fine jewelry to the market.

If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? I’d probably open a store selling antique fine jewelry, which is another passion of mine. Or I would be a
comedian because I love to make people happy and laugh.

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: My new big “Love” necklace, my fossilized woolly mammoth bracelet with diamond bead, my engagement ring, stack of beaded gemstone bracelets, Multi Evil Eye bracelet, Cartier Ballon Bleu watch, and my red coral beaded hamsa bracelet that I’m never without. The bracelet is an ode to my French mother, who would sew red thread into the lining of all my clothing to make sure I was protected.

Vogue Gioiello

Five items on your desk right now: iPhone, loupe, diamond/gold scale, latest issue of Vogue Gioiello, my little Nespresso machine.

Five songs on your playlist: “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” Nancy Sinatra; “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele; “Imagine,” John Lennon; “Je vais t’aimer,” Michel Sardou; “Son of a Preacher Man,” Dusty Springfield.

Exercise regimen: I work out at the gym three times a week with weights and cardio. I take a dance class once a week.

Evil Eye disc medallion ring

What did you have for breakfast? Scrambled egg whites and half a bagel.

Drink (daytime/evening): Water/Frank Family cabernet.

Guilty pleasure: Go Greek frozen yogurt.

First website you check every day (not your own!): The Editorialist.

Scent: Bulgari Au Thé Vert.

Graduated heart ear climber

How do you unwind? Playing Words With Friends.

Superstitious? Absolutely.

Book you’re reading: Haven in a Heartless World by Christopher Lasch.

Book you’ve been meaning to get to: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.

Preferred news source: Facebook.

Main means of transportation: I live in LA so driving or Uber, of course.


A must-visit for someone traveling to LA: Malibu.

Favorite movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Who would play you in your life story? Sarah Jessica Parker.

Personal motto: “Choose nice.”

(Malibu: Twenty20)

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