Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Jewelry designers have been enamored of all things asymmetrical for the past few seasons—so much so that buying earrings as a pair, rather than individually, is no longer a given. But the mismatched earring look was largely limited to jewelers' other recent fixation—tiny, delicate, stackable pieces—until Sorelle's Francesa Grosso came along.
The Bed Stuy-based designer, who "loves a gold hoop," has been turning out minimalist, shoulder-dusting single earrings since 2012, but it was a pickup from Opening Ceremony one year later that really set her career in motion. Since then, she's added barely-there chokers, pearl-topped ear cuffs, and a series of septum rings to her lineup—and secured shelf space at cool-girl boutiques Assembly New York and Sincerely Tommy.
"Even though I have a mild obsession with symmetry, there's something about having an accessory stand out in an unconditional way," Francesca says. "I love the idea of layering, just like you would an outfit." See the designer's latest creations—and take a peek at her home studio—this way.
"My creations have always been about the Sorelle woman," Francesca says. "She's my mother, grandmother, sister, and fashion forward friends. She's passionate, strong and loves to treat herself from time to time."
'Adrienne' ear cuff, $60.
Francesca works out of her home studio. Here she is assembling earrings at her coffee-table-slash-jeweler's-bench.
"Hands down, the 'Teresa' cross hoops, named after my mother, are my best seller. They're also one of my personal faves. These are actually from my first collection, when I launched Sorelle in 2012"
Tiny cross pendants, waiting to be made into 'Teresa' hoops.
"For Sorelle's Fall/Winter collection in 2013, I decided to incorporate septum rings to adorn parts of your body that are unusual. As someone who loves to embrace change and have fun with my look, It's nice to have something semi-permanent to play around with."
'Deidre' septum ring, $160.
'Celine' hoops (sold as a pair), $100.
Living the work from home dream.
"I'm totally a creature of habit," Francesca says. "I wear my hair the same way every day. But if I throw on the 'Anja' single earring, I'll pull my hair off to the side slightly."
'Anja' single earring, $120.
The designer lays out her materials before getting to work.
One of Francesca's more elaborate septum ring creations.
'Aurora' necklace, $80.
'Maya' earring, $80.
All clean minimal lines, all the time.