We caught up with Rael Cohen, a designer who combine the images and iconography of the world around her with high concept fashion jewelry.
Cohen’s background gives her a unique, blended perspective. She grew up in the wooded areas of Maine and upstate New York, later moving to New York City at the age of eighteen to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.
“My influences come from both,” she added. “I love the city life–the architecture and culture–as well as the grace, beauty and calmness of nature.”
Cohen earned a degree in fine arts and spent a decade working in the fashion industry. She has always been interested in creating jewelry, having started making her own since the age of five.
“It has always been something that I have loved since I was a child; it began when I could hold a needle and thread,” she added.
After working in the fashion industry for over a decade, Cohen decided to start her jewelry line. “My cumulative skill-sets, spiritual philosophy and design aesthetic had developed enough where I felt confident enough to create my collections. My pieces remind us of the natural grace, beauty and intelligence present within all of existence, including one another and ourselves.”
“My jewelry has embedded aspects of consciousness in it. What I’m looking to express is the beauty that is around us. Whether that beauty comes from physical forms, like the gracefulness of a butterfly, or through architecture and mathematics.”
Cohen’s themes include astrology, the chakra system of Eastern cultures, nature, mathematics and sigils. She adds pieces to these collections, balancing out the assortment.
Her design process is fairly straight forward; Cohen creates a prototype based on her designs, then experimenting with materials and plating for the final product.
“Currently, I make everything out of stainless steel,” she said. She chose this material due to it being hypoallergenic, strong and lightweight. “I create super-thin objects and need them to be durable despite how light they are.”
The best part of her designs is the connection they make with their owner. “My jewelry highlights an aspect of their self-expression and brings it to the forefront. It is less about the material; instead, it is about how it makes you feel.”
“My favorite creation is the brand itself,” she said. “It is in its fledgling stages, but I feel it is robust in terms of the sorts of minds it appeals to. That said, she does admit to being extremely partial to a pair of butterfly inspired earrings. “They’re just really cute,” she laughed.
Cohen’s greatest sense of accomplishment comes from people who enjoy her art. “I appreciate people looking at my work; I want them to know that I am happy making something that speaks to you, makes you joyous and happy to own.”