Carrera y Carrera founder Manuel Carrera was indisputably one of the most respected names in Spanish jewellery design. The well-established brand has been defined by his singular creative vision, which has brought enormous success. When the company began its international expansion in the eighties, his powerful style was the linchpin to the jewellery collections.
Commercial director, Milutin Djuric, agrees: “Every piece he created was a mini sculpture, with every detail carefully fulfilled. We still take care of the volumes, combinations and surfaces of every single detail. We take care of the character that every piece transmits, too. When you take a piece of jewellery in your hands you can feel all of its energy.”
The brand lives by the motto ‘dare to be different’, creating every piece fully from hand from their Madrid-based workshop. Artisans treat every single piece as high jewellery – “they come alive in their hands” – as Carrera puts it. “It’s incredible to see how, step by step from the sketch, the piece becomes a true work of art.” The design team itself is small, although people don’t tend to leave, with most devoting their lives to the brand.
“They know the brand’s DNA, carefully keeping the brand’s traditions while knowing the character that Carrera y Carrera used to transmit. They’ve been working together and learning from Manuel Carrera, and are not just a team, but family.” The artisans they wholly trust create the jewels using traditional processes. “Most of the artisans started in our workshop as apprentices, and now they are first class masters. The Carrera y Carrera style differs so much from the style of the other jewellery brands. It’s not easy just to arrive at our workshop and to start making pieces, even with experience. What we do really appreciate is the dedication. Our artisans are not only the masters; they are Carrera y Carrera masters. Most of them are completely in love with their job. They create. They don’t do it mechanically, but put part of their soul in each of the pieces.”
The jewels themselves are miniature works of art. “If you take a look you’ll see that the protagonist is the gold. Volumes, shapes, surfaces – every detail is a reflection of the inspiration. Once you see it, you feel it in your hands, then you fall in love immediately. Our pieces have a lot of character and passion – all of them are different, but unified with the same idea and the same philosophy.” Thinking of new challenges and ways to create is effortless for them, but it’s not always easy to create a wholly new collection while remaining faithful to the traditions of the brand – all the while keeping it contemporary and the customers happy all at the same time. “The balance is not easy to find, but I think we successfully do it from one collection to another,” Djuric concedes. New pieces take anything from hours to weeks to create, depending on size – and quality control is exhaustive.”
All collections have their own story behind them – some are inspired by Spanish culture and architecture, others on Asia’s mystical creatures. “The main aspects we need to consider while working with jewellery pieces are that they should be ergonomic, easy to wear and should not lose their signature touch,” Djuric says. As it’s a small team, all members have a say in the design, but day-to-day Djuric is involved in many different aspects of the jewellery business. “It encompasses everything, starting from the first drafts approval and finishing with the direct contact with our clients.”
“We participate in the biggest international fairs and events, so it involves a lot of preparation and daily routine that are necessary for the upcoming achievements. Travelling for business trips is important, to meet with our clients, but throughout the years Carrera y Carrera has become a big part of my life. It has become my family, so my typical day is to develop, to believe and to fight for the brand, to go on and never stop developing Carrera y Carrera.” Can he tell us what’s next? “New collections, new surprises and new challenges,” he says. We’ll stay tuned…
More at: www.carreraycarrera.com