For Carbon & Hyde founders, sisters Oren and Yarden Katz, jewelry design was an inevitable fate. The duo’s roots are based in the industry, with their grandfather still working as a diamond dealer in Israel—he’s 92 now, by the way—and their father operating a jewelry manufacturing business in downtown Los Angeles.
“When my father was growing up, my grandfather wanted him to learn all about the industry,” says Oren. “He learned everything from how to cut and set diamonds, to how to polish and clean jewelry; all of which he put into practice when he moved to L.A. Naturally, we grew up around jewelry and always knew we would one day end up in the same business.” And that they did. After working a couple of years in fashion in New York, the sisters returned to L.A. to launch their own fine jewelry line in 2013.
Harkening back to the siblings’ origins, the label’s name not only references the atomic makeup of diamonds (carbon), but also uses “Hyde” as a nod to both leather and a more raw approach to jewelry styling. “The two are our past and our present,” says Oren. “As kids, Yarden and I used to walk around in custom-made jewelry designed by my mom and made in my father’s workshop, worn with funky leather jackets that she would design or buy from friends. We were always Carbon & Hyde.”
Often described as fine jewelry with an edge, the stunning pieces are handcrafted from shades of 14k yellow, white, and rose gold. “We tested so many different “colors” of rose gold until we found the perfect mixture. It’s a blend of gold and different alloys, so it can come in many different shades. Ours is very bright and pretty, whereas others can look dark or copper-toned.”
Rounding out the modern designs are accents of diamonds and leather, two of the label’s primary materials. “We typically work with round diamonds, though we’ve also incorporated baguette and triangle cuts, which help create the edgy look we were going for in styles like the Trojan Ear Chain.” The Katz sisters use calf leather in their pieces, choosing it for its softness and high quality. They also make sure to double-side all of their leather straps, ensuring the band is comfortable against the body. This thoughtfulness extends to the brand as a whole. When asked about their work, the duo replies, “When we design new pieces, our mission is to design them for ourselves. Anything we don’t fall in love with, we don’t add to the line. We believe that if you don’t absolutely love it and want to wear it, you won’t be able to sell it.”