out of the [tool] box | meet designer coalesce

If you like it, wear it. That’s the mantra behind the new, Barcelona-based jewellery label Coalesce. Coalesce is seeking to change the game by making inclusive, out-of-the-ordinary designs — with its small, close-knit team making each of its special jewellery pieces by hand. The label’s first collection, Out of the [Tool] Box, celebrates the label’s delightfully outsider status, featuring bold styles for everyone who wants to wear them. Schön! sat with label founder Gina Fiestas, creative + art director Sergi Rabasa and first collection designer Marta Colomer for a conversation about the brand, this collection and what the label hopes to accomplish next.

What inspired you to launch Coalesce?

Gina. I have always liked shopping at stores designed for men because I usually find some articles that I like, but the fact that I am a woman in a men’s store makes me feel kind of uncomfortable at times. All those pictures on the walls of men wearing the clothes, most of the time including a label attached stating the name of the brand accompanied by the word “Man”, as if it was only addressed to the masculine gender and sort of forbidden for other genders to wear them. That has made me feel like I do not belong there even if I like the clothes. 

At some point, I just realised that the same thing might be happening to other people as well, regardless of their gender. The first example that popped into my head was a man buying a pearl necklace for himself. He probably feels the same way as I do when buying men’s clothing; he goes to the accessories store and most likely there will be a stereotypical picture of a female model wearing that necklace and that store will surely have a feminine look. 

That inspired me to create a brand where everyone feels comfortable by feeling accepted and represented. I decided to create a jewellery brand for two main reasons. Firstly, on a personal level, I love accessories and I have been quite passionate about fashion since a very early age. Secondly, and most important, the world of jewellery is still dominated by big conventional brands with traditional styles and values. Coalesce is a new fresh brand with stronger messages that has been born to present jewellery in a completely different way and to offer unconventional designs. 

I honestly think young people with business ideas have to be brave enough to step up on a bigger stage to evolve and offer what’s needed.

all jewellery. COALESCE

all jewellery. COALESCE

You say your pieces are handcrafted by a small team in Barcelona. Why is that important to the brand’s ethos?

Gina. I think it is always very important to support small and local businesses, especially during these difficult times we are all going through globally. I love my city, Barcelona, and I want to support the artists here as much as I can, from the jeweller to the very last person that has helped to create this brand. 

Moreover, working with a small jeweller team has plenty of advantages. On the one hand, the treatment is much more personal which has helped me and the designer, Marta, to get very involved during the production process. This has been extremely important for us since we had a lot to learn about the jewellery making world. Also, having daily feedback has made it a lot easier to get to the desired point where the final pieces are exactly how we imagined them to be.

On the other hand, every single piece is handcrafted individually which has allowed us to offer personalised pieces in almost every article of the collection that contains zircon crystals and ribbons. Thus, our customers can choose from a variety of colours. 

Lastly, I strongly believe that the quality of the product working with a small jeweller team cannot be achieved with a big manufacturer given the fact that the smaller jeweller dedicates much more time to perfect each piece.

Why is being genderless important for Coalesce?

Gina. To achieve my mission of creating a brand where everyone feels comfortable and self-confident shopping, I was sure that the first thing I had to do was not to classify any product by any distinction such as race, gender, sex, etc. Hence, being genderless is one of the fundamental pillars of the brand. 

However, I do not want to state that we are a genderless brand. I want to normalise fashion brands not being centred on a single gender, so in my opinion, the best way to do that is by removing the genderless label off the brand’s description. That way we don’t encourage the division between “regular” brands and “genderless” brands. 

Our philosophy is: If you like it, wear it. Which I think represents very well what we want to convey. 

all jewellery. COALESCE

Introduce us to the Out of the [Tool] Box collection. What inspired this series?

Marta. When Gina, the founder, came to me with the idea of creating a jewellery brand and asked me to design the first collection, we had something in mind very different from what the brand has come up to be now, and we could not be happier with its evolution. However, there is one particular thing that has not changed; we wanted to break away from the associations of genders regarding colours, shapes and materials like purple shiny crystals. 

To answer the question, “inspired” is a word I do not resonate with. I think Out of the [Tool] Box collection is rather a reference to the world of tools and construction, which is something traditionally perceived by society as masculine. The collection also references the world of vintage jewellery and rhinestones, until now associated with femininity. Coalescing both ideas together is something quite simple, but fairly effective to show there is no right answer on what should be considered feminine or masculine. At the same time, it is helping to break the constant categorisation we have always been subjected to.

What would you say is the message that unites the pieces in this collection?

Marta. All of the pieces are united by the same message and it is the one the brand stands by: if you like it, wear it. This message means breaking with stereotypes, wearing what you like regardless of what society may think, being brave and open minded. We made sure each of the 19 products of the collection are statement pieces with their own personality and bold enough to carry the message of Coalesce. This message would not be complete without the person that ends up wearing the pieces, stylising them in their own way. 

The final products you get to see are a mix of different opinions and ideas of every great creative mind Coalesce has been lucky to work with. What we want people to get from the jewellery and the message we want to convey goes further than just silver pieces, including you to become part of our story, in order for Coalesce to become part of yours.

all jewellery. COALESCE

all jewellery. COALESCE

What were you looking to capture with the photo series that accompanies this piece?

Sergi. With the first collection of Coalesce we wanted to represent the essence of the brand in order to present it in the best possible way. This series introduces the visual identity of Coalesce, thus we wanted to capture the cultural, aesthetic and human diversity from a fashion and underground perspective. The three models involved in the photoshoot, each with a different target and personality, represent unification and freedom of choice without fear of social stereotypes or phobias. 

To represent the concept of the collection itself, we used boxes and tools in an industrial, old, dusty and deteriorated warehouse representing the society that surrounds us. This is what gave name to the first collection of Coalesce: Out of the [Tool] Box. Meaning getting out of our thoughts, fears and insecurities to be who we want to be, dressing how we want and expressing our values. In the campaign video we see our models opening the tool box, in other words, breaking from that closed-minded society. 

Opening the box, also symbolises the beginning of Coalesce and especially the first collection.

What’s next for Coalesce?

Gina. For now, I am looking forward to seeing how the public reacts to the first collection and I want to hear what they expect from Coalesce in the future. 

The vision I have for Coalesce is to keep creating unique collections, each one with a very strong identity as this first one. Hopefully we get to collaborate with different brands and artists that share the same values as Coalesce, with the pursuit of spreading our message and reaching out to the most people possible, especially those who are looking for a brand like this.

all jewellery. COALESCE

Discover more from COALESCE on the label’s website.
Follow the brand on Instagram.

photography. Enzo Iriarte
fashion. Itziar Deberry
creative + art direction. Sergi Rabasa
models. Megane Mercury, Saskia Jovanovic + Romantic Kitano
hair + make up. Alba Moya
production + founder. Gina Fiestas
film. Pol Ferraris + Joan Martínez Urango
graphic design. Paula de Álvaro
jewellery design. Marta Colomer
music. Marshal
fashion assistant. Ferran Saez
special thanks. La Principal Retro & Co + La Comune Vintage


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