Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s New York store is an institution. Walking in, you know you’ll discover the coolest mix of new and existing labels, and undoubtedly discover a label you never knew you had to have. Jewelry label Robin Mollicone is just that. The namesake line is a blend of handcrafted beadwork and modern silhouettes—the type of piece you’d add to a minimal dress for a little character.
"EVERYONE THINKS I'M NUTS AND I'M ALWAYS GETTING TIPS FROM PEOPLE ON HOW I COULD WORK FASTER, BUT I DON'T WANT TO."
For the New York-based designer Robin Mollicone, inspiration introduced itself early on. “I grew up in Rhode Island and my Dad owned a costume jewelry factory, so I started hoarding beads and rhinestones from a very young age,” she explains. “My pre-school class had a day where you could invite your Dad to come in and tell the class what they did for work. Instead, I invited the class to my dad’s factory to make necklaces." Mollicone continued to work with her father throughout her childhood summers, and she discovered her own passion for creating bespoke jewelry. “I always had my own jewelry thing on the side, then a few years ago I had a full-time job in academia and had the moment of ‘this is it, I need to do my own thing now.’ The timing felt right, so I left to focus on my jewelry full time.”
Inspired by indigenous jewelry making techniques, Mollicones pieces are instantly emotive. Her styles range from statement necklaces and beaded hoop earrings to extra large safety pins smothered with beads.They are big and bold, and have personality—a trait that veers off the popular minimalist shapes of the moment. “To me, my work feels like all the pieces of my life coming together at once,” she says. “Costume jewelry silhouettes from the 40’s to the 90’s inspire me, as well as hand sewing and Native American beadwork techniques that l learned while following the Grateful Dead. And then the influence of living in NYC. I spend a lot of time walking my dog and people watching when I’m not working. It never gets old.”
A cup of coffee, then a smoothie from Juice Press. I'm a creature of habit and get the same thing every day—a Fountain of Youth smoothie with no agave.
2. What was your last dream about?
I can’t remember specifics, but my dream life is very active and there are often dogs or wild animals that can talk or have other human traits.
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Definitely to fly!
4. What is your spirit animal?
5. Biggest vice?
Ugh, I hate to say this but cigarettes. I've had an on-and-off relationship with them for years now.
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
I can’t think of one specific person, but I would like to go back to ancient Egypt (preferably as a queen), just to check it all out.
7. What is your favorite song?
Anything by the Grateful Dead.
8. Favorite artists?
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Black leggings, a crewneck sweatshirt and Vans sneakers.
10. Any hidden talents?
I’m still waiting for them to reveal themselves!