A fashion industry vet—she’s a stylist and has editing stints at Harper’s Bazaar, Lucky, and InStyle on her résumé—Ariela Suster merged her professional expertise and her family roots to develop Sequence jewelry, a bold collection with an inspiring story. We got the scoop behind Suster’s design vision and working with artisans in her home country of El Salvador.
SHOPBOP: Tell us a bit about why you decided to launch Sequence.
ARIELA SUSTER: I had been working in magazines and would edit and style collections from other designers. I always had a vision that one day I would use my experience to create a brand that would make a difference in people’s lives, especially for people in El Salvador, where I grew up and where my whole family currently lives.
SB: What is the meaning behind the name of your brand?
AS: The word “sequence,” for me, has a very spiritual meaning. I found that it kept coming up: whether it was referring to the sequence of events that led me to take this next step in my life and launch my own brand; to the precise sequence the threads need to be placed in each of the pieces to create the different combination of colors; or to the impact that I aspire this brand to have in positively influencing the sequence of young people’s lives in at-risk communities in El Salvador, changing their path into one filled with positive opportunities.
SB: How did you transition the traditional El Salvador style into something that would play in the American market?
AS: I work very closely with a group of young artisans that is now dedicated to creating Sequence designs. With their artisanal expertise, I wanted to retain a lot of the techniques and traditional shapes of El Salvador, like braids and knots that are used in furniture and in traditional hammocks. I was inspired by those shapes and translated them into pieces that could be worn and would make a statement.
SB: The pieces really do make a statement. What is the inspiration behind the color palette?
AS: The aesthetic and design of the collection showcases the juxtaposition of light and darkness. In the summer collection, we used some dark tones to represent the hardship and violence young people face in El Salvador, and contrasted them with bright neon colors that represent the hope, positive outlook, and happiness of being able to express their creativity and make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others.