From a Humble Workshop
In 1885, founder Saturio Esteban Carrera, having completed his lapidary studies, arrived in Madrid, Spain, to open his workshop. Once Saturio had taught his son, José, all he knew, José traveled to Paris to complete his studies. He returned to Madrid to take up the family business, opening his shop on Santa Isabel Street in Madrid.
Having no children of his own, José entrusted the business to his four nephews, tutoring them in the skills they would need to carry on the family’s tradition of fine jewelry and quality craftsmanship. In the 1970s, Saturio’s great-grandsons, Manuel and Juan José Carrera, established the brand, and the name Carrera y Carrera was born.
- 1960: Carrera received its first royal commission, designing a tiara for Fabiola de Mora y Aragon for her nuptials to King Baudouin I of Belgium. It was to be one of the most significant pieces in the jewelers’ history.
- 1977: Manuel Carrera took the company’s jewelry designs to Basel, Switzerland, for the prestigious jewelry and watch show, Baselworld.
- 1979: Carrera y Carrera extended its presence to the United States. With the launch of its collection in the Cellini boutique at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, the distinctive Carrera style was heralded and embraced by high society figures and celebrities alike.
- The 1980s: Ronald Reagan received a sculpture from Carrera y Carrera that became part of the White House Museum collection.
- 1992: Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain, herself a big fan of the jeweler, became the patroness of a piece created by Manuel Carrera and the Carrera y Carrera artisan goldsmiths. Entitled El Arca del Descrubimiento del Quinto Centenario (The Art of Discovery of the Fifth Centennial), the work was displayed in the City Hall in Madrid.
- 1992: The jeweler opened its new facility in 1992 in San Agustin del Guadalix, Madrid.
- 1994: Carrera y Carrera opened a location in Russia. Less than a decade later, in 2002, their triumph in Russia was solidified when a stunning piece from Carrera y Carrera’s private collection entitled El Sueño de Ícaro (Icarus’ Dream) was displayed at the Armory Museum in the Kremlin.
- 2000: Carrera y Carrera received a medal from the Russian Academy of the Arts. That same year, Miriam of Hungary, Princess of Turnovo, became part of the design team.
- 2002 - 2006: Lladró took over the reins of the company.
- 2010: Carrera y Carrera was asked to design a ring for the Maja de Goya Award, an award given to the most elegant actress at the Goya Awards Ceremony.
Thanks to the branding efforts of Manuel and Juan Carrera in the 1970s, Carrera y Carrera experienced a significant increase in recognition worldwide.
Brand development was also crucial in solidifying Carrera’s reputation in their home country. Their jewelry creations became favorites of the Spanish royal family and the aristocracy.
The introduction of iconic assortments, such as Circulos de Fuegos and Aqua, made the increasing expansion of the company’s international footprint possible.
Celebrities who have embraced the Carrera y Carrera jewels include Katy Perry, Demi Moore, Lady GaGa, and Jennifer Lopez.
Carrera y Carrera Style
The house is celebrated for its unique, lively, sculptural designs. Its jewelry takes many different shapes, drawing inspiration from nature and mythology. Prominent themes include animal figures, such as cats, serpents, and elephants. In addition, Carrera y Carrera produced a signature collection, Las Manos, that featured women’s hands as its central element.
- Bambu and Circulos de Fuegos: Carrera y Carrera manifested its Asian influence in these two collections. Traditional Chinese art, complete with dragons, can be found in the Circulos de Fuegos (Circle of Fire) collection. Bamboo shoots and leaves are prevalent in various jewelry pieces for the Bambu series.
- Seda Imperial: These feminine jewelry styles were replete with flowers sprinkled in diamonds alongside colorful pieces that featured floral flourishes. Allegedly, the famous Manila shawl was part of the inspiration for the unique patterns embodied in this assortment. “Seda” is Spanish for “silk.”
- Bestiaro: Where the wild things thrive…the Bestiaro collection embodied the strength and fierceness of nature’s most wild creatures.
- Sol y Sombra: An homage to the sun, these whimsical pieces celebrated the passion, light, and joy of a life well-lived.
- Círculos de Fuegos: Another collection inspired by Asian culture; these pieces depicted what translated as a “circle of fire.” Dragons again made their appearance, crafted with ferocity in precious metals and elaborate designs.
- Aqua: Water, the source for all life, was the theme of this fluid, elegant collection. Carrera y Carrera combined paisley motifs with pointillist textures and winding shapes to create these luscious creations. Precious metals, diamonds, and semi-precious stones came together timelessly