Velvet & Slate’s founder and designer Karisa Perrone’s creative energy has been a natural part of her life for as long as she can remember. And along with her penchant for pop culture references, this creativity led Karisa to create a brand that is unmistakable in its style while never taking itself too seriously.
back in the day
You might say that Karisa’s side hustle started at an early age. She actually began making jewelry in elementary and high school. Her sister’s teachers would even invite her over for jewelry parties to sell her pieces when she was 12. (Side note: Where were those parties when we were growing up?)
Creating and exploring art through high school, Karisa went on to earn her BFA while attending Parsons, the New School for Design, a premier school for fashion design in New York City.
While at Parsons, Karisa focused on high-end fashion, interning with Michael Kors and Diane Von Furstenberg and created jewelry as part of her senior thesis.
Karisa even studied abroad in Paris. There she fell even more madly in love with fashion. She was constantly captivated by its ability to create a moment and an experience where the wearer can transform into whomever they want to be.
From New York to Paris, It became so obvious: No matter where in the world Karisa found herself, she’d always find her way home to her passion for design and her love for fashion.
designer in the city
After graduation, Karisa worked in NYC for about 8 years in the bridal industry (before the Porta event that would bring us those coveted feather earrings). Karisa’s work designing wedding dresses allowed her to hone her eye for detail and precision with things like lace patterns, embellishments, and beading. She became slightly obsessed with intricate detailing and making things with her hands.
Continuing to work in the bridal industry, Karisa spent any free time she had on Velvet and Slate. Her own jewelry line gave her the creative outlet she was craving. It allowed her to show the world her creative vision, taste, and style. There was no one guiding the details. No one pushing a particular way to interpret a trend. It was just her. There were no rules. Simply intuition.
born to be by the sea:
velvet & slate at home in asbury park
Karisa will be the first to tell you that Velvet and Slate would not be what it is without the inspiration she gets from her home city of Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Karisa dreamed of moving to the seaside town for years before she finally settled into Asbury. The creative community there allowed her to feel connected to something that is always evolving, a community of people just as inspired as she was and the perfect combination of suburban, urban, and beach life. There was nothing missing, no sacrifice from leaving NYC. Karisa was home.
keeping up with karisa today
Today you’ll find Karisa in her Asbury Park apartment making jewelry with her girl Lanikai (the absolute cutest English bulldog, ever!).
She’s always down for indulging her Puerto Rican and Italian roots with some delicious Spanish food, pasta, and pizza (all the pizza...) while sipping fine wine, gin cocktails, or a well-made margarita.
Karisa loves to keep up with what’s going on in pop culture and as a designer, she's always working to capture the zeitgeist of our current moment, one Lizzo song at a time, of course.
Style-wise she’s currently obsessed with hats (seriously, it’s a borderline hoarding sitch over here….) and is an unrepentant shoe-lover.
When she’s not in Asbury, you can find Karisa hopping flights and collecting jewelry from all over the world as she does. From Europe to the Caribbean to Southern Asia, travel keeps Karisa inspired, creative, and ahead of the curve when it comes to fashion too!
Want to know more about Karisa? Gotta know when the next Velvet and Slate collection drops? You can connect with Karisa and V&S on Instagram at @VelvetandSlate