Posted by: Michele Cohen
Carrie Morrissey is the owner and designer behind I Still Love You NYC (ISLYNYC), a jewelry line that is garnering international attention. Her hand-crafted acrylic pieces can be seen everywhere from the pages of Vogue and other magazines to gracing the bodies of recording artists Iggy Azalea and Meghan Trainor.
Morrissey has shown at New York Fashion Week in the past, collaborating with DKNY. Many of ISLY’s pieces are designed to match DKNY’s line, or are re-purposed to do so. She is currently working on her own collection, “BARBIE DYSMORPHIA,” featuring around 60 new pieces of jewelry, visors and belts for Market Week, the main wholesale purchasing time of each season following Fashion Week.
In 2014, DKNY learned of ISLY through International Playground, a showroom in Soho that handles sales for ISLY. The fashion director at DKNY contacted Morrissey suggesting a co-brand collaboration. She could barely contain her excitement.
“I read the email on my phone and threw the phone across the room I was so excited,” she said. Still, Morrissey remains humble, designing and cutting each individual piece of jewelry with her laser cutter. It was only a year and a half ago when she invited eight people over to her apartment, including her mother, to help fulfill a thousand-piece order. Now, she has a new studio space, has hired a full-time production assistant and still finds it “trippy” when people show interest in her work.
ISLYNYC is now sold in all of the DKNY flagship stores at seven locations in the United States and two in the United Kingdom. One can also find ISLY merchandise in boutique shops in New York City, such as Patricia Field and International Playground, as well as domestically in Nordstrom’s and Nasty Gal. Morrissey also has a large fan base internationally.
Morrissey graduated from Moore in 2004 with a BFA in Fashion Design. She worked several jobs in the industry while in Philadelphia. After moving to New York City, she was hired as a Web Product Data Management Specialist at Fishman and Tobin Inc., a kidswear brand specialist. But the corporate world wasn’t fulfilling her creative needs, which kept her up late at night creating things. Morrissey decided to follow her heart. She created ISLYNYC in 2010 as a clothing line. It wasn’t until 2013 that ISLY was noticed for its laser- cut acrylic jewelry. By 2013, ISLY phased out clothing to focus solely on jewelry.
Morrissey is currently positioning herself to work more with celebrity stylists and wants to be “the brand choice” for custom pieces. A pair of ISLY “sports icon earrings,” one of Morrissey’s favorite pieces, have been worn by actress Shay Mitchell and have been featured in numerous magazines. Another pair of ISLY earrings are featured on a back-up dancer in Beyonce’s new music video for her song, “7/11.”
ISLY’s jewelry is fun, bold, and pushes boundaries. Morrissey believes that ISLY also sets itself apart because of her fashion background, which allows her pieces to be more “conceptual and esoteric.”
Morrissey said she gained a solid knowledge of the fashion industry through studio design classes at Moore that prepared her for three different internships and her career. Morrissey is a firm believer that one should be in the industry for a while before branching out independently. It wasn’t until years later that she took business classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she learned how to create a business plan.
Morrissey credits Moore not only for preparing her for the fashion industry but for something that has proven to be just as empowering — the relationships she built with other Moore graduates. “I really loved that Moore was a girls school,” she said, “It was something I didn’t think I’d be that in to at first, but I forged some of the best friendships. It’s thrilling to watch your friends succeed and it’s something that has always made me really happy.”