After receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale, Rachelle Epstein began her career as a painter, showing her work at Aquavella Galleries in New York City and internationally. In the 70s, she was introduced to the jeweller and precious stone dealer, Ralph Esmerian, who inspired Epstein to design jewellery. She designed for Tiffany & Co. in the 1980s, and has returned twice as a design consultant. After departing from Tiffany in the 80s, Joel Rosenthal of JAR recommended Epstein to Asprey, where she designed collections made by Carvin French. By 1989 she launched her own collection, SHELLE at Bergdorf Goodman, and continued to collaborate with Esmerian on major pieces for Cartier, Bulgari, Nieman Marcus, Christie's and Van Cleef & Arpels. She is represented in numerous magazine articles and books, including “Hollywood Jewels” and “Diamonds”, both published by Harry Abrams. Her work was also featured in the “Diamonds” exhibition at the Museum of Natural History in 2000.
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