Jules Kim, the New York-based designer behind Bijules, subverts expectations of what jewelry is, and what it can become. Kim cleverly works around the architecture of the body, putting metal tips on fingernails, crafting engagement rings for the top knuckle, and rendering shoulder blades in gold.
Kim founded Bijules in 2004 after assisting designers and working in fashion PR. "I was like, ‘Shit, man, I'm working for all these people and I'm working my ass off, but I need to create my own line.' I needed to make stuff, and I had no idea who was going to do it for me, or about jewelry. I heard there was a Diamond District, but I didn't know where the fuck it was," Kim explains. Evidently, Kim made the right decision and her work has adorned the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Karen O, as well as Rooney Mara's Lisbeth Salander in the American The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Eschewing all the studs, spikes, and bells and whistles de rigeur in other brands' bijoux, Kim's latest collection, Il Futuro, a series of sleek, understated, minimalistic designs influenced by science fiction films such as Blade Runner, is a testament to Kim's constant creative evolution. "With me calling it Il Futuro, it's me trying to make the move to a future of jewelry," Kim says.
Bijulesterie, Kim's first store, opened this past June. The subterranean Bowery space, accessible by appointment only, is an intimate, womb-like chamber rife with raw femininity. Scented by Six Scents' exclusive fragrance collaboration with Bijules, plenty of plant life and bouquets of dried flowers line the walls, while a glowing neon heart sign overlooks glass vitrines of past and present collections. A live streaming radio station, complete with interviews and daily playlists central to the Bijules brand, is to be launched in the near future.
Kim certainly is having a busy summer, hosting the Select Summer Fridays party at Le Bain, and bringing the festivities overseas to Stockholm, all while working on the rebranding of Bijules's web presence, which will be unveiled in conjunction with the Spring 2013 collection. "The body, that's the soul of what I do, it translates into a piece of jewelry the way that a party [does], or introducing someone to someone else," Kim says. "It's just the connectivity and being able to have that fluidity. All these life experiences, they're connecting one thought to the next one."
For more information visit the Bijules NYC website.