A Conversation with Jules Kim

A Conversation with Jules Kim of Bijules

The Six Scents Parfums team has been friends with New York based Jeweler Jules Kim for many years now. We have seen her grow Bijules into a worldwide brand that counts celebrity tastemakers such as Rihanna among it’s clients. Despite her successes Jules has always stayed true to her convictions and her own unique personal aesthetic. We sit down with Jules to speak about the jewelry business, her inspirations, scents and what’s to come.

Q: Tell us a bit about the first pieces you made and how you went about creating them. 

A: I started Bijules in the basement of my first East Village apartment 8 years ago. I was throwing parties and DJing and when I went out I found the best audience for selling my work was my peers. I wore double of everything and pushed to sell while I was out! I understood that what I was making was important, but the way to communicate what I was doing was just as crucial.

Now, the quality of both the product and the story around it has become Bijules’ strongest attribute and has set it apart from its competitors. Each piece was born with its own unique personality. The jewelry speaks for itself and its wearers don’t have to say a word. It is an obvious decision what type of person my clients want to be… someone confident and someone who takes time to research what makes them happy.

Q: In many ways you are the face of your brand, was this a conscious decision you made when you started?

A: I definitely did not start Bijules with a 5 or 10 year plan. I began because I wanted to. I felt the overwhelming need to create tangible products but with intangible connections and I asserted myself as the storyteller. No one could do it better and no one has. I believe what I have to say is not unique to just myself but my thoughts and lifestyle choices are shared by millions and THAT is called a marketplace. If I exist in a marketplace then who better to cater to and that is what I have helped create… I am lucky to be an outgoing character and I use this “all risk no shame” mentality everyday…

I made my decision to risk everything I had and everything I could have to build Bijules; therefore, now – I am passionate about sharing my successes and also my failures. That makes me a human being and all of my clients, whether they are Rihanna or not, are just as humble. It’s the shared act of buying Bijules, which makes all of them similar.

Q: Where do you look for inspiration on new designs?

A: I look everywhere. I am a world traveler and when I am out and about either in Paris or Berlin, etc. I am eagerly looking for inspiration! I see a Con Ed guy hanging from a streetlight, I am thinking, “holy shit, look at his body harness. That’s hot!” I keep a pretty tight peripheral vision though; I am not an artist who needs to input what other people are doing. It’s a diversion and I’d prefer to stick to my own original  thought. I see things in a different way and it is this unique vision I communicate with Bijules.

Q: You always seem to have so much on your plate with your business, travel, and a little partying on the side. How do you manage it all?

A:Who says I am?! Ha! I try to maintain a constant schedule of business mixed with a little carousing. I cannot take myself or what I do too seriously or else I’d neglect who I really am! I do all of this because I am obligated to find new business and new inspiration but I am also obligated to find new people and friends!

Q:You have been creating jewelry for over seven years now. What are some tough lessons you’ve learned and some big successes you’ve achieved over that time frame?

A:There are so many! I have learned that consistency is the key and that one must build diligence in everything they do. Each of us measures success differently so it is always a tricky response to what I feel is successful. Ask anyone who you might measure as “successful” and I guarantee they don’t agree. I have a long way to go and have no intention of slowing my pace. I am proud to be an innovator and herald the known and unknown clients who wear Bijules, but I still have dreams and aspirations as designer, artist, and businesswoman. To answer candidly, I have made some huge mistakes in production, billing, pr, blah blah.. but so has everyone and thank god I fucked up because I will NEVER repeat those mistakes!

Q:Speak a bit about the creation of the fashion film Amasia.

A:This film was an amazing opportunity for me to work with the best. It has been screened in respected venues all over the world and seen by eyes that may or may not have known what Bijules is. Diane Pernet asked me to take part in an exhibition in northern Italy for the gold tradefair, Vicenza Oro. I was honored and elated she considered me a top jewelry designer. Using one of my favorite conceptual designs as the basis for the film I approached Hunter Lee Soik and Guido Callarelli. Together we developed a concept not based on skinny models or expensive clothing, but on the base raw human feeling of dramatic change. The theme for Diane’s curatorial project at Vicenza Oro was to “contaminate jewelry”, because frankly, the gold industry aesthetic is dying and so is the fight to keep its value. The industry needs change, and in my eyes – a very dramatic change! Using Iceland as our subject, the talented crew flew, drove, and hiked all over the country in search of the strongest imagery they could find. The final product made me cry like a baby. It is this emotion I wanted to invite the viewer to witness and the gold industry to understand.

Q:How would you describe your personal relationship with fragrance? 

A:Fragrance is a personal thing to me. I have been wearing fragrance off and on for a while and each scent I keep around like photographs of my childhood. They are secret looks into my past and a hopeful search for something of the future…

Q: If you had the chance to create a scent what do you imagine it smelling like?

A: Don’t laugh but I think I’d like to call it Coke Whore… hahah… It would smell like cigs and sweat… spicy and raw… Whenever I’d wear one of my perfumes after partying I always felt sick and that’s why I stopped wearing them. I figured if I smell like I am always partying then I’ll wear it forever?!

Q: Do you have any advice for new jewelry designers who are just getting started?

A: Follow your own path. If you want to be a real jewelry designer I recommend taking a crash course in metal smithing because if you don’t understand your medium it will own you instead of you controlling it. I see a piece of jewelry in my mind and know how to execute because I got my hands dirty. Do not fear what you do not know and always push your experiences from a place of discomfort to one filled with  confidence.

Q: What’s next for Jules and the Bijules brand?

A:Whoah! A lot. Firstly, to make money. Not money like –  “cool I can get a cappuccino without breaking the bank…” but more along the lines of “cool, I can hire a  full time press agent in house without breaking the bank”. In order for me to reach that point there are spreadsheets to be made and markets to conquer! I hope to build Bijules into a brand that people identify with and one, which provides insight not only into the world of jewelry but into themselves.

Portrait by Francois Dischinger

Questions by Rocky Li

Please visit  http://www.bijulesnyc.com/ to see more.

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Blonds at the Beach

We were recently honored with an invitation to The Blonds Spring 2013 showing. To say we were thrilled would be an understatement. Upon arrival we ran into familiar faces ranging from iconic club kids to bedazzled beauties from all over the world. The energy was high as looks pushed and pulled their way into Milk Studios all hoping to get a glance at the glamourous designer duo before the show.

Paris Hilton and Adam Lambert Pre-show

We ran into some industry favorites like Kerin Rose, a rockstar eyewear designer who has a long list of celebrity clients, to view her intricate and unforgivably awesome pieces click here. Next in line is a longtime suporter of The Blonds, Adam Lambert. Showing up sporting an ashy grey new do Adam comanded the room with a well-crafted leather detailed blazer and smokey eye. Shortly after we ran into one of the most recognized blonde beauties to grace the front row, Paris Hilton. In her usual ever-so-photogenic demeanor Paris posed for fan photos before taking her place next to Adam in the front row. One of our new favorites was the surprisingly sweat Rick Genest, or as most of you know him, Zombie Boy. In a punked out Mad Max inspired outfit Rick was ready to put his own spin on glamrock. He kept the audience members captivated with his intricate outerwear that balanced with his over the top aesthetic.

Rick Genest Wearing The Blonds

The crowds quickly took their place around a crowded runway with anticipation and excitement. Natalia Kills was seated dead center to witness the sickening looks first hand while we closed in for a good view of the show and a place to snap our favorite looks. At that moment the music started thumping. It was a mixture of Caribbean beats and club kid throw backs with a fun energetic beat. In true Blonds style the show started out with a dazzling one piece that almost emulated Gem to the T.  Shortly after a tongue and cheek men’s suit followed with a strategically placed tube of lipstick that played off of the Blonds sense of humor and youthful energy.

Outfit that Started the Show

The Blonds Menswear Spring 2013

At this point in the show the crowd was cheering and throwing their hands into the air with every new look to stomp the runway. Luminescent colors and floral decals owned the runway as the show progressed. A true taste of Rio followed with bedazzled corsets and one pieces that captivated the viewer to the brink of hypnosis. Each piece had a spark of its own character and construction, but the one piece that made everyone’s jaw drop was a look Phillipe Blond owned on the runway. This jewel incrusted piece sported a blood read color palette framed by a sliver king sized shark jaw that would have made jaws blush. We wanted nothing more than to dive into the hauntingly glamourous piece and rock it at a pool party just to hear the screams.

Phillipe Blond in a Show Stopping Piece from the Collection

We left the show frazzled and bedazzled, and wanted more.  Team K quickly joined forces with Astro Erle, Amanda Lepore, Rick Genest, Bobby Webster, and a handful of glamour gals to head over to the after party at Le Bain. Avoiding a line that looked like it stretched all the way down to the water’s edge we made our way through the crowded “it” spot of the moment. We were greeted by some of our favorite faces including Mao and Rodger Padilha who made the entire night possible. It was a night straight out of the iconic Limelight events from the past. Dancing on tables, Acid Betty hosting a fashion show with icon Susan Bartsch, bottles as far as the eye can see, celebrities and New York personalities shoulder to shoulder.

Candid shot of Allanah Starr, Mao Padilha, Roger Padilha, and Amanda Lepore at the After Party

The drinks were flowing and we soon found ourselves posing with our favorites in the industry, but the cherry on top of the night was getting a hug from Phillipe before The Blonds ran off to their congratulatory vacation in Puerto Rico.  We can do nothing but await their return and watch the show on loop until the next installment. We have high hopes for fall and can not wait to see the long list of celebrities clamoring over these one of a kind  works of art. Stay tuned for more killer developments and behind the scenes photos brought to you by Team K.

View the ull show by clicking here.

 

Foxy Fashions

For those veteran New Yorkers who know the truth about FNO we are preaching to the choir, but for those new to the chaos, we wish you luck in finding your way around the camera hungry bottle vultures this season. The winding blocked off streets somehow give us flashbacks of the first time we saw Cloverfield, and were convinced it could actually happen. Suddenly everyone is sadistic fusion Anna Wintour and that girl in high school with daddy’s credit card.

For those of you brave enough to immerse yourselves in the ironically labeled “Fashion’s Night Out” we suggest a well mapped out plan of attack. For the survivors and veterans of Fashion’s Night Out past we offer a safe haven in the trendiest hot spot of fashion’s finest. Tucked away on the other side of the bridge Brooklyn Fox is having their first ever Fashion Night Out event. I know what you are thinking, “but what’s the difference between Soho and Brooklyn?”… and to that we say, “You must be new”. There is a reason every single show on television is based around finding yourself there. The champagne is flowing, photographers, free grub, new stores, prizes, and best of all breathing room. This year we are determined to do FNO right. See you at the Fox’s den.

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