Photo Credit – Alessandro Simonetti
To call Jules Kim and her brand Bijules “edgy” would be doing her a disservice—and it might insult her, too. A difficult-to-pinpoint mixture of unsettling, unexpected, and all-out modern swank, Jules’ unique jewelry pieces are as resistant to pigeonholing as the woman who dreams them up. Perhaps partly due to this mystique, everyone from our friend Kareem Black to the fashion world’s editorial elite has been singing her praises, and while she was on a recent stop in San Francisco, I had a chance to catch up with her. We chatted about her hustle past and present and the brand philosophy that’s poised to change the status quo of the luxury jewelry market.
On a rather brisk Saturday afternoon I took a quick trip to San Francisco’s Cole Valley to meet up with Jules. I found her buried in a corner of Reveries Café, and even before she uttered a word, there was something electric about her. She sports intricate tattoos, an honest smile, and a blonde coiffure that exudes city girl. But under all of that cool lies the heart of a lion, serious street smarts and a business mind like no other. Jules Kim is the creative force behind Bijules, an impressive jewelry brand whose eclectic pieces have graced the wrists, necks and digits of high-profile clients around the globe. Whether it’s wrought of industrial, cubic chunks of silver or brightly dyed human hair, each Bijules piece is handcrafted and truly one-of-a-kind.
Images Courtesy of Bijules NYC
Knowing that we’ve just come to the end of a decade that’s seen a total paradigm shift in terms of trendsetting and how art and technology meet daily life, I asked Jules—a woman who’s definitely got her finger placed firmly over the pulse of what’s next—what she sees in store for the years to come.
“What I think is going to be flourishing in the new decade is artists and brands, designers—everyone who’s creative—to be able to rope it in and really mix art and commerce,” Jules explained. “That’s really important and there are some people who are not going to be able to survive as artists because they’re not going to be able to rope it together. Not everybody’s going to be doing it the same way, but there’s going to be a common thread that all of us are really going to be focused on.”
That common thread is an element we’ve been seeing frequently on blogs, magazines and creative briefs galore: collaboration. More and more, young movers and shakers are unifying and leveraging their various gifts and personal brand equity to lift each other up. Jules is very much part of that young collective, and she shared with me what joining forces with like-minded contemporaries has done for her.
“Well, I think that in order to succeed, you can’t do it by yourself. It’s lonely at the top and you’ll never really get there, so what I really like to do is plug the people I love and support. There’s this sense of family and friendship that’s really essential to success in my eyes,” explained Jules. “We all get to success differently, but I would never be where I am or who I am, and I would never have what I’ve developed without the help of others. I know how important that is, and I really want to include people. I think the more we share, the better we are.”
In that light, Jules has also partnered up with good friend, Bliss Lau, to create a new business called One Full Consulting, which aims to help others turn their ideas into viable branded businesses. Just looking at what she’s done with her own artistic outlet, I think we can expect to see some great work to come of this partnership. Jules has more collaborations in the works for 2010, one of them a new swimwear line crafted in cooperation with Lorenzo Martone, Strategic Planner of Chandelier Creative.
Images Courtesy of Bijules NYC
As Jules enjoyed her coffee (black, no sugar), we discussed the latest news about her business and art. Six years in the fashion industry has been a roller coaster ride for the artist: in the pervious year her pieces, which she believes “serve as a communication tool for those who endeavor to find new and amazing things in their lives,” have been blatantly copied by designers big and small. In 2010, not only will we see her responding to such challenges, but Ms. Kim’s got a few other aces up her sleeve. Bijules as a brand will be going through a major change that Kim promises will be very exciting.
Revealing a take-charge attitude that echoes The Retrospective’s 2010 mantra, Jules left me by laying down the law on planning for the future and dreaming big: “You can’t just talk about it,” a fiery Kim asserted. “You have to fuckin’ do it.”
Jules Kim, ladies and gentlemen, is more than ready for 2010. She’s planning, dreaming and leading the pack, far beyond the edge.
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