Jules Kim’s designs convey concepts that reflect American propaganda for the empowerment of women, the innocence of childhood and the dark humor of adulthood. She makes pieces that hang, hug, clip, cut, and curve. These objects accentuate the body and represent not only her personal statements but also each wearers’ interpretation of themselves and their environment. In order to express oneself there must be a means of communication and jewelry is the instrument for Jules Kim of Bijules. Kim believes in the value of self-expression. Her provocative pieces are more than accessories; they are a lifestyle. This New York-based designer graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001 and lists her inspirations as Jean-Luc Godard, Milanese cobblestone paths, Bajan beaches, and city living. Erykah Badu, Beyonce or Rihanna are just a few of the many celebrities who already love her.
Tell us about yourself, including what you do and how you got there.
“I am a blonde half-asian from Virginia who came to New York 15 years ago to shake it up. I make jewelry and I am the designer for Bijules jewelry. On the other side I throw parties and host events like Thanks God It’s (Select Summer) Friday on the roof of The Standard Hotel in New York City.”
Tell us about your design style. What makes your collections unique in the industry?
“My collections are unique because I don’t care what people think. I am not making jewelry for everyone, I am making jewelry for those who are seeking something better and beautiful for themselves. I focus on developing jewelry concepts from start to the end. It could be a collection, a piece of custom jewelry, a jewelry box, a party, a cocktail, or just the experience of it all.”
What kind of person wears your jewelry?
“See above;) My clients are fun people who are challenging themselves and the world around them.”
As a designer, where do you draw your inspiration from?
“I draw inspiration from my surroundings and life experiences but I think I derive the most pleasure and enthusiasm as an artist when i am straight up ignorant of something and want to discover more… . In this I understand what curiosity feels like and how to translate it into everything I make.”
What’s it like to see someone on the street wearing one of your creations?
“It’s rad, it’s nice to feel responsible for a culture statement. That is what art and culture is, everything on the street comes from somewhere. I am proud to have had a valid enough point of view that means something to me and my clients.”
What are upcoming trends in the jewelry design industry?
“Keep watching. I just launched gold floss with Erykah Badu for the BET Soul Train Awards.”
What is your favorite piece you’ve ever created – and what made it so special?
“I think the bar ring is an iconic piece. I also think the nail ring is an important item. I say ‘item’, because it has been so copied that I figure it must feel used…these two pieces are recognizable under the Bijules brand.”
What advice would you give to someone interested in getting into the jewelry design business?
“Find your own unique point of view and hone your skill until you have perfected it for you, not the market. The market responds only when you do.”
Who are your favorite celebrities that you would like to work with?
“I have worked with Erykah Badu, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Madonna, Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and so many other talents and icons. I only work with people who seek my expertise and opinion…the rest is guaranteed to come out!”