Back Issue__ Bijules

June 01, 2009 | By

Photos: Jody Rogac

Jules Kim, the designer behind NYC-based jewelry line Bijules, isn't afraid to make a little magic happen. And got her start when she realized she was tired of working for other people and decided to start her own jewelry line. 'I was really excited' Jules says. 'Because once you make that decision, you're like oh my god I can do this.’ Innovative design is a hallmark of Bijules. One of her most creative pieces, the Gelfling Ear Tip rests behind the wearer's ear and creates a golden, elf-like ear extension. It comes with 3 pennyweights of gold fairy dust, to complete your charmed transformation to Lord of the Bling. Never being one for convention, Jules has designed chocolate bar rings (dusted with gold, of course), and apparently spent her early years hustling for Slurpees. Says Jules, ‘When I was looking back at my old journals I was like, whoa girl did you just try to get a Slurpee with food stamps? I was hustling as a kid—it’s totally in my nature.’

After quitting her day job, Jules had that crucial big break when, during a DJ gig, a woman from Lucky magazine complimented her jewelry. Fortuitously it was a piece Jules had designed herself. With the promise to feature her in the magazine, Jules crafted the Lucky lady a piece of jewelry. She remembers riding on the 6 train and knowing the issue featuring her piece would be hitting stands that day. She could see the magazine stand from the train. The doors opened and she ran out. ‘It was one of those super hero vibes,’ Jules recollects. ‘Doors open slow. I got it and grabbed it and I just remember like bawling.’

With dry eyes and renewed drive Jules went on to make a name for herself in tastemaker culture, now designing for scenesters and celebrities alike. Her clients run the gamut from indie acts like Bat for Lashes to mega celebs like Beyonce, for who she just designed a set of gold diamond nails, which Bey will be wearing in the new Sweet Dreams video premiering in June. ‘I see girls in the ghetto like, ‘Eh Eh,’ [to the tune of Rihanna’ song Umbrella] and I’m like that’s my ring!’ While she thinks the people she’s designed for are cool in their own vein, Santigold was one of her favorites. ‘Santi was dope because she comes from my school, like similar age group we all hang out together and we all sort of grew up together in a New York kind of way.’ Bijules jewelry has been featured in the pages of some of the world's biggest publications like Vogue, Elle and Spin. Jules hopes her jewelry will empower women, ‘I think that what you put on your body is self expression and its not only what you look like on the outside its also your desires and the way you communicate who you are on the inside and I think its important because with women we have all these thing that are going against us.' Now that she has her staples styles down--like the nail rings and bar rings--she tells us she's working on a high end line that’s developing, followed by a more affordable line made primarily out of non conventional materials such as recycled plastics.

Jules understands the inherent intimacy of jewelry, ‘There is always an intimate side to a designer and her personality which makes the work even more understandable. ‘So we got intimate with Jules, looking into her fridge, makeup bag, closet, jewelry box and of course her heart. With our featured artist Jody Rogac capturing the moments, our suspicions were confirmed: Everything in this lady's life defies convention.

FRIDGE

I haven't eaten in 7 days. It's a very odd feeling--I was doing the master cleanse. You drink lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. So this is the only thing that's in there I don’t even have any lemons cause I couldn't even look at them anymore.

CLOSET

My clothes are in this little guy. Like in New York half of the places I lived in never had closets, so I just learned to do without them. The way that I dress is who I am and the jewelry speaks with it. So my jewelry being as loud as it is, my outfits normally go that far as well.

JEWELRY BOX


I like to hang my shit on the walls, so with my jewelry I hang it wherever I can put it. I don't like displaying shit the way people expect to be seen--I think it's boring. This is where I keep my hair earring. This is a bearing for a skateboard since he works for a skating company I had it plated in black gold.

MAKEUP BAG


MAC sponsored me a couple seasons ago so I have a lot of MAC stuff. I’d rather make something go crazy. I also use a lot of makeup in my jewelry. My mom was really out there creatively and she raised us as a single mom, so when she’d go out she’d like get dressed up and put like baby cream on her eyes. It’s like bright white circles so this is just passed down from my mom.

HEART

A book created by her and her twin when they were 3 years old.

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