Bijules, the edgy jewelry collection helmed by designer Jules Kim, has finally emerged from the underground. Literally.
The 15-year-old brand, which formerly called a dark and cool downtown basement home, opened a by-appointment-only showroom Aug. 10 on the corner of Bowery and Broome Street—and it’s filled with glorious daylight, courtesy of a skylight and sizable windows.
“The only thing that will stay underground is my approach to designing jewelry,” quips Kim, a former DJ and party promoter who switched to jewelry design after lamenting nightlife’s lack of anything tangible—”the only thing you have after a great party is a hangover,” she says with a laugh.
The designer embraced her light-filled new space by bedecking it with 13-foot leafy potted trees and creating a “chain-delier”—10 feet of chain draped artfully from the skylight. “It’s sort of like having a disco ball,” she says. “I’m acknowledging the day and the night in the same space.”
The skylight, hung with a “chain-delier” in the new Bijules showroom
Bijules designer Jules Kim in her new digs
The shop showcases the entire breadth of the brand, which ranges from $200 non-fine fashion pieces to $50,000 high jewelry items. Kim says the price sweet spot for regular clients is $500–$800.
But buying Bijules is less about price than it is about adopting Kim’s cutting-edge aesthetics, which have attracted numerous celebrity fans and fashion editors over the years. “I’ll always have things in the $200 range,” she says, “because I won’t abandon the [early fans] who got me here.”
Kim was the first to create the single-finger ring with a bar that crossed over adjacent fingers—a look that always vexed airport TSA officers, who took it for a set of brass knuckles (“let’s be clear,” she recalls thinking, “it’s a ring, not a weapon”).
Still, there are definite traces of danger in her designs. Kim’s signature Nail Ring features a snake-like coil that slithers up to a fingernail-shaped metal piece meant to be worn over a nail. It’s been worn by just about every boundary-pushing pop star on the planet, including Rihanna and Beyoncé.
Kim, who was raised by an artist-turned-architect, considers Bijules an alternative to the “common luxury brand”—an edgy respite in a sea of same-olds.
“Jewelry has been…made since the beginning of time,” she says. “But has jewelry been changing to meet the needs of modern consumers? I don’t think it has. Ultimately, I promise to conceive of a piece of jewelry that is avant-garde, risky, edgy, and really defines who my client is.”
Bijules’ new shop is located at 144 Bowery #3D in New York City.
(All photos courtesy of Bijules)