Jules Kim designs jewelry to ruffle your feathers. Her line, Bijules NYC, has a cult following because it's known for twisting ideas (like crafting earrings out of hair extensions) and creating underground trends (like a ring for your fingernail). And her one-finger bar ring, which stretches across four fingers, is the fanciest variation on a brass knuckle we've ever seen. Plus, she's embraced her street and commercial status, as everyone from Santogold and M.I.A. to Katy Perry and Rihanna has rocked her wares. We caught up with Jules to talk about her favorite designers, her signature New York style, and how jewelry makes you feel frisky.
Your Hairem collection used hair as jewelry, and then hair showed up on all the spring runways. Is "hair all over" the next big trend?
I saw the runways and totally laughed my ass off. I definitely think the trend is going to catch on! And with my stuff, like the "hairrings," I'm not going to say I'm the first, because hell no, I'm not — no one is ever the first in fashion. But it's the first time I've ever done anything like that. That's the whole purpose to designing out of this realm. Being a trendsetter, being a designer, it's a new look, and people need to be exposed to it in an acceptable way.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I'm inspired by most anything I see, hear, touch, smell, or taste. I react to my environment by producing accessories and jewelry derived from it.
If you could describe the woman who embodies your accessories, who would she be?
The Bijules woman is one who loves to live and expresses herself in a very personal way. Maybe she wakes and feels frisky, puts on a set of gold nail rings, and goes out to kill it. Or maybe she is feeling super subtle and slips on a pair of the new Arsenic & Old Lace high-waisted panties with gold suspenders. And when she calmly rides in the elevator up to work, she quickly makes the men writhe next to her, wondering where the gold chains on her shoulders are coming from, and where they are going.
How do you think your style represents New York?
Let's just say walking down the street in Paris, I don't get passed over. I was where all the high-end jewelers are, and I was walking down the street, running into women wearing Balenciaga shoes, Prada, and they were looking at me like, "What the fuck is she wearing?" They can't identify with it, they just stare. It's fucking hilarious. I represent New York in that I do whatever I please and wear whatever I want. And here, no one gives you a second look.
What designers or labels do you wear the most?
I'm wearing Andrea Crews from Paris, vintage shoes, and Bijules rings right now. Yesterday I was wearing Raquel Allegra, leggings, purple Melissa shoes for Alexandre Herchcovitch, and a Birthday Suit sequins scarf. But I am in no way a label whore. I only wear what I like.
What’s one thing you really want to buy right now?
Just when I thought I'd forget and stop dreaming about it, a Christian Lacroix bridal gown. I'm not engaged or really that close, but I'll get married for the hell of it if I can wear this dress.
Are there any trends you wish would go away?
Ugh to Uggs! Take them off, ladies, burn them. They do not deserve the sweat between your toes.
What’s something that every woman should have in her closet?
Fill in the blank: Never leave the house without _____.