Jules Kim's new shop defines NYC's underground arts scene
To anyone with a finance degree, opening a jewelry store below street level would seem like a risky move. But to Jules Kim, the sole designer behind Bijules, this location is not only on brand, but its clandestine location is also part of a forward-thinking business move the food and beverage industry has capitalized on for years—anyone who's used the phone booth at Crif Dogs or made their way through the kitchen at La Esquina knows that often what's most attractive in NYC isn't always visible at surface level.
Kim's new appointment-only showroom and shop on the Bowery—situated below the equally progressive boutique Eva New York—is a dark, den-like room that seduces you with its mystery. "I come from the underground," Kim tells us. "I started promoting Bijules in the clubs here in New York. It makes sense to launch in the belly of the Bowery to maintain the real integrity of the brand. Bijules is a research-driven brand and my clients take pride in the discovery of their jewels. The fact that the Bijulesterie breathes below ground indicates its durability in this grimy city but also its communication potential will flourish from down under to way above!"
Kim's raw talent for innovative design has Bijules on the hands of everyone from Rihanna to Rooney Mara in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", but it's her everlasting indie spirit that keeps the line perpetually fresh and admired by her peers. The Bijulesterie is as much an extension of her downtown lifestyle and an homage to artist friends as it is a functioning showroom.
"I wanted to create a 360-degree experience around the showroom, one which starts in the simple awareness of its existence, the descension into the room, the fragrance developed by Six Scents, contemporary psychedelic artwork by Sylvia Hommert, flower design by 11x11, streaming tunes while we work and of course a 125-gallon vintage aquarium—aka the Bijules jewelry display," she explains.
In addition to hosting rooftop parties at The Standard this summer, the bold beauty is currently taking appointments before taking Bijules on an international tour this summer. To contact Kim for an appointment, see her website.
All images by Elizabeth Raab.