It turns out that not all girls in childhood played with dolls. Carolyn Gaspard, a young and talented artist from France, a designer, art director and owner of the new jewelry brand Akillis Jewelery, had completely different toys. Probably, we didn’t even know about it, don’t think of making fashionable jewelry of a very unusual look ....
Carolyn, how did your passion for jewelry begin, and when did you realize that you want to create your own collection of jewelry?
I became interested in jewelry at the age of five. Just because my father’s good friend was then engaged in precious stones and diamonds. And when I was little, I was allowed to play with them. And one fine day, when I was already growing up, I began to think about the fact that I needed to come up with something that no one had done. It was also a kind of game. And I came to the conclusion that I want to create some original jewelry. Because I always wanted to wear jewelry that no one else has. I know that many wealthy people share my opinion and also want to possess things and jewelry that not everyone has. That is how the idea of creating your own Akillis brand was born, the motto of which was the phrase "beyond the unique."
What does the name Akillis mean?
Oh, this is a mix of two words - the English “kill” (smash, kill) and the name of the hero of Greek myths Achilles. For some reason, I thought that everything related to ancient Greek mythology, one way or another, speaks of luxury. I don’t know why, but I wanted to add a little crazy to the brand name. Akillis jewelry should kill on the spot, so I think.
Which clients did you count on?
On wealthy and independent (laughs). Including in Russian. Because, I know that they like to do everything on an individual order - cars, clothes, shoes, jewelry.
How many lines are presented under the Akillis brand today?
Today we produce four main lines: these are “bullets” of a caliber of 9 mm, “bullets” of a caliber of a Kalashnikov assault rifle (these are secret jewelry, you can hide something inside each cartridge), “puzzles” and “a bouquet of bracelets” (these are bracelets that you collect from individual elements made of different materials to your liking). I attribute all my jewelry to the category “unisex”, because it is great when your jewelry is worn by girls and guys with equal pleasure. For example, I like to wear large watches that look as if I took them off my father’s or boyfriend’s hands. In each of your collections, white or black diamonds are used, which, as previously thought, could only be worn with evening dresses ...
This is the beauty of Akillis jewelry - they are so stylish that they fit any outfit, even jeans. For example, I wear a puzzle pendant and a bracelet from the same collection, made of white gold with white diamonds, every day. They look great with a leather jacket and evening dress. I really wanted to create something fashionable, but at the same time from precious metals and stones.
Indeed, often people buy either fashion jewelry or classic jewelry made of noble materials. I decided to combine the style of jewelry and the quality of gold and diamonds in my collections. In my opinion, it turned out pretty well. In any case, a girl who has a ring with a “9 mm bullet” on her finger and a “cartridge for a Kalashnikov assault rifle” on her neck will definitely attract attention. Or, for example, bracelets from the Atilla collection, reminiscent, in essence, of a bicycle chain and made of crocodile leather, you can replace with the same ones, but from silver python, and so on. These bracelets are more suitable for the characteristic "accessories", but this does not cease to be stylish, fashionable and unusual. And most importantly, they look good on both young children and girls. I like to play with familiar forms, turning them into something extraordinary. I have a lot of ideas in my head. Therefore, I plan to update and supplement my collections twice a year, for the spring and fall seasons, and make special lines for the annual exhibition in Swiss Basel.
Carolyn, why are you so drawn to Greek mythology?
I don’t know, I just really love all these ancient legends and myths from early childhood. Mythical heroes and their exploits have always inspired me. Of course, now the time has come for completely different heroes, but something still remains. Feeling of strength, or what? For example, putting on a pendant in the form of a cartridge for a machine gun and a ring with a “bullet” I always feel like in a James Bond movie. I myself really like to shoot a pistol at a shooting range. It seems to me that this passion prompted me to create collections with “bullets”. Particularly interesting was the ring, which is worn as if between the fingers, which creates the impression of a bullet flying over his arm.
Who is buying your jewelry? How great is the demand for them?
We currently present Akillis jewelry in Monaco, France, Switzerland and the Russian capital. I know that Russian people really like my jewelry. We are going to open monobrand boutiques in Moscow soon - one in Barvikha Village, the other in a new shopping center under construction. And I am very happy about this, because Russian buyers always want to buy everything at once. One of the fans of the Akillis brand is the Russian singer Timati, who constantly buys all the new items. I am also very interested in North and South America, and very soon Akillis will appear in Baden-Baden and Dubai.
Where can I buy Akillis jewelry in the Emirates?
While we are negotiating with several retailers, because we want to present our jewelry not only in Dubai, but also in Doha and other capitals of the countries of the region. As soon as we make a decision, we’ll immediately inform you.
Then tell us what new collections are you currently working on?
So far, too, I will not reveal all the details, but I will say that these will be two new lines. In any case, it will be a loud statement, like everything that was before that. Yes, I have to say that all Akillis jewelry is handcrafted in our workshops in France. We use the best quality diamonds (VVS) and 18ct gold in our products. For me, quality is the most important thing.
Who are your potential customers in the Middle East market?
It seems to me that these will be completely different age groups - from the smallest children who can carry small "puzzles" to young people and the older generation. All my collections are so different and, at the same time, complement each other so much that, it seems to me, every person, regardless of age, will be able to find something different in them. Moreover, for example, at first glance at the jewelry it is sometimes impossible to understand that this is a bullet. Understanding comes only upon careful consideration. And I like this "invisibility". I also like that at first people see the form, and then think about the feelings that it causes, or about the content that is hidden in it. For me, as a designer, this is important. I like my “jigsaw puzzles” because they have a ridiculous shape, and the meaning of these jewelry is that the “jigsaw” is ultimately assembled into a single picture, which means it is a connecting link between you and me, or it tells you that You are the missing "puzzle" in my picture.
And since people from all over the world go to Dubai, my potential buyers are everyone - both Russians, and local residents, and tourists from all over the world. And I want them to definitely wear something from Akillis, killing others around the corner.
Thanks, Carolyn. I wish you creative success.