|Gaelle Khouri, Designer and Founder|
How does your past experience in the corporate world and fashion industry affect your current role of jewelry designer?
I think having an academic and professional background in economics and finance definitely contributed to what I do today. It has endowed me with the ability to know where my true passion lies, and provided me with the courage to pursue that. Also, my stay in New York City that extended over a few years broadened my perspective on things. The energy of the city taught me how to think freely, without any noise, find my passion and dare to walk on a different but a right path.
In addition, my academic and professional background taught me key entrepreneurial skills, which I think are crucial for any start-up business. It contributed significantly to my skill-set and to my ability to structure, organize and prioritize various actions and tasks. It taught me crucial financial skills that I am using in order to keep track of cash flows, which is not very trivial since a lot of factors come into play and create a complex equation. For instance, every piece produced involves different stones of different sizes and hence a different cost. The same would apply for metals where price can fluctuate significantly. All of that would add up to different labor costs.
Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from within. For me creativity stems from the inside, not outside. Inspiration does not relate to what I see, but to what I experience emotionally. The pieces I created are sort of my inner voice, they are a tangible form of my emotions.
What is outside, like nature elements for instance, are simply “raw products” to help translate the emotions and put them into the “final product” which is the actual piece.
Describe your design process.
I can’t, unfortunately! Ideas, forms and figures of pieces pop out randomly in my head. Mostly when I go to sleep and over think – like I always do, so I always keep a paper and a pen on the bed table and draw a sketch when I see something, otherwise I will forget what I saw in the morning.
Creating the pieces for my first collection has really been a personal self exploratory journey. I have used the design process to be inquisitive and reflective. I have always felt an instinctive connection with nature which I try to expose and emphasize. So the first collection, The ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, reflects upon the deep-rooted instinctive connection that exists between the woman and nature. The pieces translate the complexities of the feminine through the complexities of the universal. For instance, some designs portray provocative and appealing physical characteristics of diverse species that compare in strong ways to human psychological characteristics.
How would you describe the Gaelle Khouri woman?
She is not mainstream. She is daring in her personality and in her style. She is independent, and a fighter. She has a strong understanding of fashion and style. She doesn’t follow the pack, she can afford high-end jewellery but she is looking for an edge to set her apart, for that piece that could silently speak about her.
What piece of jewelry do you never leave home without?
I wear a lot of jewellery. Mainly rings and bracelets. I love upper arm bracelets and wear the Reflection Bracelet a lot! It is easy to wear, goes with any short-sleeves outfit, and has a strong edge!
What is your favorite collection of jewelry?
That is a difficult question to answer. I really feel attached to each and every piece. So much thinking and work has gone into each one. But if I had to pick, I would maybe choose The Anchor earrings, which are one of the first pieces I created for the Garden of Earthly Delights collection. They are made of 18 ct yellow gold, set with brown diamonds and baroque pearls. Pearls are often worn by the older, safer woman, and communicate a romantic and feminine feel but in the Anchor earrings, the bold design also creates a sense of fearlessness and edginess. This sharp contrast and dichotomy resonates well with my divergent personality traits.
What is next for Gaelle Khouri?
I launched the brand only a few months ago and now I am looking forward to my first stockist in London! The pieces just hit the shelves at the Talisman Gallery at Harvey Nichols in London!
I am starting in London because my product targets a specific niche market of women with a sophisticated taste and an appreciation for creativity, and I feel that British women fit well in that category. I am definitely looking to expand into the American market – I feel personally very attached to New York City as I lived there for a few years –, other European countries and definitely in the Middle East.
Gaelle Khouri offers a collection of jewelry unlike any other. Avant-garde in style, the jewelry is entirely hand made, set with diamonds and precious stones. This is the beginning of the journey for Gaelle Khouri, officially launching just months ago. I look forward to what is to come from this extremely talented designer, her jewelry is intriguing and exciting with a distinct point of view. I am in love with this choker below, it is absolutely stunning!