Jules is a multi-tasking New Yorker. Aside from being all around cool chick, Jules makes jewelry and now bathing suits. “Let me just tell you one thing, I am so stoked that this is my life” laughs Jules perched on a happy sunny green lawn at The Standard, Miami during Swim Week.
Today she is off… resting from her hectic week. It’s the first time her and business partner Lorenzo Martone introduce their new swimwear collection, Nycked to the vast industry of swimwear press and buyers. Jules Kim has been traveling for the last 3 and a half weeks, in different cities across the world. We caught her on her final glorious day in Miami before returning to New York, or as she describes, “right before the grind”.
(Swimwear Designer Jules Kim Chilling at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach)
The Standard: Tell me about the specific pieces for Nycked and the inspiration behind it.
Nycked is a story on making the New York lifestyle aspirational. The belief that every person in the universe at some point asks the question — “what you want do with your life?”. Think can you do the big city or not? I remember being a child and knowing I was destined to not be in this small town and do small things. I’m looking at a bigger picture here. Here we are, New Yorkers traveling the world, and talking about what we do… AND DOING IT. So Nycked is also a play on the word naked and how the closest we can get to being naked in public is in swimwear. So we are attacking that side of it too. We are also addicted to life… like I’m sitting here addicted to this, to traveling and placing myself at The Standard, Miami, and placing myself wherever in the world. Last week I was in Paris. juxtaposing everything I do and making it part of my life is what our swimwear line will reflect.
What was the response to the collection here in Miami?
The reaction to Nycked swimwear in Miami was really positive. We launched with WWD a few weeks ago and the response was instant. I think when people do new things, others are really curious to see how it’s going to manifest and how long it will last. Lorenzo and I are really passionate about what we are doing here. We are not just here to be a flash in the pan, and be swept away into the memories of swimwear. We are here to stir the pot up and make some noise and keep it going. What is really interesting is that we have been doing press after press interview. People were asking us stuff and we started to say Nycked was the anti-thesis of Victoria Secret. Now we have an appointment with Victoria Secret. That is exactly what we set out to do. In other words, if we say this doesn’t go, then lets change it. Let’s collectively change it. Let’s change it peeps because we said that means there is a problem with what’s going on. So when that happened, we thought, I guess they are listening now.
It’s like contributing to rewriting the bigger script?
Exactly! That’s what I do with Bijules… redefine the jewelry standard, such as the ring. People think, “it sits on one finger no”? Hell no, it does not.
So there is an overarching philosophy within all of your brands?
In general all my brands read the same script. We are responsible for redefining culture today — me as a designer and artist, that is what I was put on this earth to do. I’m proud of it. I know what comes out of my brain is totally valid, and I’m not the only person that thinks this way. So if I produce a product, then a person can purchase the tangible product and still follow that script, being, “I really want a piece of jewelry that is really unique and different, or I really want to express myself on the beach not in a mass produced H&M top”. Watch me say H&M and now they are going call me.
Illuminate the relationship between you and Lorenzo Martone as a Creative Partner and how he came into the picture?
Lorenzo is an amazing, beautiful, humble individual. He was searching a while for an art director, someone who could realize his dreams and mount the ideas and themes in his mind and create something that gelled. He heard of my lingerie collection, a four piece capsule collection of lingerie. I totally implemented jewelry throughout the pieces. It had high waist panties with gold suspenders, a bra with a gold chain instead of underwires… tiny little twists on how people perceive lingerie. He saw that and really wanted to talk to me about a project. So I made a choice to go to this complete strangers crib, and he gave me this packet. I saw the potential and I was stoked because I saw exactly what I wanted to do. Just listening to his story, there were things I loved, and things I wanted to change. We work really well together because we are so passionate and busy people. We are multi-branded individuals. He is a great person to work with and friend. Totally happened so organically, really cool.
Where do you see the company 5 years from now?
We started in the swimwear industry because there is such neglect for fashion forward speaking products in swimwear. So we want to stay here in the swim industry. So we know we have to pay dues and really be out there. So what we envision in five years is creating a product that has a story behind it… a little tweak, a little wink. For the Fall/Winter 2011 collection, there are four pairs of shoes coming out via the brand Nycked. So it’s also the shoes that are going be sold parallel with the swimwear line. Women can buy the shoes and the swimwear, and she can travel and live a life and look fly all the time. In five years, our product base will expand and will include things that tell a special story.
To read more, go to Nycked.com