An Interview with Jewelry Designers Joomi Lim & Xavier Ricolfi
BY Soraya Dayani
Magnetic fields brought these creative forces, Joomi Lim and Xavier Ricolfi together to dream up a label that challenges fantastical history with industrial noise. A study combination of past to present-day fashion revolution in accessory design.
Joomi dreams of partying with Marie Antoinette, whilst Xavier tests both function and form of the latest materials to party with. You can choose to be taken seriously in your meeting with the not so conventional pearls or dress up a cool t-shirt and jeans uniform in punk rock, chandelier decadence. Whichever direction you choose, you’ll have fun, like Alice did in Wonderland.
How did you start your label?
Joomi: I was working in fashion and jewelry in Los Angeles, then took some time off to travel and relocate to NYC. After a few years, I really missed being in the industry. I missed the craziness of the deadlines, shows, meetings, but most importantly, the creative process… It was natural for me to come back to my roots – jewelry.
Xavier: When I met Joomi, our mutual love for design propelled us to start the brand. My experience as an industrial designer, helped to introduce new techniques and innovative ideas to our designs.
How do you approach a new collection? Where do your ideas evolve from?
J: We find our inspirations everywhere – travel, history, art, music, movies, architecture, rare finds along the way, friends and family and life!
X: A mix of creative and technical inspirations.
What accessory moment in cinema do you find most memorable?
J: The luxurious baubles that Audrey Hepburn ogled in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as well as Madonna’s everyday 80s accessories in Desperately Seeking Susan.
The most valuable lesson you have learned?
J: Stay true to your vision and don’t compromise design and quality. Once you have a great concept, turn it into a reality… before someone else does! I have also learned not to conform to trends or forever pigeonhole myself to one specific demographic. It’s natural to evolve.
X: We all perceive the same world in different ways.
How do you define luxury?
J: Luxury is having the ability to do what we love doing for a living–creating!
X: Luxury and time are in the same second.
Are you a realist or fantasist?
J: Both. I believe that fantasies can come to life if you work hard enough.
X: A creative.
How big is the accessory business today from when you started?
The accessories and jewelry business is bigger than ever, probably the biggest we’ve seen since the 80’s era of opulence. Because the category is booming and strong, designers are able to push the boundaries and bring all levels of creativity, artistry, and price point to the marketplace. There’s room for it all.
What materials and techniques do you favor?
J: There are so many… I like mixing unexpected materials and colors together: pearls and spikes, Swarovski crystals and threads, hard and soft materials.
X: My favorite technique is the titanium coating. It’s very new to see custom jewelry coated with fresh, fun colors, instead of just silver, gold, and hematite. I also like working with 3-D modeling and rapid prototyping so you can get a precise execution of your ideas.
Do you have a favorite accessory designer that you admire?
We admire Alexis Bittar for having both a strong creative, as well as business, sense. He went from selling his jewelry on the sidewalks of SoHo in NYC to developing a hugely respected global brand.
Lipstick or Lip gloss?
J: Lip Moisturizer. I’m all about strong eyes.
X: I don’t like to kiss either.
What inspired your current S/S13 collection?
Color, color, color! Marie Antoinette. French desserts. Glam Punk. Sleek architecture and a new process to create cuffs.
Who is someone you admire?
Elon Musk! He’s changing the world—creating Paypal, electric cars, solar energy, SpaceX… He’s genius!
Your favorite quote?
“Yes we can!”
What were your aspirations as a young girl?
J: I aspired to be a fashion designer living in Paris.
X: As a young girl? To be a man!
Are accessories a form of rebellion today?
J: I think they definitely can be. Accessories are a very good tool with which one can express oneself.
X: They’re more of a form of armor.
What’s next for Joomi Lim?
J: We would love to collaborate with other creative minds.
X: To get some sleep!!
Check out these incredible designs and learn more about this design duo here. Follow Joomi Twitter @JoomiLim.