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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Hollywood jeweller Jacquie Aiche inspired by her Middle Eastern roots  

The designer counts Gigi Hadid, Rihanna and Emily Ratajkowski among her high-profile clients - a group she refers to as her 'tribe'

Jacquie Aiche. Photo by Laura Layera
Jacquie Aiche. Photo by Laura Layera

Hippy-chic and always barefoot” is how jewellery designer Jacquie Aiche describes her personal style. And if you ask any of her celebrity clients, they’ll confirm that Aiche is usually unencumbered by footwear when they visit her unmarked Beverly Hills showroom. It’s part of her inimitable bohemian charm – and a trait that’s embodied in her brand’s fine-jewellery designs.

Jacquie Aiche’s namesake jewellery label offers a range of delicate-yet-dazzling jewels that the designer recommends be worn layered and stacked. Glimmering gold body harnesses, opal-horned pendants, crystal earrings cut to resemble leaves, miniature crescent moon studs and oversized hoops adorned with feather-shaped crystals, are interspersed with motifs culturally rooted in her mixed heritage, such as Native American chiefs and Middle Eastern evil eyes. Aiche was born to an Egyptian father and Native American mother, and both worlds come together seamlessly in her designs.

“I’ve always been so inspired by my Middle Eastern heritage,” Aiche says. “The bold colour choices, hammered gold, amulet pieces and goddess imagery of the culture will always influence my designs. They’re beautiful themes to play with, but it’s so much more than that. I feel a very special connection to it – it’s all a part of me.” She says that her Native American side, meanwhile, means she gravitates towards turquoise, fossils and precious gemstones.

“As a little girl growing up in the Hollywood Hills, I was always attracted to gemstones and minerals. I would collect rocks and make them into jewellery pieces for my family. The love just grew from there,” she explains.

Aiche dabbled in jewellery-making as a hobby while managing a clothing boutique in Los Angeles, and sold her first few pieces anonymously. Then, she designed the product that would compel her to leave the retail business and kick-start her own company in 2007. “When I launched my brand, one of the first pieces I designed was the finger bracelet,” she says. “It’s one of my essential designs that has grown with me since the beginning.”

The finger bracelet 
The finger bracelet 

A delicate bracelet with a chain snaking up the wrist, over the hand and attaching to a ring, Aiche’s finger bracelet was an immediate hit, quickly inspiring copycats to incorporate the stylish silhouette into their own collections. But her range of designs, dotted with delicate diamonds or adorned with marquise petal-cut stones, dangling gold disks and eye-shaped charms, was ultimately matchless.

Her knack for creating covetable fine jewellery that was wearable from day to night was wholeheartedly welcomed by Hollywood It-girls, and she quickly amassed an impressive celebrity following.

“Alessandra Ambrosio has been with me since the beginning. She bought a pair of earrings from me when I was still working in my boutique,” says Aiche, who also counts Gigi Hadid, Rihanna and Emily Ratajkowski among her high-profile clients (a group she likes to refer to as her “tribe”).

“It refers to my team and my clients; these women are my family,” the jewellery designer says. “I think the word encompasses that, a community of women who support each other and share in their love for precious minerals.”

For a woman living in Hollywood, dealing in diamonds and other precious gemstones, with a customer base that consists of some of the world’s most famous faces, Aiche is extraordinarily grounded, and retains a special connection with Mother Nature. Her pieces are not only aesthetically alluring, but also laden with meaning and symbols, and crafted with a great deal of introspection.

“I’m a big believer in the power of crystal healing,” she says. “I create my jewellery with the intention of empowering women, so I’m constantly drawn to stones that give the beholder feelings of love and beauty. The unique energy of each stone draws you in. And once they touch the skin, you just radiate.”

One of her own most treasured jewellery items is an Egyptian cartouche pendant given to her by her dad. “My father took me back to Egypt when I was 14, and it was so magical. My cartouche is so special to me because it reminds me of the special moments that we shared on that trip,” she says. “The hieroglyphics alphabet is so beautiful to me as well – all the different characters coming together to make a word; it really takes you back to the beginning of time.”

More than a decade after the official launch of her jewellery label, Aiche shows no sign of slowing down, and her aesthetic remains timeless, versatile and in-demand. Celebrities including Selena Gomez, Bella Hadid, Vanessa Hudgens and even Usher have all sported her designs in the past few months, along with a tribe of lesser-known, yet equally attractive, sun-kissed Instagram personalities, who take to wearing multiple Jacquie Aiche designs together, just as the designer recommends.

While her classics, including the ever-popular finger bracelets, are a constant feature in Aiche’s collections, her product lines are in a constant state of flux. “My crystal cravings are always changing. Right now, I’m loving opals and turquoise,” she reveals. “The reflective, galactic vibe of opals and the dreamy blues of turquoise make them the perfect stones to wear under the sun. It’s like being adorned with the beauty of the ocean.”

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