More than seven years ago, an ambitious designer held her breath as she observed how a crowd of strangers reacted to the debut of her emblems of self-assurance and confidence. Her tokens of strength spoke in calligraphy and swayed with the colour of silver.
It was not long until her stories of capable women, who subtly loved themselves and the universe around them, spread across the country. Her bullets of beauty were suddenly—but unsurprisingly—the new jewellery trend.
Jude Benhalim is a young, local jewellery designer who emerged on the fashion scene years ago, accompanied by her metaphorical heroine. Her designs narrate the journey of a young woman aspiring to find her place in a vast world. In parallel, her jewellery has also managed to create a tribe of followers, who see the similarities between themselves and the mystery character.
In celebration of her best sellers, Benhalim has created a celebratory collaboration to pay homage to her most memorable best-selling designs. Benhalim chose Dalia Nsouli as an example of all brave women she strives to locate and communicate with. The archives series offers a visual stroll down the brand’s memory lane.
Daily News Egypt sat down with the designer to talk favourite designs, new experiments, and making a name early in life.
Out of your best-selling items, which is your personal favourite?
The cracked concrete earrings, because they best represent the collection “URBAN REBEL”. Furthermore, after being endorsed and worn by celebrities such as Vanessa Williams and Jamila Awad, they have created a lot of brand awareness.
Which design was restocked the most since its release?
Since their release, both the horizontal bullet pendant and the cosmic ray necklace have definitely been restocked the most. They both are concrete and statement pieces of the Jude Benhalim brand; I have been restocking them for years.
To what extent does the local standard of craftsmanship impact your design process?
Although local craftsmanship is quite primitive, it still adds value to my pieces. Each piece is carefully handmade; in parallel, each and every step of the manufacturing process is implemented meticulously.
To what extent do you and your fans agree on your most successful designs?
Usually, in each collection there is one design which I invest so much thought and effort in. However, the majority of clients often do not completely understand it. On the other hand, sometimes it comes out as way too complex. Accordingly, it does not always sell as well as expected.
However, when communicating with my clients, they always tell me that designs are what make them admire the brand, which is always fulfilling to hear.
What material/stone would you say is your ideal, go-to choice?
My ideal go-to material would definitely be resin as it gives me the range to have the cuts and colours that I desire. Meanwhile, sooner or later, I would like to start experimenting with more precious stones.
What was the number one lesson that you have learned about local fashion and high-end jewellery in the past few years?
It is always a good idea to start early and plan ahead. It is all about organisation and being able to focus on the smallest details, as well as carrying out a lot of research.
What advice would you give to emerging designers?
To define their destination ahead of the journey and to have a long-term goal that they can always work towards. When you do not know what you want, you tend to lose sight and control of the whole thing.
Always stay open to suggestions and jump into whatever opportunities that are presented to you. Always believe in your talent and let failure only push you forward.
What are you planning to do in the near future?
The woman that serves as a major muse for my designs has yet to discover a lot more about herself, her journey is only just beginning. I am excited to see where she goes next. Right now I am working on expanding my brand on a global scale and to compete in the international market.
My work is already sold in Egypt, Dubai, Oman, and Bahrain. I plan to showcase my collections at more trade exhibitions around the world to expand to more selling points across the region.