TRIBAL TO­KENS

Jew­ellery de­signer Jacquie Aiche may be a Hol­ly­wood favourite, but her cre­ations are a re­flec­tion of her roots, finds Hafsa Lodi

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“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.”

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 in­de­mand. 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, sunkissed 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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