In the studio with Kim Mee Hye

Few people can say they've updated luxury. Belgian designer Kimy Gringoire Lejeune has done something quite like it in the jewelry industry.

As a self taught designer, she put forth her first line in 2012 and transformed what we see as elegant and luxurious. Her eight piece collection, Kim Mee Hye, featured clean and simple designs that held a secret, personalized luxury. As we've written before, the focus piece of the collection was a cross necklace that could be opened and inscribed, giving the piece an elegant exterior with a touch of privacy.

When we met up with Kimy, in a studio above her husband's tattoo shop, we were interested in hearing about where she finds her inspiration, her feelings about the industry as a whole, and what she has in store for us in the future.

Kimy draws her inspiration from catalogues, artwork, and observations of the women around her. She says that for her luxury does still mean opulent diamonds and Cartier, but that she sees how the woman has changed. Her designs strive to create luxury for this new, modern woman. What makes her pieces different is their duality, and the fact that they don't succumb to an occasion: they can be worn to expose the diamonds or as everyday pieces.

For her, the creative process is a lengthy one. It sometimes takes up to four months to contemplate a piece and to ensure the idea is impeccable. Once the idea is settled, she works with a team in Antwerp to bring it into fruition. Every part of each piece is made in Belgium, which is part of what adds to the luxury of the brand.

Having grown up in Belgium, Kimy has a good understanding of just how unique and culturally rich the country is. For her, the mix of cultures and ease of life in Belgium inspires elegance in her work. As a designer, she feels fortunate to be Belgian and have the opportunity to leave her mark on the industry. She chooses to do so by adding only a few pieces to her established collection. The upcoming batch of jewels will have two focus pieces, earrings and a bracelet. The new designs are meant to express the joy of relationships. They are meant for the woman who is assertive and goes after what she wants in her relationships. Looking ahead to the designs she is currently working on, she says that she is ultimately supported by the love of her husband and care of her family and friends. We at I Love Belgium are looking forward to seeing the pieces this love inspires.

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