Festive gatherings coming up? Beloved jewelry designer, Jianhui (pronounced Janway), adds his wildly creative finishing touch to Alembika fashion like nobody else! His name means building a splendid life. And his jewelry creates joy in the lives of the many #AlembikaWomen who wear it!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. When and how did you discover your love of design?  
I started loving fashion when I was a teenager; more precisely, in 1988 when my parents bought a black and white TV to celebrate that I passed the exams for the best high school in the county—I was the 1st one ever in the village. There were often western fashion shows on TV and I just couldn’t move my feet whenever there was fashion show on. Then when I was in the final year of high school, I wanted to go to the Fashion University of Beijing. But no one at my school knew how I might be able to apply for it, including my teachers! You can imagine how rural we were. One of the teachers told me that being able to draw was a must and I had to pass a drawing exam. I had never had an art lesson so, of course, I wasn’t able to draw professionally.

The other reason for me to stop pursuing this was my parents were strongly against the idea of me becoming a fashion designer. Although Beijing Fashion University was the best fashion design school in China, being a fashion designer in China at that time was regarded as very low class! (The funniest thing is we were the lowest class in China at the time already!). So eventually I did Chinese language and literature at university and became a teacher after. I was a teacher at a high school for 4 years, then a radio presenter and other odd jobs for 2 years before I left for England.

But I was always interested in fashion. I would spend lots of money on expensive fashion magazines and I would always notice what people wore. After I finished my MBA in England, I was a marketing manager at a family owned chemical company in London. Wherever I go, I always notice what people wear and what I might do with that dress or this necklace. My mind is always on the fashion and style radar.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
This is a difficult question. It depends on the specific situation I am in. Generally I am very decisive. Whatever I wanted to do, I would do my very best, either it’s about relationship or work or career. If it doesn’t work out, I have no regrets. 

What would you do if you had the whole day to yourself?
I’d love to walk around an antique centre or a vintage market. I love antiques. 

What are your favorite pieces from your jewelry collections—one from your archives—and one from your new designs?
From my old designs, I love Pashmina Collection most. It’s so playful and versatile. And it was this collection which pushes me going further and further on sustainable fashion, especially changed some factories view completely about their off cuts and leftovers.From my latest collection, I love the Aqua Collection, either it’s made from recycled plastic bottles or newspaper, these materials are very playful and we can make them into so many different shapes. They are very fun to wear, easy to wear and guilt-free to wear!

Check out JIANHUI’S WEBSITE HERE. You’ll see lots of #AlembikaWomen there!

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