Image: Courtesy of Octium, Kuwait
January 25 2013
favourite jewellery boutiques around the world, Octium in Kuwait comes high in
the top 10. Little can better the retail experience it offers, which sees
jewellery showcased in a modern, über-luxe environment that feels more like a cultural
salon than a shop.
Renowned for its strong design aesthetic, Octium is an emporium of exquisite jewellery, including a carefully handpicked and curated range of pieces from leading global brands, together with collections designed by co-founder and creative director Alanood Al Sabah. Called Series 1 and Series 2, Alanood’s collections feature the number eight prominently – either as a slanted and skewed octagonal outline on its own, or in clustered formations. The reason, as she explains, is that “eight has been a prominent number to me all my life. I was born on August 8 and I have a sentimental attachment to anything related to the number. It is also widely considered a lucky number and a symbol of prosperity in many cultures.”
A member of the Kuwaiti royal family with a background in architecture, she wanted to create an art gallery for her jewels. Working alongside her husband, Fahad Al Hajiri (Octium’s CEO), she asked leading Spanish designer/artist Jaime Hayón to realise her vision. Having already worked with clients such as Baccarat and Fabergé, Hayón created a striking showcase that draws inspiration from the art-nouveau and art-deco eras and blurs the boundaries between art, decoration and design. It is sublime.
Behind the store’s sleek, black façade lies a plush interior with lacquered wood cabinets, metallic gold pendant lighting, deep indigo carpets and powder-blue quilted-leather recliners. The carefully considered layout encourages visitors to move seamlessly between the viewing gallery, seating area, Dali-inspired display cabinets and VIP suite (for private viewings).
Hayón and the visionary husband-and-wife duo have fulfilled what they set out to do: create a unique shopping experience that leaves all who visit, especially me, wanting to come back for more.