Of myfavourite jewellery boutiques around the world, Octium in Kuwait comes high inthe top 10. Little can better the retail experience it offers, which seesjewellery showcased in a modern, über-luxe environment that feels more like a culturalsalon than a shop.
Renownedfor its strong design aesthetic, Octium isan emporium of exquisite jewellery, including a carefully handpicked and curated range of pieces from leading global brands, together withcollections designed by co-founder and creativedirector Alanood Al Sabah. Called Series 1 and Series 2, Alanood’scollections feature the number eight prominently – either as a slanted andskewed octagonal outline on its own, or in clustered formations. The reason, asshe explains, is that “eight has been a prominent numberto me all my life. I was born on August 8 and I have a sentimental attachmentto anything related to the number. It is also widely considered a lucky numberand 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 JaimeHayón to realise her vision. Having already worked with clients such asBaccarat 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 thestore’s sleek, black façade lies a plush interior with lacquered woodcabinets, metallic gold pendant lighting, deep indigo carpets and powder-bluequilted-leather recliners. The carefully considered layout encourages visitorsto move seamlessly between the viewing gallery, seating area,Dali-inspired display cabinets and VIP suite (for private viewings).
Hayón andthe 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.