BY Anum Bashir

There’s jewelry, and then there’s HAPPY jewelry; one that can almost replace your favorite mood elevator. The creator of all things bright, fun, and whimsical is my dear friend, and jewelry extraordinaire Shourouk Rhaiem who founded her namesake label Shourouk.

This edition of DM Digs is dedicated to getting to know the beautiful Parisian/ Tunisian designer.

AB: So good to be able to chat with you. Can you tell our readers where you’re from?

SR: I am a true Parisian of Tunisian descent.

AB: Where are you based/ live?

SR: I live in Paris, right where Modigliani once had his studio. At times, I can imagine him painting and sculpting in my living room…I love it!

AB: That’s pretty damn cool. Who wouldn’t want to feel Modigliani’s presence every now and again in their living space, as long as you’re not spooked by it.

AB: Why did you choose to settle where you did?

SR: I like the classicism of the city, along with being a big melting-pot of cultures you’ll find in each area. Also, my studio is next to the Centre Pompidou, the contemporary art museum, which as you can imagine provides an immense amount of inspiration and is often highly resourceful. I tend to find a lot of my materials there, and I absolutely love the edgy atmosphere surrounding the area.

AB: What’s the best part about designing jewelry?

SR: I love to play with contrasts & colors. I’m inspired during my travels, and feel I have to portray my experiences and encounters via my designs. The process is simply sharing what you discover. Bewitched by Folk & Naïve Art, in particular, by the powerful Mexican masks and paintings. It has become almost habitual for me to capture all those forms and colorful objects of everyday life and render them the Shourouk way by giving them a sophisticated touch. 

Actually simply put, it’s all about mixing & matching, but also trying new techniques and materials to keep it all fresh and exciting. However, I do like to create an aesthetic that mirrors classical fine jewelry but done in a contemporary and far more affordable way.

AB: Why did you start designing jewelry, and when?

SR: I would say that my love affair with jewelry began really early on in life, during my childhood. I was already playing with my grandmother’s diamond bracelets as a little girl. Years later, my varied experiences with fashion houses made me understand that jewelry was my vehicle for artistic expression. Around 2008, I met Pierre Lasquier, the person with whom I creates this exciting brand “Shourouk”. He was the one that believed in me the most, and also happened to be totally aligned with my vision and goal for the brand. Here we are today.

AB: Who are you designing for because so many different kinds of women love wearing Shourouk?

SR: Any kind of woman could be wearing Shourouk - that’s always been my goal, not to isolate anyone. We produce versatile designs; a more classical woman could find herself attracted to the more joaillerie aspect of them, with the emerald, deep blue and crystal. While, someone with a more high-fashion/ eclectic look could possibly go for strong bright colored statement pieces. The range of Shourouk client is quite wide, as it shows through the women in the industry who opt to wear our pieces from Michelle Obama, to Leandra, to Anna Dello Russo, to you! 

AB: Favorite vacation spot?

SR: That would be Il Pellicano in Italy! After the pressure and madness of Fashion Week, I always require an escape that has a Mediterranean touch. I love to eat delicious pasta at these quaint restaurants by the sea. That’s totally a guilty pleasure. But this summer I’ll be traveling to Colombia!!!! Can’t wait to discover the psychedelic wonders of Caño Cristales at La Macarena. It’ll be one heck of a ride getting lost in the jungle, plunge in their Rainbow Rivers, and carve out my own colorful adventures.

AB: Colombia is totally on my wish list too. 

AB: In my head, you love ice cream. Do you? What’s your favorite flavor?

SR: You are right, I love ice cream!!! My favorite is Coconut!!

AB: Ooo, fun. Unique.

AB: Cats or dogs?

SR: Mmmmmm I prefer Unicorns!!

AB: Favorite color lipstick? You wear a lot of Reds. Which one would you recommend most to our readers?

SR: I can’t live without my Tom Ford Flame lipstick, that’s my signature. I am in love with this beauty product! It is a bright medium-dark orange red lip color that I would die for!

AB: What’s your favorite thing to do at the end of the day?

SR: At the end of the day I love to put very loud oriental/ Bollywood music and dance while I am preparing the dinner.

AB: Honorary brown sistah :)

AB: Favorite show on TV at the moment?

SR: My escape from reality at the moment is Game of Thrones. The complexity of the characters, the power of the women, the storytelling…it’s all so fantastic and such an escape!

AB: What you got planned for the future of your label? Any interesting collaborations?

SR: As you know from attending our launch event in Paris, this upcoming season I’m putting out a line of sunglasses!!!! 

It’s in collaboration with PETER & MAY WALK. We reinvent textures and forms to create high-fashion eyewear. Unconventional materials and crystals to reiterate the Shourouk aesthetic, identity, and craftsmanship whilst utilizing eyewear technology with the expertise of Peter & May Walk. They’re OUT, can’t wait for you to wear them!

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