The Miami local behind KULT Jewelry shares her insights on her newest collection, which champions genderless designs and simplistic elegance.
jewelry designer Jessie Bonne
A native of Martinique (French West Indies), Jessie Bonne started designing jewelry while living in Mexico some years ago. At first she solely designed pieces for personal use, then she felt the necessity to create everyday objects that could accompany the wearer and suit them no matter the place or time—with no stereotype attached. And KULT was born, handcrafted in Mexico City and here in Miami. We sat down with Bonne to learn more about KULT’s most recent collection.
Tell us the story of KULT. I created KULT because I felt that jewelry needed to be simple, honest and elegant enough to accompany us along the journey, sealing important moments and celebrating our relationships. So, whatever happens in life, you can always carry with you a piece of beauty.
What is the ethos of the brand? KULT stands for simple elegance and appreciation of the beauty of artisan work, the kind that fills any object with a unique energy. We are in the constant pursuit of timeless and genderless design. And all pieces are destined to be worn daily until they become part of you.
How do you decide which stones to work with? Onyx, lapis lazuli and malachite have become our signature stones. I was first attracted by the onyx because of my love for art deco jewelry, and it is used in traditional jewelry in Martinique and Guadeloupe (where I am from). Then I got hooked by the lapis lazuli, its deep blue and rich inclusions, when moving to Miami. And when, at the end of last year, I became obsessed with malachite, I was feeling a need of transformation. Little did I know what was coming.
Tell us about the inspiration for the Milestone collection. It has an art deco feel... Totally. The geometry and combinations of stones are quite art deco, while the volumes are reminiscent of the power of tank jewelry, characteristic of the ’40s in Europe. KULT was about to turn five years old; I felt the need to affirm myself as a person and designer, and I wanted a jewel that would remind me to celebrate my journey every day. That’s how the Milestone Power ring in malachite was born. When I saw the positive reactions it encountered, I decided to make it a whole collection.
What inspires you most about Miami? I am an architecture fan. Miami’s art deco gems as well as its midcentury modern houses and buildings fascinate me and have a visible impact on my creations. But there is something else about Miami that also inspires me: It’s the energy, the mix of people coming from so many different places; the light and the nature. Miami is a place that awakens senses.
Where can we buy KULT? Online on our website, as well as in person at Mrs. Mandolin at Soho Beach House or the Shop at the Four Seasons Surfclub.
Milestone 2 necklace featuring lapis lazuli, 14K yellow gold and rubies
Photography by: jessie bonne photo by femke tewari; all other photos by manuel Zuñiga