Prestige issue 291, July-Aug-Sept. 2018
Her name is linked to her brand…fruit of her fascination by mythology, but also her passion for beauty, for creation and French savoir-faire. In 2018 Caroline Gaspard celebrates ten years of success with Akillis. Animated by enthusiasm, the same she had twenty five years ago when she launched her brand, the artist jeweler galvanized her clientele, namely the middle eastern clientele, which forms the other part of her international market, with personalized rock and displayed items…A rock in evolution: pop-rock, romantico-rock, ethno-rock… to the liking of the muse. Confidences of Caroline Gaspard to Prestige.
Caroline, how did the Akillis adventure begin? Where did you get the idea and why Akillis? I noticed that there were only fashion accessories and jewelry with classic style. Having faced many refusals by big jewelry houses to execute my customized jewelry, I wanted to create my personal brand where every client can request what she wants exactly. My brand had to be rock and displaced, to be far from the classical flowery designs or other hearts and animals, which please to men and women. The name Akillis seemed evident because I was always fascinated by mythology. I then decided to use the name of the most rocking person in mythology, Achille, that is named Achilléa in Greek.
Your passion for jewelry and beautiful stones comes from your mother… Tell us. It is a passion I hold from my mother, who had always affinity with precious stones. A friend of my father was a diamond trader and brought us frequently beautiful stones to show us. It was like a game to discover what we were able to do, bracelets, rings or even necklaces. From the age of 15, I began to draw and manufacture jewels for my family and friends. I had so many requests that I decided to begin the adventure.
You only were 25 years old when you launched your brand…Which obstacles did you face? If you ask me this question, it is because you don’t know me. When I get into a challenge, nothing or nobody can stop me! And especially at the age of 25. You need a high spirit and some unconsciousness to get in the adventure.
Akillis is celebrating its tenth anniversary…How would you summarize this decade? The strong moments? I can tell you that few things have changed during the last years. I still have the same enthusiasm, like the first day. I haven’t at all changed the Akillis style, I made it richer. At the beginning we were rock with the collections Bang Bang, then pop-rock with Puzzle. We also adventured in romantico-rock with capture-moi and now we embark in ethno-rock! I never stop declining my rock vision on French jewelry.
«My rocking vision is declined on French jewelry»
An anniversary collection? To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the brand, I imagined a whole new facet of Akillis. I am a big fan of traveling, and for our honeymoon we made a world tour and renewed eight times our wishes, with every ritual of tribal cultures. I am absolutely fascinated by jewels from tribal inspiration and I wanted to add a piece of high jewelry to the Akillis collections. Tribal but resolutely graphic. The design of this necklace is pure and gives the impression that every rank of stones floats literally on your neck. When it is worn on a strapless cloth, this gives you an ethno-rock look! You need to add the earrings and you are fabulously rock!
Your preferred stone is Tourmaline Paraiba, that you use frequently in your collections. Why this stone? What does it represent for you? When I first saw the tourmalines Paraiba, I fell in love with them. I truly believe in the power of stones. Tourmalines have an energetic power favorable for immunity. It is instantaneous, when I see and touch these stones I feel a positive attitude and cannot prevent myself from smiling. I chose them as a gift for the birth of my two children. For me they are a symbol of the love for life. It is naturally that my choice fell on them to create our anniversary set.
How would you define the Akillis woman? And the man? She is a strong confident woman who wants to affirm her personality and her needs to the whole world. The man loves to seduce and looks for a style that resembles him, rock and displaced.
Akillis has its own workshop in Lyon. What is the importance of having your own workshop? I always attached a lot of importance to the made in France, namely in luxury brands. Much more than an idea, it is a true know-how that must not be neglected when we want to create exceptional pieces. Today, I put this in all my creations.
What does the Middle Eastern market represent for Akillis? How would you strengthen your presence in the region? Today, the Middle East represents our second part of the market worldwide. We are now present in Dubai but we wish to have a larger vision. That’s why we enlarged our teams, to cover our clients expectations, who would support our actual presence in feminine displays.
I never leave…My bracelet «Capture-Moi». My husband captured my heart for my pleasure a long time ago.
My book by the bed…My photo album of our wedding trip around the world.
My first jewel… My Puzzle bracelet set with diamonds.
Describe yourself in three words: I will go to the end of my dreams!
Describe Akillis in three words: Creativity, excellence and made in France.
A message to our readers? I am absolutely fascinated by Middle Eastern customers who know to mix tradition with a trendy look. Interview Conducted by Maria Nadim