Akillis (Est. 2007) is the brand launched by Caroline Gaspard in 2007. The name Akillis comes from Greek mythology, a subject that has almost always been a source of fascination for Gaspard. She took the name because it characterizes ‘rock.’
Caroline Gaspard grew up with a love of gemstones. Her mother received a diploma in gemology, earned at the age of 61.
Caroline learned the secrets of precious minerals and metals as a young girl in France from a family friend who worked in the diamond trade. She went on to study the Greek, Roman and Scandinavian mythologies of gemstones. Therefore it doesn’t come as a surprise that Gaspard used her understanding of and love for gemstones to create her jewelry brand. Gaspard’s creations stand out in a jewelry world of established norms. Her designs—like gold bullets with diamonds and Cleopatra-esque rings, cuffs and pendants—are bold and daring.
According to Akillis’ official website, “To keep up with its boundless creativity, Akillis needed to set up its own workshops … and even boasts its own foundry with a dedicated smelter for each alloy. Based in Lyon, its team of jewelry makers, gem setters, polishers and foundry workers … fashion Akillis designs from the finest materials: gold, platinum, diamonds, fine and precious gemstones.
“Traditional manufacturing processes such as lost-wax casting are used alongside the most advanced technologies from laser welding to water jet polishing machines. The Akillis team is also ready to tackle any challenge, whether it be manufacturing hollow, perfectly rounded bullets with undetectable soldering for the AK line, molding Cruella earrings into a second-skin fit, or bringing the scales of a python to life. Besides mere technique, acquiring the right level of sensitivity for the workmanship requires hours spent alongside experienced craftspeople.”
Akillis collections are devoid of any form of flowers, hearts or mysterious bestiary inspired from the usual stereotypes. Instead, the jewels have a more edgy and unisex appeal allowing both men and women to express their own personal style.
“Bang Bang,” Akillis’ first and now best-selling collection symbolizes power and excitement and turns the bullet into a bold jewelry piece set with sparkling diamonds that catch the attention of an audience willing to be surprised by a new kind of jewelry.
The brand, which celebrated its 10 year history in 2017 made its anniversary more special when it opened a flagship store in the famous rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. While an exceptional setting for its vibrant jewelry collections, the jewels are actually crafted in the brand’s workshops based in Lyon. There, Caroline Gaspard’s bold and daring designs come to life thanks to skilled craftspeople who use innovative techniques combined with traditional know-how.
One of Gaspard’s latest collections for Akillis is called “Capture-moi” and revisits the traditional wedding ring with a bold triangle pattern that evokes a shark’s tooth. Set with diamonds, the graphic lines embody expressions of love and give the wedding ring a serious personal appeal.
In an interview that appears on the website, ‘Like A B.’ Caroline says, “The themes are audacious indeed and appeal to everyone, women and men alike. I like to reinvent a classic theme of jewelry: for example, the traditional drop motif has become a ball, concentric circles become targets.”
Akillis’ collections include Capture In Motion that are moving rings designed for men and women, Capture Me which boast triangular designs, Python that was inspired by Cleopatra who wore live pythons around her wrists.
Fatal Attraction, is a collection of pendants, and Puzzle is a collection that looks like jigsaw puzzle pieces but could also be interpreted as missing a loved one.
The previously cited Capture Moi collection features masculine and feminine designs in white gold and diamond bracelets and bands that can be pieced together. The pieces in the various collections include bracelets, rings, earrings, pendants, cufflinks, and belt clasps in high jewelry. The brand also offers bridal bands and engagement rings.
In a May 2019 interview with the website, Elevated Luxury Life, Caroline said, “When I create new pieces or a collection, I try to project myself through it and imagine myself wearing it. If it's something that does not speak to me, I simply abandon the project. When I see a stone I know immediately how to mount it. Today the clientele tends towards the new generations who aspire to new rock designs. Being part of this clientele, I wanted to create [with] Akillis [in a way] to precisely satisfy this demand and obviously stick to my vision and my expectations of fine jewelry.”