Based in Singapore and headed by designer Jil Lin and her counterpart, Stacy Noz, Alijst are a fashion-forward jewellery brand encouraging exciting and innovative new ways to wear jewellery. Taking inspiration from culture and art, their jewellery is designed to make a statement and redefine femininity. Designed in Singapore and then exclusively crafted in Hong Kong, we chat to the designer behind the brand, Jil Lin.
What drove you to start your own jewellery line, Alijst?
“I was doing fine jewellery, mostly engagement rings, until I met my business partner. We’re both very similar in terms of style and ideas and it was then we both started Alijst: an outlet for us to unleash our style of jewellery.”
When did you fall in love with jewellery?
“I used to be a bridal and evening shoe designer some years ago. During the designing process, I couldn’t find the right components for the shoe design that I wanted so I enrolled into a Jewellery Design degree at Raffles Design Institute. I was hoping to design some accessories for the shoes, but I loved jewellery design so much that I never went back to shoes.”
"I was hoping to design some accessories for the shoes, but I loved jewellery design so much that I never went back to shoes."
Where did you grow up and how has your childhood influenced your designs?
“I grew up in a typical Singaporean family. My grandmother was a traditional Shanghainese Cheongsam tailor. Cheongsam is a tight fitting Chinese dress for women. It was created in the 1920s in Shanghai, and its elegance and confidence was a status symbol, therefore upper class women and socialites were always seen wearing a Cheongsam. I grew up watching my grandmother picking fabric and sewing; every step was meticulous. My mum is an amateur Cantonese opera singer, and I’ve always been very intrigued by her stage props, especially the elaborate costumes and hair accessories. Both woman influenced me in my works, significantly in their lifelong passion and dedication for arts and design.”
How did you get into the jewellery industry?
“I did a degree in jewellery design at Raffles Design Institution of Singapore to enhance myself as a shoe designer back then. One thing led to another, I was under the tutelage of Mr Tay Thye Sun, a renowned gemmologist from Singapore. Through him, I learnt the many different gems of the world.”
"We believe in quality - we never compromise on our works, we're there for every step of the production to ensure everything is up to our high standard."
Values are hugely important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values at Alijst?
“We believe in freedom - freedom of expression transformed into wearable pieces. We believe in pride - we are proud of who we are, what we are and we want people who wear our jewellery to also feel this pride. We believe in quality - we never compromise on our works, we're there for every step of the production to ensure everything is up to our high standard.”
Tell us about the most meaningful piece of jewellery you’ve received?
“It’s definitely my engagement ring! My then fiancé proposed to me with an oval diamond with the purpose of letting me design the ring. It was and it is still very dear to me, not because of its value but because of the life changing event.”
How do you want someone to feel when they wear a piece of Alijst jewellery?
“Sexy, confident, versatile, powerful.”
"Through my designs, I want to redefine women's femininity with subtle designs yet loud expressions, edgy yet elegant designs."
What do you hope for the future of Alijst?
“I feel like this is just the start. To me, this isn’t just a simple business of selling jewellery - it’s about making a statement and empowering the women of today. There are huge changes for the women of today compared to their grandmothers or even their mothers, they have so many more opportunities. Many women are working now, some are even high profile women chief executives. There is even an increasing number of female presidents! My jewellery explores women's confidence, power and sexuality. Through my designs, I want to redefine women's femininity with subtle designs yet loud expressions, edgy yet elegant designs. I hope through fashion, people can communicate on controversial topics that are often avoided.”