With a cute name inspired by the French term for the sound sparrows make when they gather together in treetops (say it with us: “cui-cui”), you don’t need much more reason to fall for this Japanese jewelry brand. Delicate as a bird’s song, each item is crafted in 10-karat yellow gold (K10YG) and made in Japan, building on the owner’s long history in jewelry making.
Founder and CEO Kentaro Ishii began his career in jewelry making 30 years ago in Yamanashi, a region of Japan that’s famed for its jewelers (we recommend making a turn at the Yamanashi Jewelry Museum) but also for its artists in general. Taking after his father, who also owned a jewelry company as well as created items for other brands, Ishii launched cui-cui.
However, there was one major difference between many of the brands already out there and the one he envisioned building: he wanted cui-cui to be high quality while remaining affordable. He felt it was possible to offer intricate designs and attention to detail without pushing up the price so that it became out of reach for the everyday shopper. In addition, he also wanted to create pieces that were both refined and casual, appealing to all ages and tastes.
As for the inspiration behind the adorable name, Ishii wanted to compare the way birds gather in treetops to the way shoppers gather in stores or streets to enjoy a bit of retail therapy. He chose to use the French term cui-cui not only because of the attractive sound of the language but also because he felt adding a French touch to the brand would give it that added layer of elegance.
And elegant is undoubtedly the perfect word to describe each and every piece produced by cui-cui. Most of the store branches can be found within centers like Lumine, giving them an accessible and welcoming atmosphere. They offer maintenance and after-care services as well as advice on different aspects of jewelry care.
Here are our five top picks from their latest range…
For their latest collection, they pick up on the gradation color trend with a series of multihued crystal accessories.
Tiny Glittery Diamonds
These items are part of the Laser Hall Diamond series and feature gems that are skillfully cut by top-class diamond masons. Rather than being secured in a setting, the diamonds are threaded together by means of tiny laser cut holes. As a result of this technique, the gems are able to attract more light and sparkle like no other.
Diamonds may be forever but ruby and amethyst add a welcome touch of color to your look. Pick up these hoop gem earrings for ¥9,454 (amethyst) ¥18,500 (ruby).
Hoops are in and gold never goes out of style.
Nuance Color Rings
Delicate, stackable rings are the perfect everyday accessory. We love the London Blue Topaz (¥15,000) and Iolite gem rings (¥16,500) pictured above.
More information and online shopping at cui-cui-onlineshop.com/
For a full list of branches in Tokyo, go to cui-cui.co.jp/shop/index.html