Dennis Chan lives, works and breathes luxury, and was doing so well before Qeelin was born. As a designer he goes every year to the big design and manufacturing shows in Europe, including Basel, Frankfurt, and Milan - not just to the fairs, but also to shop.
“My wife loves jewellery, and I love watches,” says Chan. “So between the two of us we have visited most of the great luxury boutiques of the world. You visit a luxury boutique, not just to buy, or to show off how wealthy you are, but to experience the brand, to feel its spirit, and to find out if it resonates with you. As I discovered, each jewellery and watch brand has its own character and its own unique story.”
A key characteristic of the Qeelin brand is the element of playfulness. Chan explains, “I wanted create something with a tangible connection to tradition without being old fashioned - something beautiful and eminently desirable. That became my dream and motivation.”
That’s why Chan always designs with the real, modern woman in mind. “I design not for big museums, but for real people. The jewellery is not just to admired, but to be worn on a daily basis, and to be enjoyed. It is about putting a smile on the face of the wearer, and about passing on from generation to generation. My designs stem from Chinese roots, but they are meant for every global citizen – people who are playful at heart.”
So Chan broke all rules and encouraged wearing high jewellery during the day, using it to adorn casual wear, mixing items from different collections together in the same look, layering jewellery as one would layer fashion… “It is about breaking boundaries; it is about fusing the do’s and the don’ts to become one you,” says Chan.
“For me as a designer, jewellery is the tool, and I want to use it tell the story of the juxtaposition of East and West, and let the designs tell of the magnificence of Chinese civilization,” Chan says.
“But modern story telling is not one-sided, it is interactive. And so I do want the wearers to play with my designs, to wear the jewellery to show their unique characters. I think the wearer has as much to tell as my jewellery, and together, the wearer and the worn are forging a new, powerful, unique equation. That, for me, is the ultimate, powerful creativity.”