Since Qeelin’s founding in 2004, every piece of jewellery has carried rich cultural connotation, reinterpreting traditional symbols with stylish designs intended for daily wear, infusing new life and contemporary meaning to Chinese heritage.
Qeelin was named after “qilin”, an auspicious mystical creature in Chinese culture. “Qi” refers to the male animal, and “lin” the female. Legend has it that qilins are tame and kind, and they are often described as “benevolent beasts”. Thus, Qeelin’s name is the embodiment of the brand’s philosophy of balance and harmony, fuses unbridled creativity with excellence in craftsmanship. It brings a touch of playfulness and surprise into the world of fine jewellery. The brand’s iconic Wulu collection revisits the legendary Chinese gourd, an auspicious emblem in Chinese tradition.
Qeelin’s origin is inextricably linked to the ancient city of Dunhuang
In 1997, Founder and Creative Director of Qeelin Dennis Chan visited the city of Dunhuang in China’s Gansu Province. There, he found himself contemplating Dunhuang’s past as a pivotal meeting point between East and West on the ancient Silk Road. He was awestruck at the ancient artwork filling the city’s Mogao Caves and inspired by the beauty of the jewels depicted in its thousand-year old scenes.
From the third to the eighth century, the artistic creations at the Dunhuang Mogao Caves would bring the city into its golden age. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the rediscovery of the caves and their exquisite oriental art would leave the world in awe once more. Within Dennis, they later inspired a sense of cultural mission: why was there no jewellery brand that could showcase China’s fascinating cultural heritage to the world?
Qeelin would become his answer.
Cultural heritage is ever-evolving and gains new meaning when it is celebrated through different generations.“Passing jewellery down from generation to generation is quintessentially Chinese” explains Chan. “We have always wanted to pass on our traditions, our heritage, and our wealth. In the same way, I hope to leave a legacy that will inspire both Chinese people and the world at large.”
Qeelin was revealed to the world on the red carpet of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival when world-renowned film actress Maggie Cheung wore a single Wulu earring, representing a vision of modern Chinese beauty and talent, to receive her Best Actress award. Qeelin was also proud to share the limelight which gave momentum to the brand officially opening its first point of sale at the Parisian Hotel de Crillon on May 2004.
Iconic collection Wulu
Wulu, Qeelin’s iconic collection, interprets the mythical powers of the hulu, a Chinese gourd, as a stylish symbol of positivity and hope. Rich with symbolism, the Wulu is traditionally associated with health and success, while its“8” shape invites wealth in Chinese culture. Skilfully designed by Dennis Chan, Wulu’s elegantly simple and smooth harmonious lines inlaid with shimmering diamonds elevate the collection to the very height of Qeelin’s philosophy.
What’s more, Qeelin supports every woman’s freedom to express the different sides of their personalities and hope that our Wulu colour rings will become the go-to fashion accessory to express their “True Colourful Me”. Wear it in a thousand different ways that capture the vitality and playfulness of youth. This series comes in an explosion of pop colours that are original and symbolic of luck in traditional Chinese culture. It features precious diamond, red agate, jade, mother-of-pearl and onyx. Qeelin Founder and Creative Director Dennis Chan explain, “These colours are original and elegant, and they represent joy and positivity. Also, it is easy to mix and match to reflect your individual style.”
The theme of balance and harmony runs through all of Qeelin’s collections. With its ongoing search for the elusive meeting point between ancient oriental wisdom and the rhythm of modern life, Qeelin bridges the traditional and the contemporary with substance and emotional sensitivity.
Empowering Chinese culture through innovation – a modern take on traditional culture
Today’s new generations pursue meaningful life experiences and individual expression. Since Qeelin’s founding in 2004, every piece has carried rich cultural connotation, reinterpreting traditional symbols with stylish designs that infuse new life and contemporary meaning to Chinese heritage. The Yu Yi collection was inspired and named after the “Ruyi” lock, meaning “good fortune”, a traditional Chinese symbol of protection and spiritual potency. Often depicted in traditional arts and crafts, it has been given new life in Yu Yi as a contemporary piece of fine jewellery, a modern fulfiller of dreams.
This summer, Qeelin refreshes the Yu Yi family with a new member, the Mother-of-pearl, after the popular jade and red agate. Embellished with 18K rose gold and diamonds, the Yu Yi lock with the radiant reflective Mother-of-pearl is a perfect match for summer’s sun-kissed skin.
Through its interpretation of ancient Chinese traditions and its use of symbolism, Qeelin pushes design boundaries into a new iconography of contemporary oriental chic for today’s new generations.
Carrying on Chinese culture – letting tradition bloom anew
Carrying on Chinese culture is Qeelin’s most distinctive mission. Through exquisite jewellery intended for daily wear, Qeelin brings contemporary Chinese design to the world to usher in a new era of oriental aesthetic and elegance through the lens of jewellery.
New generations understand the history of Chinese culture as a proud and glorious past, celebrated in museum cabinets or as indelible memories passed on down by elders. It is through these experiences that culture stays alive and shapes people regardless of their age.
Drawing on thousands of years of Chinese culture, Qeelin’s designs integrate iconic symbols and make them relevant to young, contemporary life. They breathe new life into legends and blessings, and shine a new light on ancient traditions.
Every collection has its own unique message, each representing a window into Qeelin’s world view. In turn, just as to each person resonate different values and attitudes, so does the jewellery take on new, additional meanings. Rekindling the splendour of Chinese culture in the context of contemporary luxury — this is Qeelin’s unique way of honouring its roots.