Just over 1km from where the founder of Luxurious Magazine lives, is the Penang Island based headquarters of Amee Philips, perhaps the most talented designer of fine jewellery in Malaysia.
Where is Penang Island? You might ask. Penang is one of those places that people have heard of, but in truth couldn’t really pin-point it on a map. It’s a State located on the Western Coast of the South-East Asian country of Malaysia, with the Island sitting about 10km off-shore. Penang Island has a rich and varied history and is intertwined with Great Britain from it’s Colonial days stretching back hundreds of years. Today, Penang is a vibrant and cosmopolitan place, somewhere that people from all around the globe come to visit, exploring the UNESCO City of Georgetown, studying the wonderful architecture and sampling it’s world famous food.
Fifteen years ago, Penang, as with much of Asia was in the ‘Doldrums’, a huge financial crisis swept the region, property prices were forced down, and very little of the luxury industry could be seen. Today, it’s a completely different place, commercial and residential construction is going up at a rapid pace, super-condo’s for the super-rich, state-of-the-art shopping malls filled with designer good, luxurious items and high-end food outlets and eateries, Penang has transformed itself to become the undisputed jewel within the ‘Tiger Economy’ of Malaysia.
Malaysian’s and more particularly Penangite’s are not afraid to show their wealth, as you sit in the frequent traffic jams, you can frequently find yourself next to a high-end Mercedes-Benz, BMW and even Bentley’s, Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s. So whether by luck or judgement, Amee’s decision to locate her HQ on one of the busiest roads on the Island opposite the latest super-luxury malls could be considered a stroke of genius. We felt it important to provide an insight to where Amee Philips is based to help you to understand how quickly her brand and reputation has grown and why it is that people fly in from other countries just to view and buy her exquisite jewelled pieces.
For many months, Paul Godbold has raved about the beauty, quality and design of Amee’s pieces, the fact he knows Amee Philips and her husband Drew personally is no guarantee that he’ll like their products as many of you that have met him will attest. With Paul being based in Malaysia and the main core of the editorial team in London, we had to wait for him to provide us with the core of the article before we had a chance to put it in motion.
A short while back, Paul took time to visit the Amee Philips HQ and first retail centre of the brand, examining the fine jewelled pieces closely, watching the manufacturing process and chatting to Amee and Drew about their story.
Although it has been a little later than we planned, allow us to introduce one of Penang’s greatest design talents.
About Amee Philips
Amee Philips journey began in Europe in 1992 by sourcing gemstones and sending them back home to Malaysia. Upon her return in 1993 she started a gemstone wholesaling enterprise, initially selling gemstones shop to shop, later opening an office to service the many small jewellery factories in Penang.
After many years of looking at gemstones 10 hours a day, she started to instantly recognise good colour, good cutting, authenticity and market value. As we alluded to previously, the onset of the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990’s slowed everything down, including Amee’s wholesale business, but she was already diversifying into jewellery design, manufacturing and retailing, opening her first gallery in 1999. In 2005 she invented a pendant clip which can open to allow the pendant to be changed, and, the same pendant drops can be used with her range of earrings too. Annually, Amee judges an Asia wide student jewellery design competition linked to The July Malaysian International Jewellery Fair.
In 2011 she started a collaboration with New York fashion icon Zang Toi, ‘Zang Toi Precious jewels by Amee Philips’, to create jewellery for his twice yearly New York Fashion Week runway shows. In 2013 Amee’s jewellery was chosen to be featured in the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club Luxury Handbook launched at The Dorchester Hotel in London.
In 2013 Amee expanded her operations with the opening a new showroom/gallery in world-renowned Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur to complement her HQ in Penang.
After a whirlwind 20 successful years, Amee’s passion is still for the most beautiful natural gemstones and to create designs to make them even more beautiful. When she talks about gemstones or jewellery, she is inspiring, and a glance at some of her extraordinary creations on this page is a small insight into the design talent this lady has.
If you would like to see more Amee’s designs, visit: http://www.ameephilips.com/