Charlene Classic: Bringing Tradition, Artistry and Opulence through Jewellery To the UK for the First Time

Charlene Classic

Beijing-based High Jewellery house, Charlene Classic, has arrived in the UK for the first time as they celebrate the grand finale of their 10th Anniversary exhibition tour, “The Jewellery Art of Bamboo Fan”. Celebrating its arrival, Charlene Classic hosted an invitation-only art exhibition at the V&A Museum, showcasing curated selection of priceless, one-of-a-kind pieces for one night only.

This cultural showcase highlights Charlene Classic’s as a premier Chinese luxury jewellery brand, weaving captivating Chinese narratives and championing Oriental aesthetics on a global stage.

Charlene Classic and the V&A Museum – a 170-year-old art palace – share a true affinity, championing design and creativity and empowering the advance of cultural knowledge. The exhibition will display the one-of-a-kind Charlene Classic Bamboo Fan Collection – continuing the legacy of the “Airs of Virtue – Imperial Palace” collection first showcased at the Beijing Palace Museum in the Forbidden City.

Founder Charlene Li’s Chinese heritage is at the core of everything the craftsmen create, with designs bringing to life elements of the country’s long and rich history encapsulated in modern design and the ‘tiny space’ fine jewellery allows.

Historically, the fan has held a special place in the hearts of scholars and connoisseurs, emblematic of its holder’s cultivated tastes and a medium to express fondness. The Fan Collection originated from the Charlene Classic custom high jewellery collection for the Palace Museum in 2017. Drawing inspiration from the ancient fans in the Palace Museum’s collection, it captures the beauty of Eastern culture in 1cm².

The history of the Chinese fan can be dated back to over 3,000 years ago, popularised during the Han Dynasty (206BC-AD220) when the simple bamboo fan and the cattail-leaf fan were invented. Encapsulating this long and prominent history, Charlene’s Bamboo Fan Collection uses precious emerald as the main gemstone alongside fine craftmanship. The intricate structure of the jewellery combined with exquisite gemstone recreates the dynamic scene of a bamboo forest.

Faint shadows of bamboo are reflected in the flowing creek as if one could see the shimmering green on the water’s surface. It represents both the shadows of the bamboo in the stream and the silhouette of the bamboo, layer upon layer, creating a timeless ambiance that sparks contemplation throughout the ages.

About Charlene Li, Founder of Charlene Classic:

Charlene Li was a top finance student at Peking University, one of China’s top universities. After graduating, Charlene held a position at a leading foreign investment bank, achieving a seven-figure salary before turning 25 and overseeing transactions worth billions. At the age of 30, she made the bold choice to resign and pursue entrepreneurship.

Charlene Li, Founder and CEO of Charlene Classic said: “The decision to leave my finance career shocked everyone—because to them, my career was thriving, and I thoroughly enjoyed my job. They thought my departure from the finance industry was just a momentary impulse. Only I knew that my 30 years of hard work were leading up to this moment of new beginnings. At the age of thirty, I finally felt capable of starting my own business. However, this time, I didn’t choose a fast-paced money-making industry; instead, I chose the emotional and beautiful world of jewellery art as the direction for my future endeavors”.

Exhibition Highlight: Creative Bamboo Grove Design with Chinese Story Fusion

The “Bamboo Grove” centrepiece of the exhibition allowed visitors to the exhibition to step into a serene space and be enveloped by the gentle rustle of leaves and the whisper of a breeze, evoking a natural beauty.

The “Bamboo Grove” installation at the V&A Museum features the Bamboo Fan high jewellery Collection within, drawing inspiration from ink bamboo in literati paintings. It carries on the classic “fan” elements from the “Landscape Fan” collection, customized for the Forbidden City in 2017, intricately carving out the philosophical charm of Oriental aesthetics.

The exhibition marks Charlene Classic’s first venture to the UK, following two successful exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai, where Charlene Classic has its two boutiques. The luxury collection on show at the V&A is available to jewellery collectors and to purchase by invitation-only in celebration of Charlene’s 10 year anniversary, with a Fine Jewellery collection available to buy at:

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