This week, Nigerian born Chris Aire, popularly known as the ‘King of Bling’, a celebrity jeweller and international designer of customized ornaments will feature on African Voices, CNN’s International weekly half-hour programme highlighting Africa’s most engaging personalities.
Interviewed by CNN’s Vladimir Duthiers, Aire talks about the challenges he’s encountered after turning down his father’s offer to join the family oil business. Instead he opted to pursue an education and follow his dreams in America.
Aire recounts his days as a struggling artiste and how a chance meeting with a friend’s father awakened his secret passion of investing in the jewellry industry.
Aire tells Duthiers: “I’ve always had this secret fantasy of investing all of my money from entertainment into jewellry because growing up in Africa , I knew it was a lucrative field. So I basically started my training from the ground level and worked my way up to understanding more about gold, platinum, gold diamonds, coloured gem stones etc.”
A graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, Aire has shown his expertise in urban-style diamond jewellry designs for almost two decades. He is currently located in Beverly Hills, California and runs Chris Aire Fine Jewellry and Timepieces.
Aire often visits Nigeria, his home country, with plans to set up an extension of his jewellery dynasty and also to help the less privileged such as the orphans. He does so by donating his time and money to several charities and also through visits to the orphanage. He stated that, “Children are the pillar of any society. With a lot of support and encouragement we can inspire our children to do amazing things in the future.”