LONDON — The stars aligned for Greek jeweler Ileana Makri and movie director Zoe Cassavetes this yr.
Makri was trying to have fun her nation’s two hundredth independence anniversary, whereas Cassavetes was desperate to discover her love of knickknack and reconnect together with her Greek roots. Mindy Prugnaud, a associate on the Paris-based shopping for workplace Mint, noticed the synergy and bought them collectively.
“I actually met Zoe when she was shooting ‘Emily in Paris’ and became really intrigued with what she was doing. She was obsessed with jewelry and kept telling me how she dreams of being a jewelry designer. I guess when you’re artistic, it doesn’t matter if you’re making a film or a piece of jewelry,” Prugnaud stated.
The result’s a jewellery capsule steeped in Greek historical past and introduced collectively by ladies who, regardless of their completely different backgrounds and professions, embody the dynamic, self-determined spirit of the nation.
The important concept behind the gathering was to translate completely different symbols and flags related to the Greek Revolution in 1821 onto jewellery. One of probably the most distinguished photos is a cross framed by a laurel wreath and the inscription “In this sign conquer.” It was initially on the flag of the key group that began the Greek warfare of independence.
Makri carved them on chunky rings with a cool, masculine aptitude, in addition to on appeal necklaces and earrings.
Highlighting the Greek issue was vital for each ladies, even when this can be a collaboration geared toward a global market.
“Let’s not forget that there’s millions of Greeks across America, the U.K., Australia, Germany and all over the world. And at the end of the day, I find that whether you can see the link to the Greek Revolution or not, the pieces just came out looking beautiful,” stated Makri, who has a robust presence throughout the U.S.
Following a long term with Barneys, she has now began working with Saks Fifth Avenue, each on-line and in key New York and Florida places. Despite the hurdles of the pandemic, gross sales have been robust, in accordance with Prugnaud, with a gradual stream of reorders and new openings in bodily places throughout the nation.
For Cassavetes, who’s all the time taken discover of the jewellery worn by the ladies in her life, the main target was on capturing the spirit of independence and creating “meaningful” work that spoke to her Greek heritage.
She was instantly drawn to Makri’s concept to take a look at banners of the Greek revolution, and have become enamored with the inventive course of.
“What I loved about working with Ileana was that she’s wonderfully creative, but also very serious about the work. She knows how much care has to go into it and she won’t stop until it’s perfect. But she’s also very approachable and kind about the whole process. Her generosity in wanting to do this collection with me was such an inspiration because she’s the real artist and technician in this jewelry world, and I was someone who got to learn things and have my dreams come true,” stated Cassavetes, who directed a number of episodes of season considered one of “Emily in Paris,” and has additionally labored on sequence together with “Junior” and “My Dead Ex.”
Makri added that Cassavetes got here filled with concepts and impressed her after each dialog. “When you share your ideas with somebody who is creative, there’s an immediate exchange that gets you to the next stage very fast,” stated the jeweler, who’s now primarily based in Athens, however who spent a few years in New York’s inventive scene, and transferring in circles with the likes of Halston and Liza Minnelli at Studio 54.
To mark the launch of the gathering, Makri and Cassavetes have determined to step in entrance of the digicam — for a change — and to showcase the items on themselves.
“I don’t love getting my picture taken, but I thought it was important and exciting to really represent the collection,” Cassavetes stated.
“In a perfect world, we would have done the photos in Greece together, but this damn virus has kept us from doing so. I had a young, up-and-coming photographer, Lulu Syracuse, take some of the photos and then I ended up shooting some myself. It’s not easy to shoot jewelry [in a nontraditional way],”stated Cassavetes, who lensed the photographs in Los Angeles.
Makri did her personal shoot in Athens together with her photographer pal Yiannis Bourinias. “I love the pieces and what the concept stands for — this notion of revolution for freedom is something that totally represents my own psychology, so I love the fact that I will be wearing them and supporting that idea.”
The assortment is ready to launch this autumn, with costs starting from $4,000 to $20,000.