Curated by Ileana Makri
Ileana Makri photographed by Yiannis Bournias
For Greek jewellery designer Ileana Makri, creativity is above all else about expressing your emotions. A globetrotter by both profession and passion, Ileana draws inspiration from different places, cultures, and experiences as much as her Greek heritage, but more than anything her collections encapsulate her state of mind. Catering to an international, high profile clientele and collaborating with distinguished fashion houses, her work ethos has nevertheless remained firmly grounded in creating wearable fine jewellery that don’t interfere with everyday life. We recently caught up with Ileana to ask her about her favorite things, travels habits and passionate engagement in preventing child abuse, a cause close to her heart.
How would you define yourself in three words?
A project/initiative you’re most proud of?
The project I put my heart into is Eliza society which
works hard in order to achieve to minimize cruelty
and abuse to children. It was established in Greece
in 2008 with the purpose of protecting children who
have suffered or are in danger of suffering abuse and
neglect and has come a long way. I feel so proud every
time another child is saved and removed from his/her
nightmare life and I realize that we can change
the lives of children for the better.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
At the moment from the virus... It’s inspiring in a
different way by making me think about the changes
I want to bring about in my life.
Which art/design/style icons you are most inspired by?
I am fascinated by Sol Le Witt, Giacometti, Yayoi Kusama and Alexandra Kotzamani, also by Eames, Gio Ponti, Jony Ive and Jacob Jensen.
Which colors are you currently enamored of?
Black, White, Blue and Yellow.
What’s an accessory you had for ages?
A Stephen Sprouse neon yellow and black shawl that
I bought from him in New York in 1979.
Two pairs of black Prada boots from
the 90’s and a black Hermes travel case
that was my father’s who died in 1981.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
My The Row clothes.
The beauty product you can’t live without?
Serum Grand Millesime by Biologique Recherche.
Three Instagram accounts you check daily?
I don’t check Instagram daily...
Your latest discovery?
Dia Beacon! My favorite! It is a must to visit the
Dia Art Foundation which opened in 2003 in Hudson
Valley every time I am in NYC. The 1960’s and
the 1970’s work of the artists that is exhibited here
What is on your bookshelf?
Greek and Indian philosophers, Plato, Aristotle and
Krishnamurti, all kinds of Jewelry Books, architecture
books, photography books, Homer, Kavafis, and
Kazantzakis along with Richard Bach. Several
Biography books and my favorite Eckhart Tolle.
A big picture of my parents, small art pieces and
notes hanging from the shelves.
Favorite destination and hotel?
Belmond Villa San Michele in Fiesole near Florence. An old monastery nested in the Fiesole hills with the serenity of the place, its wonderful gardens and Tuscan cuisine, becomes an irresistible sanctuary.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
I have done a few adventurous things because I love adventure!! Maybe the most adventurous is traveling by myself in Peru and Colombia in the 90’s. I had no fear whatsoever but I abided by a law that I learned to apply in my life very early on: “stay under the radar and preferably be invisible”.
What do you miss most when travelling?
Which city would you choose to live in if you had to move?
I feel I can live anywhere... Although today I lean more towards living in a smaller town rather than a big city. If I had to choose... I would probably go East.
Who is your favorite hero or heroine in fiction?
Goddess Athena, from Greek mythology! She
is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration
and civilization. She is a warrior and a virgin for
whom Homer wrote one of his best hymns. Also
the patron of my city Athens. She contented
with Poseidon over the city and won by offering
to the Athenians the Olive Tree, a symbol of peace,
wisdom and triumph.
What quote do you live by?
When life gives you lemons, get out the tequila!
What is your guilty pleasure?
What is your most treasured possession?
My home in Patmos.