We first met Ileana Makri (as COUTURE virgins) in the Design Atelier and quickly bonded over the Olsen Twins. We will go ahead and let you know: she is friends with them #IRL and we follow OlsensAnonymous.com on the internets. Totally the same thing. As an OG member of the Rainbow Wave tribe, this Greek Goddess has been in the business for over a decade, constantly evolving her core collection of symbolic jewelry to include a plethora of modern shapes in gold and pavé diamonds. We recently caught up with Ileana and learned more about her segue into Deco influence and her evolution to utilizing more color than we've ever seen from the collection. We're going to need one of her classic evil eyes to protect us from buying one of everything.
Scroll through the slideshow below to see the newest pieces by Ileana Makri
Congrats on COUTURE! Tell us about your inspiration for the current collection. Was it designed with COUTURE in mind?
Thank you! The inspiration behind my current collection is the Art Deco era, thus the name DECO—the styles, colors and a multicultural revolution. No, I can’t say that it was designed with Couture in mind, but just being a part of Couture is always a big inspiration in itself.
How long have you been designing and what did you do prior?
I’ve been designing for as long as I can remember but, officially, since 1995. Before that I studied, had kids and basically had a good time!
Name another fine jewelry designer that you are a fan of and tell us why.
JAR- because he’s the best!
Gemstone you can’t get enough of?
Diamonds and Tanzanites.
What’s your favorite piece that you’ve recently purchased?
A diamond croissant earring from Sophie Bille Brahe
What is the most sentimental piece of jewelry that you own and what's the backstory?
A name tag bracelet I wore as a kid that was my first piece of jewelry. It resurfaced after many years and I was very touched!
Why do you think people are becoming so comfortable purchasing fine jewelry online?
Online retailers (like Net-a-porter) are so professional in the way they deal with their customers that the customer feels safe to shop. Online shopping gives you space, time and retains your privacy. I think these are factors that the modern day woman really values.
Next time FFR is visiting your home base, where do we eat?
In the winter “Ratka” in Kolonaki (my favorite restaurant) and in the summer, fresh fish at “Papaioannou,” a restaurant by the sea in Piraeus.
Best cocktail bar? (For a sophisticated sip AND ponying up to a pub – we are Geminis, so we need both options.)
Bricolage or Blue Bird...and Balthazaar.
What’s your preferred mode of transportation day-to-day?
Top 5 bands in your playlist?
Bruce Springsteen, Sam Smith, Rihanna, MAGIC!, Elvis
Robin Wright Penn
If you could only carry one handbag for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?
What’s your signature scent and what three words would you use to describe it?
Rose by Le Labo
If you could do anything else for a living, what would it be and why?
I’d be a flight attendant because I love traveling!
Where’s the last destination you visited that inspired your work?
The West Indies
Flats or heels? (And what’s your current favorite pair?)
Unfortunately, mostly flats due to an accident I had a few years ago that affected my feet but I love heels! Manolo Blahnik for both though.
You’re on a shopping mission in your hometown. Where is your go-to for the perfect party outfit? Housewarming gift?
“Luisa” for the perfect party outfit and my flagship store for beautiful candles for housewarming gifts.
If we were filming the reality show of your life, what would your tagline be? (Think Real Housewives!)
“No stone left unturned”