Jewelry designer Ileana Makri was fascinated by gemstones from a very young age. There was something about their geometric shapes, their bright colors and overwhelming light that just captivated her imagination and never let go. After completing a degree in business administration, she decided to follow her heart by studying jewelry design at the Gemological Institute of America and has never looked back. Her first retail store, Mageia (Greek for enchantment), put her on the map as a luxury retailer of select jewelry brands, although it wasn’t until she launched her namesake line that she really caught everyone’s attention. Barney’s was the first heavy-hitter to buy her work and the rest of the fashion world followed suit.
Ileana Makri, drawing on a variety of influences – from her childhood obsession with sea urchin diving, to her first girl crush, Anouk Aimée in “La Dolce Vita” – designed one collection after the next, until she caught London-based designer Marios Schwab’s well-trained eye and lent her creativity to the catwalk. Since then, she has accessorized five of his fashion shows and has even had the pleasure of working with the Olsen Twins on jewels for The Row SS2012. A cosmopolitan in her own right, Makri lives between Athens, London, Paris and New York and professes a love for old world craftsmanship and a certain rock chic sensibility that gives her work universal appeal. From Uma Thurman to Lenny Kravitz, the list of celebrities who have donned her jewelry is long and impressive, as is the list of online luxury retailers who stock her line. Lucky for you, her recently revamped flagship store - designed by Kois Associated Architects - is still doing a roaring business in Kolonaki; if you’re wearing one of her charms and believe the universe has conspired to help you, you might even get to meet her in person!