Your roots are Greek and French but you were born and raised in Athens. How has Greece affected your current identity as a jewelry designer and your work?
From a young age I have been visiting museums and sites throughout Greece and have been exposed to all the beautiful artifacts , pottery, jewellery and sculptures that Greek culture offers so abundantly. I also studied in Athens, in the Mokume Vocational Institute where I learned traditional goldsmithing techniques for handmade and production jewellery so I have a very solid base and understanding of making. To this day being born and raised in Greece influences me as I strive daily to make the most of the knowledge and aesthetics I was handed by my Greek heritage.
You have chosen the classic pearl as your trademark concept, how do you explain your choice?
Back in 2007 when I was studying at the Royal College of Art and I first started working with pearls there was actually very little contemporary pearl jewellery. When I realised that I decided to focus my practice on rediscovering pearls and challenging existing preconceptions. I started working with them as a material (because of my background in sculpture) so I faceted them, drilled them and sliced them. I was so fascinated by the results I decided to build a brand around pearls . Nowadays I am happy to see that more brands use pearls, and a younger audience is embracing them too. However I think that there is still a lot of room for exiting and innovative designs so I will continue to work with pearls for a while.
You set up your own company based in London in 2010 and you already have international clients. What are your future plans? Are you considering opening a showroom/shop in Greece?
I am in a great position right now, I work with private clients and make one off pieces through my own brand and at the same time have a joint brand with Japanese jeweller Tasaki (M/G TASAKI) which enables me to reach more women worldwide and explore a more commercial aspect of pearl jewellery. I do not have plans for a showroom or shop in the near future, it needs to happen at the right time, however I want to move some of my production to Greece as a way to help out local businesses and of course make the most of the great Greek craftsmanship.
What do you think are the essentials a woman should have in her jewelry box?
Everyday pieces such as studs and pendants as well as one or two special items that she wears for a memorable occasion. Most of all she should have jewellery that she connects with and that becomes part of her when she wears it and of course some pearls too!
Do you believe a woman at any age should be classical, modern or both?
In my opinion a woman should listen to her inner voice and embrace her body and style as she wishes, be true to herself. I love seeing women like Iris Apfel having fun with fashion but I also love young women in their 20’s in a suit with brogues.
Learn more about Melanie Georgacopoulos and her magnificent pearly collection here: http://www.melaniegeorgacopoulos.com/