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The most important piece of jewellery for a woman is earrings, because they can totally change her appearance

19 September 2011 / 23:09:25  GRReporter
8819 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova


Maramenos & Pateras jewellery shop is located in one of the most central streets of Athens. Its windows are attractive for their aesthetics and the beautiful jewellery that is different from all others. Its owner George Maramenos was chosen one of the 500 best jewellers in Europe. His creations have been sold in New York and Japan, and very famous people whose identity he did not reveal are among his customers. The renowned jeweller tells GRReporter readers how he started his career in the glamorous world of gold jewellery and expressed his belief that we should be optimistic for the future despite the crisis.

Mr. Maramenos, how and when did you start making jewellery?

I was fortunate and unfortunate enough to be forced to start working from an early age. I started working in a jewellery workshop. Gradually, the people there realized that I am capable of making new jewellery, because those I made on the set patterns were always different from the others in some way. I always added something of myself. They supported me and gave me the opportunity to do the things the way I see them. This is how I began.

How long do you have your jewellery company?

Maramenos & Pateras exists since 1969. Ever since then we have been creating original jewellery filled with strong feelings and are the product of inspiration. The collections always have a theme. The latest one, called Dio, is associated with people’s positive feelings and in particularly of women in this case. The main element of this jewellery collection is an equilateral triangle. One of the angles represents the inner harmony, which we need to be able to communicate our feeling. The other one is knowledge, because we need knowledge of what we do, power to apply it, and love. Another element is the butterfly as a symbol of innocence and the ear of wheat, which is linked to creativity. The ancient Greek goddess, patronizing the circle of life and creations is Demeter. That is why we called the collection Dio, which is one of her names.

Another collection is called Secret Places. The idea is related to the emotion a hidden secret in the ground brings to the surface. It all started when I was shown a cave and people told me that once a goat entered it and while seeking it the people found a path inside which took them to a magic place with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Then I thought how could the earth keep such a secret for centuries and we find it because it just happened. This story made me think and create a collection in which the mystery of a secret lies. A mystery we can keep for years and suddenly and accidentally there appears someone and reveals it. Then, it is no longer a secret.

I create my collections in this way. I am not very good at drawing the pattern, but I know very well how I imagine the jewellery, the feeling I want to present through it, and how to do it best.

What inspires you most often?

The Greek nature, history and tradition. This is because I was born, raised and live here. Therefore, everything that I have in me is Greek. Therefore, someone else could make the specific jewellery. Inspiration may be the same, but the make is different.

As an example, I will mention the collection Shadows and Light, which was inspired by the architecture of Patmos. This is a sacred island where depending on the hour the light and shadows fall differently and “play” architecturally. Exactly they create the excitement and desire to keep them forever. The collection contains crosses, which are not only crosses, houses that maybe resemble houses, but maybe not, etc. But I do not think a person who is not Greek could create these jewellery simply because his memories and experiences are different. In this sense, any piece of jewellery has the past of its creator in it.

In addition, the collections are constantly enriched. The basic idea remains, but depending on the period, there may be changes in the thickness or colour of the  jewellery.

Tell us about your experience during all these years.

We had very good customers from the beginning, mainly from the USA because the Americans are better off financially and can afford something new, original and different. The truth is that the main material in jewellery – gold – is expensive, so one must be wealthy to buy such a jewel. In 1992, we won a prize at the international festival of jewellery in New York and we are the only Greek company that has achieved such success. Personally, I could say I am very satisfied. I have received awards from the international fair in Thessaloniki, the association of jewellers in Greece; I am an associate member of the Association of Foreign Correspondents in Athens. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew granted me the title of Archon.

We draw the interest f major foreign publications such as Vogue and other French and German magazines that dedicated to us. I could say we enjoy honour and respect.

What jewellery do you make nowadays?

Due to the financial uncertainty globally gold prices rose. People now turn to less expensive jewellery and we are therefore obliged to follow this trend. However, I think this is a transient phenomenon, the global economy will stabilize and the consumer power of the people will increase. We have to be optimistic. If we ask a woman what she has, she would reply, "I have this ring from my mother and that necklace from my grandmother." She would never say, "I have this dress or those shoes from my mother." People emotionally attach to jewellery. This will never stop; it goes from one generation to another.

Is cheap jewellery a problem in your market?

There has always been cheap and fake jewellery. Nevertheless, there have always been people who want to buy something different. Uncertainty around the world reduced the consumption power of people. But as I said, I think this will change.

Has the spirit of uncertainty and gloom that dominate inspire you to create a collection?

No, because a collection that bears no optimism and faith in the future will bring no result. What we need to do is to give people joy and optimism, give them the urge.

What is the jewellery that women should wear to be beautiful and feminine?

Earrings are what define a woman. They emphasize the facial features that are the first thing we see. Therefore, I think it is necessary to wear earrings. Women anyway wear rings because they like them. They could add a necklace and choose it very carefully because it does not fit every woman.

About the necklace, do not you think that ones that are more massive are not suitable for every day?

I have noticed young, pretty girls wearing large necklaces that match perfectly with their necks and faces. Some others wear smaller necklaces and they do not fit them at all. I mean it is not important whether it is small or bigger jewellery. It is important whether it fits the structure of the face and the neck, and the nature of the woman wearing it.

We see lately that most young women prefer platinum jewellery. Do you think it could replace traditional gold?

Indeed, many women find that it does not match the colour of their skin. However, I think this is a mistaken belief as yellow gold is eternal in time and fits all. Besides white gold, which was widely promoted, red gold became sensational recently. I am like yellow gold, but I think any kind of gold fits anyone, depending on the model, as far as it is good fit to the dress of the woman.

Could we say that there is fashion in jewellery?

Yes, there is. That is exactly what I described above. But even in such periods a woman can wear jewellery of yellow gold because jewellery is eternal in time. It depends solely on how we combine it with clothing, hair, and the place where we will appear with it.

For example, rings in all sizes are very fashionable currently. If they are decorated with stones, they are more suitable to evening wear. If they are simple, they could easily be worn during the day. It is important to have been made well and to emphasize the femininity of the woman who wears them.

What is your advice to women?

Every woman wants to have as many rings as possible. Therefore, this is the most sold product. Then come all other jewellery. I would advise them to buy more earrings, because they can completely change their appearance.

Tags: SocietyJewellerGoldDesignCollectionStoryNatureInspirationFashionNecklaceEarrings
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