Greek jewelry designer Konstantino Sioulas was raised amidst some of the world’s greatest ancient architecture. He integrates his love for ancient Greece—along with modern influences—into his stunning designs. His collection is available locally at Neiman Marcus.
LN: How did you become interested in making jewelry?
KS: In life, people fall in love twice: once with their high school sweetheart, and again when they get married, live their life and have kids. My first love was music; I was a disc jockey in clubs. But I also had background in philosophy and a fascination with ancient Greece. On my 22nd year, I denied my previous life, went to Greece, and began selling reproductions of ancient Greek jewelry. That was the start, and the rest is history. I lived my life the way I wanted, did what I wanted, designed what I wanted and got rewarded. I got very lucky.
LN: Where does your inspiration come from?
KS: My designs are a mixture of everything from Socrates to Gandhi, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones. A lot of it is architectural, but my inspiration is everything beautiful. I never try to use a source as a copy and try to match; instead I try to make it richer as a designer and make my own creation.
LN: You’re quoted as saying, People want to wear something beautiful, something timeless, something special. How do you achieve a timeless piece?
KS: With blood, sweat and tears. It’s not easy. I produce every piece going out to my customers in Greece—it doesn’t make me as much money, but it makes me happy. I don’t believe in mass-production jewelry. Jewelry touches the skin and soul and aesthetic senses of people. The soul will be transferred to the metal by the feelings you have while you’re making it. Jewelry shouldn’t be a product; it should be a piece of art. Jewelry is not a job for me. It’s my lifestyle. It’s my drug, my passion.
LN: Do you find the tastes in jewelry are different for American women versus European women?
KS: In the ’50s and ’60s, people would say European women were more stylish than American women. This is a myth. Designers from all over the world show their best stuff in the U.S. because America is a place where people appreciate good art and good design. All over the world there are stylish women, and a stylish woman is a beautiful woman. She could be 80 and if she is stylish, she will be beautiful.
LN: Do you have a favorite material or gem to work with?
KS: I can’t stand cheap metals, fake stone, the materials that people use just to make money. I like the real thing—real jewelry, real gold and silver and precious stones. The stones are the flowers from inside the earth, and the flowers from outside the earth are the inspiration. If you look at the stones and their colors, you’ll be amazed by the beauty the earth has inside her heart. If you walk the fields in America they’re full of flowers. Combine these things and you make Konstantino.
LN: Do you have a different approach designing jewelry for men compared to women?
KS: For men, I make the beauty and freshness from subtracting—I can’t add flowers to make it beautiful. I think, feel and act differently than when I design the women’s collection. I love the challenge.
It’s all about the newness and the freshness, that’s why I love the fashion industry. You’re good or you’re out. I never care about what made me. I care about what will make me, what will wow my customers and make my collectors buy their 20th Konstantino item with love. LN