A daily fashion and lifestyle destination created by stylist, designer and editor Rachel Zoe.

We’ve been smitten with Makri’s designs since her collab days with The Row to the present—our current fascination is her double python ring, featured today in AccessZOEries! With a vast knowledge of all things jewels and gemstones and memories from abroad, check out our interview with the amazing Ileana below:
Though you’re vocal in your fascination with a series of motifs (evil eyes, snakes, beetles/bugs), where else do you defer to for design inspiration?  

Inspiration may come from anything. A phrase, an image, a shape, a mood, a moment. I especially feel  inspired when i travel. There is something so magical about discovering new places that touches me and makes me want to express that feeling. At the moment I am in India and I find myself constantly aroused and enlivened by colours, scents, music and of course a vast array of shapes and motifs. 

It’s no secret that you’re a world traveler—where do you find you do your best creative thinking? 

The island of Patmos is one of my favorite places in the world. Though I am a very optimistic and joyful person, I like to flirt with melancholy. Patmos has a deep feeling of melancholy due to its profound spiritual history but at the same time it resonates a sense of calm because of it. This is a combination that suits my personality.

Besides those of your own creation, which pieces of jewelry are your most treasured possessions? Any that carry a particularly special story? 

During the big snowstorm in NY back in the 70’s, I came across a small antique jewelry store somewhere in midtown, (probably the only store in NY that was open that day.) I bought a magnificent set of mosaic jewelry consisting of a necklace, earrings and four pins, that depict the history of Rome. These are still my most treasured jewelry pieces.

You’re very well-versed in gemstones—if you had to pick a favorite, which would it be and why? 

Though I find that all gemstones carry they’re own magic, the stone that has had the biggest impact on me when I came across it, and left me breathless, was a cushion-shaped blue diamond.

You recently launched a contemporary jewelry line “IaM”—besides the price point, how do these designs differ from your other creations? 

I feel that today more than ever, because it is such a strong transitional period, there is an intense feeling of nostalgia for things and times that are either transforming or drifting apart. The “IaM” line is a reflection of this time of transformation as it challenged me to create something beautiful and precious with a value that is not necessarily monetary.
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