Designer Interview

By: FashWire
Jan 12, 2024 01:26 PM

What was your previous work experience before launching your brand?

I was an attorney first and an international expert afterward. The latter was an amazing career as it allowed me to live in many different countries around the globe for long periods. I have lived in Russia and the Middle East, in the Balkans and the Maghreb, in island countries in the North and South Pacific, and Southeast Asia. This exposure to different aesthetics has enormously opened up my perception of beauty.


When did you know you wanted to become a designer?  

I have been designing since I was very young, I have been making jewels out of colored clay since I was 5 and I painted my clothes from 10 years old and onwards. However, I never considered it an option for a profession. I grew up in a family where my mother was a lawyer and my father a doctor, so for us the most natural way to go for work was either towards medicine or law. So, I studied law, became an attorney, and later an international legislation drafting expert, until 2011 when I started designing jewels again, more as a hobby. In 2013, jewelry designing became my second job, and in 2018 it became my only and exclusive career, although it feels less like a job and more like a second nature.


What is your earliest design memory for your brand?

I designed my first jewel in Dhaka Bangladesh in 2011. This same jewel was featured in my first brand photoshoots in 2013. 


“Jewels are the smallest form of wearable art, and if they are statement jewels, they can immediately upgrade a whole outfit.”


What is your favorite part about designing?

I love the limitations, the wearability, and the price limits. The limitations boost all creativity.


What brand values are the most important for Katerina Marmagioli?

There are many values. Being planet-friendly; we exclusively use recycled gold. Social good; all our production takes place in the EU, not only of our jewelry but also packaging. We guarantee no use of child labor, the protection of human rights, and the well-being of anyone participating in the design and production process. Our gem suppliers are renowned professionals also based in the EU. Of course, producing in Europe means a higher production cost, but our ethics are shared by our clientele who easily accept our prices. In addition, animal rights; whenever we use rare exotic materials, they are always accompanied by a CITES certificate.


What do you envision for the future of your brand?

I would like my brand to continue growing geographically as well as in different types of sectors, such as jewelry for men.


What made you want to design jewelry?

Jewels are the smallest form of wearable art, and if they are statement jewels, they can immediately upgrade a whole outfit. It is amazing how transformative such small items can be.


Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed?

I love rings, my favorite rings are the ‘treasure’ rings, they are messy and busy but still extremely elegant. 


“Every shape I see, I deconstruct it in my mind into smaller pieces, and it becomes a new shape, a potential jewel.”


What were some hurdles you had to overcome in your business?

Many of my clients are based in the US, so dealing with the practicalities was initially complicated, however, everything is on track now.


What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?

I would advise any new designer to focus on the marketing and sales side. Many designers create beautiful things but are bad at the business side.


What are the strengths and weaknesses of having a brand based in Athens?

I see only strengths, as in Athens you can find amazing artisans, very well-traveled and educated, following closely the Italian works and fashion. 


Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. Every shape I see, I deconstruct it in my mind into smaller pieces, and it becomes a new shape, a potential jewel.


How important is social media to your brand?

I like communicating through social media, it opens the opportunity to reach people I would not be able to reach otherwise. 


How would you define fashion?

Fashion is a form of art; it makes you dream. Fashion shows tell a story, they make you dream and travel.


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

The creativity in the design style. My jewels are recognized for being feminine, theatrical, different, and distinctive.