Katerina Makriyianni is Christian Louboutin’s Choice
The award-winning jewelry designer from Crete, whose creations can be found all over the world, collaborated with Christian Louboutin for the Capsule Greekaba collection, dedicated to Greek culture and the Mediterranean summer.
You collaborated with Christian Louboutin for the AW22/23 Greekaba collection. What can you tell us about this collaboration and working alongside this esteemed fashion house?
Working with Louboutin was literally a teenage dream come true! Collaborating at this level is every creator’s ultimate goal. By participating in creating a Louboutin collection you really have the opportunity to see first-hand what professionalism and organization mean. Everyone works like a precision clock, in an environment based on respect and understanding. Each step is pre-planned down to the last detail and takes place at the right time so that you can control your work and tasks with the attention required by a fashion house with such exacting standards. The experience for me was educational and provided me with many facets that I know that I will need in the future, going forwards. I feel incredibly fortunate in terms of the opportunity it provided me.
You created entirely handmade and demanding designs that Louboutin also presented as a limited edition. How easy is it to return to the daily life of creating for your own collections after being involved in such an intense creative collaboration?
My work is based on producing my own collections whilst also participating in large or smaller projects at the same time. This project may have been the most important one so far in my career but as life goes on, especially in fashion, at a very fast pace, it was not the only one. Along with the “Greekaba” collection collaboration, I had to finish my own collection for S/S23. Initially I believed that working on the two projects would be impossible but I armed myself with courage, patience and strength and made the decision to enter an exceptionally strong creative period that would provide me with knowledge and ideas not only in terms of producing a collection. So, you could say that by diving into the sea of creation and creativity, I swam at that time with all my might and continue to swim and create incessantly at my own pace.
Which part of your life would you say is most consumed with creating jewelry?
There really isn’t a timetable or schedule when it comes to creating. Thinking about jewelry, whether consciously and subconsciously, pervades every moment of my life albeit not necessarily in a negative way, that is, in terms of the endless working hours. Although the jewelry business is definitely tiring work especially when it includes design and production, this is a prerequisite for the beauty of inspiration where you have the opportunity to create at every moment of your life and daily life. Working hours may be specific, but the imagination you need all your life for inspiration is the beauty of this work that keeps you feeling fresh, relevant and alive.
Tell us about Chania, the city that you have chosen to live and create in? What is it that it has offered you?
In particular, Chania, but Crete in general is, for me, a blessed place in so many ways, a place where our daily lives are positively affected by its climate, food, nature, its people, its geographical position and most certainly its history. Chania is a beautiful city that I love mainly for its beauty but also for the significant quality of life that it offers me. The ability to access dream places, such as its magical beaches and high mountains, in a short time has a priceless value for me. While I live in a beautiful village in the suburbs of Chania with abundant nature and a refreshing tranquility that inspires me, if I want to be social and visit the old harbor I can do that too within fifteen minutes. It sounds ideal and it is. In combination with my profession which is based on inspiration and creation, living here has provided the ideal place to live and create.
Chania, as well as the surrounding area has a particular story to tell that combines the old with the new. Can you provide us with something from Chania’s past as well as something new emerging in the city that you equally love?
I know everyone says this but for me it’s the beauty of the old harbor that the Venetians left behind for us to enjoy. I still can’t get over how beautiful it is to watch the sun rise and set there. Even after so many years of living here, it never fails to amaze me! Walking through the port during these hours automatically takes you to another distant beautiful reality; you immediately relax and feel like you’re a visitor in your own city. At the same time, however, Chania is inhabited by people with dreams to improve this city and to highlight beautiful destinations beyond the perimeters of the old city. A new spot I have discovered, like many people, is our new archaeological museum, an inspirational architectural creation that helps you travel smartly and effortlessly through Crete’s great history after which you can enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the whole city of Chania!
Is there an artistic side of Crete that interests and inspires you in your own work?
One type of Cretan art that has interested me for many years is that of the local embroidery. We have a very long tradition that goes deep back in time along with the art of weaving. As you can see in my own designs, I love the vibrant colors and fabrics that you come across in Crete’s traditional fabric and clothing. Being able to showcase T masterful Cretan embroidery or impressive weaving in my collections is an endless source of inspiration.
Where do you find refuge on the island?
My house is my refuge. Fortunately, I live in a village called Aptera which is significantly important in terms of archaeological interest and was a crossroads of cultures during its great history. The area, due to its abundance of antiquities has remained relatively untouched for the most part and nature has done its miracle. The tranquility I feel when walking through the village and being at one with nature is like a soothing balm for my soul which is something that I need and that gives me strength.