The globetrotter and jewelry designer, Ileana Makri, was born in Greece and still lives there. She travels excessively and seeks for design inspirations around the world. From Greece to London, Paris or New York, she embraces different cultures and landscapes. After obtaining a degree in Business Administration, Ileana decided to follow her true passion and studied jewelry design at the G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica).
In 1987, Ileana opened her first store, Mageia, meaning enchantment or magic in Greek. This treasure chest in the heart of Athens still thrives with an eclectic mix of fashion, art, and jewelry ; showcasing collections from The Row, Lucien Pellat Finet, Denis Colomb, Rick Owens, and of course Ileana Makri’s signature fine jewelry collection.
In 1996 the Ileana Makri launched her signature jewelry line at Mageia. This first collection is a major step in Makri's life as the entire collection was bought by Barney's New York. In addition to her travels, Ileana continued to draw inspiration from multicultural symbols and their meanings. Her jewelry features a range of mystical and figurative symbols.
“Symbols have a broad, universal appeal that crosses cultures”, says the designer, who draws inspiration from various religions and other beliefs including Greek mythology. Ileana is particularly intrigued by the “evil eye”, a symbol that in Mediterranean countries serves as protection from negative forces. The collection, has an irresistible feminine appeal, stamped by Ileana’s signature refined aesthetic and use of old world craftsmanship as well as the astounding attention to detail and her boundless creativity. The underlying “rock chic” approach to the design makes her jewelry uncompromisingly contemporary and simultaneously timeless. In her own words Ileana Makri creates “jewelry to make every day special”.
Ileana is also known for her collaborations with the talented London designer, Marios Schwab. Her jewelry has accessorized Schwab’s runway collections through many seasons.
In addition to her fine jewelry collection, she launched the “Eye M” collection. Ileana designed this collection with the same attention to detail and craftsmanship as she does with her fine jewelry. She introduced materials such as silver or bronze, allowing her to target a much wider range of customers while also giving her existing customers an alternative design.
In 2015 she opened her conceptual jewellery store “Ileana Makri”. There the designer focuses on her creations but also on talented designers from around the world.
Ileana Makri built herself a solid international reputation as a talented jewelry designer, and a thriving entrepreneur. She has successfully captured the attention of high profile clients such as Uma Thurman, Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, Lenny Kravitz, Faith Hill, Rita Wilson, Ashley Olsen, Courtney Cox, and Debra Messing; and her collection is now sold at high end retailers worldwide including; Barneys, Maxfield, Colette, A'maree's, Dover Street Market, Matches Fashion and Net-a-Porter to name a few.