Mary Katrantzou’s Stunning Rug Collection

Greece’s leading fashion designer Mary Katrantzou is known for her stunning designs and iconic prints. Having gained international acclaim for her unique and inspiring creations, over the last decade, she has collaborated with a range of international brands including Adidas Originals, Victoria’s Secret, Longchamp, and Bvlgari.

What many may not know is Katrantzou has also expanded into the interior design world launching an exclusive range of rugs for the Rug Company- with her special capsule collection entitled “Nostalgia”.

Featuring eight uniquely vibrant rugs, Katrantzou’s first step into the world of interiors is a celebration of her brand’s iconic prints, with each rug design inspired by past collections.

As the daughter of an interior designer mother and a textile engineer father, from an early age, Katrantzou was exposed to the world of interiors. She studied textile design at Central Saint Martins, specialising in interiors, and then followed her bachelor’s degree with a Masters in fashion.

Katrantzou’s work has also been featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum, The Barbican and many others.

Her transition from fashion to interiors feels smooth and organic- as each piece is influenced by the bold and imaginative designs for which her eponymous brand is renowned- giving each carpet her signature look and feel.

“We are an image-led brand and print is so transferable across different disciplines. Being able to create context beyond my runway collections and build a lifestyle brand has always been my intention. Filtered beauty through design can impact how we feel whether it’s through what we choose to wear or what we choose to surround ourselves with,” says Katrantzou.

Insights Greece - Mary Katrantzou’s Stunning Rug Collection

“I chose to collaborate with The Rug Company as there was an authentic synergy between the two brands – a genuine appreciation for craftsmanship and a passion for bold patterns and unique beauty, values which we share at Mary Katrantzou.”

The collection includes three enlarged blooming additions- Bluebell Daydream, (which appears in Carrie Bradshaw’s new apartment in “And Just Like That”, Garden of Eden, and Botanical Paradise– all inspired by Katrantzou’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection ‘Nostalgia’ and more specifically from her childhood ‘paint-by-numbers’ books.

Insights Greece - Mary Katrantzou’s Stunning Rug Collection
“Bluebell Daydream” rug featured on the set of “And Just Like That”

Her other designs Sunray Nude, Sunday Gold and Sunray Pink draw inspiration from the art of enamel while radiating dazzling light from the dramatic sun silk motif. Framis is vivid in colour and creates movement with its organic shapes. Whereas Valley plays with size and scale to transform a traditional elegant motif of monochrome flowers into a contemporary graphic design.

Designed to suit both contemporary and more traditional style spaces, Katrantzou explains “Nostalgia is always part of my narrative and something that’s really fitting in people’s homes.”

Mary Katranzou

AENÁLIA, the contemporary revival of neo-Hellenic jewelry  

I met Katerina Kritikou, the creative mind behind AENÁLIA, some years ago in Paris, when the city of lights was home for both of us and the place to discover our secret kept self.

She always had a characteristic neo-Hellenic aura, a chic and classy allure from another era. Some years later, she put a piece of herself into jewellery creation and the result is exactly like her- an old love that you can never forget, not because it remained unfulfilled, but because of its quality. No matter how many years go by, it never loses its value.

Insights Greece - AENÁLIA, the contemporary revival of neo-Hellenic jewelry  

AENÁLIA is the first brand that focuses on the rich heritage of Neo-Hellenic jewellery,  creating statement pieces for those who want to tell a story about every piece they are wearing.

We recently spoke to Katerina about her stunning new brand and the concept behind it.

When did you first realise you wanted to become a jewellery designer? 

Ten years ago, on the streets of Paris. I was wearing my original neo-Hellenic jewellery pieces, my grandmother’s gift, and people from all over the world used to ask me where they came from. At first, I wanted to tell the world what neo-Hellenic jewellery is and rescue it from oblivion. Then there was my desire to set it free from its folkloric bonds and gave rise to AENÁLIA’s principal aim: the contemporary revival of neo-Hellenic jewellery.

Insights Greece - AENÁLIA, the contemporary revival of neo-Hellenic jewelry  

How did you choose the neo-Hellenic period as an inspiration?

Αs an art historian, I wanted to dive into Greek history. It was clear to me that I wasn’t interested in Ancient Greece and the much talked-about Grecian style. My grandmother was a member of the local department of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women so I was
surrounded by neo-Hellenic tradition since my childhood. I learned to appreciate traditional costumes and I literally fell in love with the jewellery pieces that accompanied them. Their beauty isn’t just striking in my eyes, it has a story to tell and I am very proud that it’s a Greek one.

How did you come up with the name AENÁLIA for your brand?

AENÁLIA is a non-existent word. It derives from the Greek word “aenaos” which means eternal. Apart from being pleasing to the ear, it states the timeless style of neo-Hellenic tradition.

What makes your collections unique in the industry?

AENÁLIA is the first brand that focuses on the redefinition of neo-Hellenic jewellery as part of present-day elegance. In that sense, uniqueness and wearability are at the core of AENÁLIA’s identity, regarding the customer as the carrier of a particular story, which derives from historical research. As far as I know, no brand has ever focused on neo-Hellenic jewellery and its revival. AENÁLIA is the first one.

Insights Greece - AENÁLIA, the contemporary revival of neo-Hellenic jewelry  

Which elements/materials do you use for your jewellery? 

Inspired by the rich heritage of silversmithing tradition during post-Byzantine period, as well as the remarkable variety of its creations, each AENÁLIA piece is rooted in its cultural context, meticulously designed and handmade with the greatest respect for traditional techniques. In this context, I use silver, gold-plated or oxidized, embellished with precious or semi-precious stones or enamels. There are several variations in each model. I also allow my clients the freedom to create their own AENÁLIA pieces by adding materials and the stones of their choice.

What is your favourite part about being a designer?

I love every minute of the process. From the selection of a specific neo-Hellenic jewellery piece that serves as an inspiration for my design to the historical research. However, the moment I take a new piece in my hands is by far the best one. There is a part not only of myself but also of Greek aesthetic in every piece of AENÁLIA.

What kind of person wears your jewellery? How do you want women to feel when wearing your creations?

A contemporary woman who is comfortable in her skin and feels special would choose to wear an AENÁLIA piece not only because it is unique but also because it has a story to tell, it has roots. I would like to give her the opportunity to feel connected with neo-Hellenic tradition and become a part of its contemporary version. I strongly believe in adaptability and continuity as a way to survive in real life as well as in art.

Insights Greece - AENÁLIA, the contemporary revival of neo-Hellenic jewelry  

What are some of the difficulties you had to face?

First and foremost, finding the means and the inner strength tο get my project off the ground, which demanded a strong belief in my dream. The redefinition of neo-Hellenic jewellery, as the cornerstone of my project, was one of the biggest challenges for me. It involved in-depth knowledge of neo-Hellenic tradition and a highly critical eye to revive it in an appealing and contemporary way without losing its identity.

What is your favourite piece you’ve ever created – and what made it so special?

It’s the first AENÁLIA piece: the Oia earrings. It’s still my favourite piece and will always hold a special place in my heart. In my opinion, it successfully captures the essence of the Aegean Sea- exactly as any other AENÁLIA piece does with its birthplace.

What’s it like to see someone on the street wearing one of your creations?

I feel proud of myself and blessed to be able to breathe new life into neo-Hellenic tradition based on respect and love for my country’s history. The fact that a woman not only wears an AENÁLIA piece but also knows the story behind it gives me the greatest satisfaction. AENÁLIA’s goal is then being achieved.