Tags: creative director
Before moving to Dubai I spent nights searching online people who I might like to shoot for imatiothiki. Somehow, somewhere I came across Anna K, a Greek who’s now living in the UAE. And then I saw her necklaces and jewelry, thinking to myself I have got to meet whoever is making these beauties. There’s something raw, yet feminine, old yet new, something that reminds you of long lost empires and futuristic femme fatale to them. I can’t say much, except it’s been a long time since I came across something so beautiful. Sweet Anna Kremmida, straight from the most amazing town in Greece, Thessaloniki, had me over for coffee in her newly decorated apartment in Dubai Marina and told me all about her decision to step out of the business world and step in to the world of fashion.
When did you start making jewelry?
About two years ago. I started working in the Business field, worked there for a couple of years, but my idea of fun and what I always enjoyed was interior decoration, so I moved to Italy did some studies on product design and worked as an interior designer for 7-8 years. I don’t know what led me to jewelry design. I always loved it and then all my friends got really supportive of my work, and I guess even now, I see it as a hobby and not as a real job.
What is your process when it comes to designing?
I never draw the jewelry before actually making it. I am strictly visual and what I do is play with colors a lot. I collect lots of materials everyday, no matter where I am, or what I do and then I will get back to them when it’s time to make a collection.
So basically when you sit down and make your designs it’s like building a model sort of.
That’s right. And my canvas are the materials. I also never follow fashion and just go with what expresses me at that moment. In the end it might be something that the client will never wear, because it’s something extreme and very special, but I will include it into my collection, because of the fact that it expresses me.
When was the moment you started making jewelry and actually sell it and not just do it for fun?
Oh, that happened so fast. I think I started making jewelry and selling it the same time! It all started out after an exhibition I did in Thessaloniki. It was in a great gallery space and I had not idea at the time how things work in the fashion department. So that went really well and that sort of was my lift off.
What was the concept you went for?
You mean the jewelry? It was much more simple than what I do now. I used no lace, which is my basic material. There were more stones and chains and pearls, much more classic things, that I put together in a unique way. I also used some ostrich feathers.
That sound exciting. And after the exhibition at the gallery?
After that, about 3-4 months later I decided it was time to rent out a space and turn it into my workshop. I was lucky to be featured in some magazines and I also worked together with Stelios Koudounaris on his collection. He was the one who introduced me to the woman who is now handling all my PR in Athens.
What kind of challenges did you meet? From making the jewelry, to finding the right technicians to work with or managing to make something that lasts in time?
My pieces are quite sensitive, so when you wear them you have to be careful. I didn’t collaborate with any technicians, meaning I make the jewelry all by myself. Neither did I have any classes on making jewelry. I can’t really explain what happened. I guess I was made for this?!?
I guess it has to do with your background as well. That must help a lot with jewelry design.
Yes, definetly. I had some courses on working with gold and silver, because I plan to use them in the future. But back to your questions, the challenges were the pressure I was faced with at times. When you have to present your collection you are usually left with little time and so much work to do. And having little time is one of the worst things that can happen to me. I tend to be a lot more creative and efficient when there’s no time pressure involved.
Up to now, most of your customers come from Greece?
Up to now, all of my customers come from Greece.
I think the lace you are using reminds me of Greek folk art a lot. It’s like taking something traditional and turning it into something you own, something modern and translated in your taste and needs.
I think my work is kind of ethnic, maybe Middle Eastern. This whole Middle East and Turkey style if really of my taste. Also India. But yes, I guess they sort of look Byzantine, my designs.
How has your work evolved in the last couple of years and how do you think it will turn out to be now that you have made a shift in your location and target audience? The women here are going to have different needs and style that the ones you have already designed for.
Yes, for sure. I actually think of the difference in my clients’ taste and style and that’s something challenging for me! I really want to see how the fashion business works here.
I guess that it’s also very challenging making jewelry in a country where most women are covered.
Yes, it is! It would be really interesting if I could think of ways for women to wear my jewelry on top of their bourkas.
But how has your work evolved?
My last 3 collections were made with the same material. What was different was the color palette. But from the material I use, I also go for things that you would usually see in a fashion piece, rather than a jewel. I don’t go for the classic stuff like stones and gems. Maybe I will in the future, but for now I go for lace.
Do you have a best seller piece?
No, not really. But my Autumn Winter 2012 collection was by far the best I have ever made. At least I feel that way.
What was your inspiration?
Africa was my inspiration. My boyfriend was working at the time there and I think that played an important part. I got really into bold colors and geometry.
Is it hard? Making jewelry when you are working solo?
Yes, you need time. But it’s just that, nothing else. In Greece I could cope with all that. But here, everything’s new and I don’t know what I will be faced with.
Finally, what the best and worst thing about living in Dubai?
I miss the natural aspect. Everything’s all built up and tries to become some sort of New York City. I would love it if it were more natural. It doesn’t feel like Middle East here, not as much as I would like it to feel. But then again, everything else in this city is amazing! I really enjoy living here.