10 Thoughts: Fine Jewellery Designer Nikos Koulis Shares his Inner World with Us

A Myconian Collection Magazine exclusive interview with the internationally acclaimed Greek designer.

Stella Lizardi

The Athens-based fine jewellery designer has watched his luxury business thrive in the past decade. Non-traditional, yet exuding a sense of familiarity, Nikos Koulis Jewels is simply a knock-out, prized all over the world.

What’s your most Myconian state of mind?
Good vibes.

Which piece of jewellery, collection or colour do you associate with the island?
All pieces from my Resort Collections are inspired by the island spirit and reflect my version of the Greek summer. But if Mykonos were a stone, it would be a cornflower blue sapphire – striking and electric.

Your pieces stand out globally for their intricate quality and contemporary flair, which is rare in fine jewellery. How would you describe your designs?
I leave a part of myself in every design I make, so as a result there is an emotional alloy and a lot of thought encapsulated in the soul of the piece. I cherish classics; I love structured form and intricate details. However, it’s not only about the design; what excites me more is the production process. This is when I feel at my most creative, when we push the boundaries of our craftsmanship, bestowing sentimental value to each piece.

Mykonos is a mystery. What’s the best way to understand the island?
Mykonos is a contradiction: bold versus understated; it evokes feelings and blurs boundaries. Just be open-minded and warmhearted… then the island and its people will show you the way to enjoy it.

If Mykonos were a stone, it would be a cornflower blue sapphire striking and electric.

Which type of woman, place or sensation do you have in mind when designing?
My inspiration is random; a design idea can be derived from a landscape, a building, a book or a song. There is no muse, but I have in mind women who are confident and for whom the jewellery is a form of self expression.

You spend a lot of time travelling for work. What do you look for when vacationing?
Serenity and playlists matching the destination.

What movie set would you like to live in?
Io sono l’amore (I am Love) by Luca Guadagnino. Such style!

In 2014, when I decided to open my first boutique, Mykonos seemed like the most natural choice.

You’ve chosen Mykonos to open your first store. Was it love or a business-driven decision?
There is a business side and an emotional side, so it was a bit of both. When I first opened my atelier in Athens, I had a very personal relationship with all my clients. It was they who insisted I sold my pieces in Mykonos. The amazing response led me to expand with selected stockists around the world, and in 2014, when I decided to open my first boutique, Mykonos seemed like the most natural choice, followed later that year by the flagship boutique in Athens.

The source of inspiration behind the design of the first Nikos Koulis Jewels boutique in Mykonos has been the brand logo. Designed by Stage Design Office, Stavros Papagiannis & Yorgos Kiriazis, along with the brand owners, this boutique has become an international sensation.

What are the best things about living in Greece?
The light and the proximity of all the places and people I love.

Do you believe in the “good old times” cliché or do you think that the best is yet to come?
I live in the moment and I am always alert, especially in the volatile world we live in. My outlook is rarely nostalgic; I trust my instincts and potential, anticipating what is to come and letting that inform my work.