Elena Kougianou, designer of Utopia elena.k jewellery grew up in Athens and studied political science in the United Kingdom. After her return to Greece in 2011 and experimenting with different forms of fashion, she decided to dedicate herself to jewellery design. She has created handmade and solid jewellery and is currently taking geology lessons. I met her at the Utopia store she operates with her mum in the centre of Athens, right where she also designs her pieces. Elena loves travelling and emerald green. She likes seeing people who break out of their routine and lead their own happy way and young people who decide to leave their comfort zone and experiment in new professions. She always takes advice from experts in her field of work and feels lucky to have good friends and a happy family. She thinks that smiling is similar to breathing and will be thrilled to come across you wearing her jewellery while taking a walk. Do you feel you need to know more about her? Then, read on!
What inspires your creations?
Old jewellery and rare techniques used for years by renowned jewellers are my constant source of inspiration. I simply love books on the history of jewellery making and always look for inspiration in them. Journeys are also a means of inspiration as they feed us with pictures and colours different from those we meet on our daily routine.
What is a typical woman wearing Utopia elena.k like and how do you define style?
Style is different to each of us. I think that it is a personal mix of what you want others to see and what you exuberate. One thing I know for sure, is that style and what we choose to express it with have to make us feel comfortable. Women wearing Utopia elena.k are those who like accessories and jewellery. Women who do not only appreciate their value but also feel comfortable in them.
What makes your work stand out?
I design jewellery that I would be the first to wear using materials that make a woman look gorgeous. I love combining stones in a way that they look as if transformed on the final product.
Do you believe crisis is also an opportunity? What is the opportunity for Greek fashion during this crisis?
To me crisis means building on what has been demolished. It also means new opportunities, so the answer is yes. Crisis in our country has made people turn to creating and producing in Greece which is definitely positive as we now prefer local products to imported ones. Buying Greek products seems to be a trend which I find extremely positive and hope it lasts and people won’t give up on preferring local products. As a result an opportunity for Greek fashion is created. We are now given the chance to stay away from mistakes of the past.
What is La Grèce J’aime to you ?
In a way, Greece is the definition of raw beauty and I think we should love it for all the good things it has to offer. When living in Greece you enjoy things you can’t find in many places around the world. You can go out with friends after work and be sure the place will be teaming with life. Summer open air cinemas, the beautiful sea, the food and traditional village festivals on the islands with lots of wine and dancing are definitely assets of Greece!
[pullquote]I’m happy because I do what I love and wouldn’t change that for anything in the world[/pullquote]
You can find out more about Elena’s work on the ElenaK official website.