Designed and hand-crafted in Greece, Konstantino jewelry pays tribute to millennia of Greek mythology, artisanship and heritage. A weighty fusion of “history, fine art, philosophy and rock music” have long inspired founder Konstantino Sioulas, who began creating jewelry for both men and women in 1983. “It’s all about creating unique designs with a history and a message,” Sioulas explains. “I don’t want people to just wear my designs – I want them to feel connected and unique, to get inspired and have a piece of my cultural heritage”.
Sioulas credits his upbringing – exploring the Acropolis and hearing stories of Achilles – to an ever-evolving catalog of statement rings, necklaces and bracelets that play upon a broad spectrum of styles and influences. Sacred symbols such as crosses and Christograms are apparent in everything from heavy-set men’s rings to elegant women’s pendants; intricate engravings evoke Corinthian-style architecture and precious stones such as tsavorite, aquamarine, topaz, corundum are set against sterling silver and 18k gold. Cameo-style pendants and cufflinks draw on Sioulas’ fascination with mythology, depicting icons such as Hercules and Pegasus.
Holding his heritage close to his heart, Sioulas decided to open his first store on the Greek island of Hydra – the very same island immortalized by Leonard Cohen, who once said that “there is nowhere in the world where you can live like you can in Hydra, and that includes Hydra”. Cohen’s love affair with the island was almost as influential as that with his wife and muse Marianne Ihlen, and the Cohen connection is no coincidence – music is Sioulas’ second great love after jewelry, citing Miles Davis and Velvet Underground as inspiration and naming entire collections after his icons. The Soul Collection was inspired by the Fender guitar, and developed a cult following among existing and new customers. “When creating a collection, I look for muses,” Sioulas says, “drawing inspiration from both mythological and emblematic modern personas such as goddess Astria and soprano Maria Callas for the K-Women and Perseus for the K-Men. Each of the collections bears the name and the temperament of the chosen muse.”
Like Callas, whose commitment to her craft was such that she mastered the most difficult arias in opera within six months of studying them, Sioulas is uncompromising when it comes to his creative process. Each piece of jewelry is pieced together in an artisanal atelier in Athens, with various experienced craftsmen taking care of a different part of the design according to their expertise. “Delicate yet complicated structures, detailed engravings and sculpture-like effects give a different meaning to the jewelry when it’s crafted by hand using the ajouré technique rather than when using technology,” Sioulas says of his refusal to use computer-aided machines. “It’s evidence of the hard work and love put into the process that makes our designs authentic.” A family-run business, he also works closely with his two children Julian Christos and Phaedra and takes a maverick approach to sales, refusing to repeat commercially successful collections to make space for new, fresh ideas.
This intoxicating combination of authenticity and a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic has secured Konstantino’s place on red carpets, movie sets and fashion shoots around the world, with a clientele list that reads like a Hollywood movie roll-call. Last year, actor, fashion icon and LGBTQ+ activist Billy Porter wore Konstantino’s chunky sterling silver chain necklace to the AFI Awards, and later again to a Studio 54-inspired party in New York. The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards is often spotted in an engraved silver cuff, which he wore for a Louis Vuitton campaign shot by Annie Leibowitz, and Rihanna wore a pair of gold hoop earrings to both the Met Gala and the premiere of Ocean’s 8 in 2018 alongside designers such as Maison Margiela, Cartier and Christian Louboutin and Poiret.
With his jewelry on the bejeweled wrists and throats of A-listers around the world, Sioulas likes to celebrate his success with Don Julio tequila, and confesses to a passion for sports cars, saying that his “most beloved would have to be the Porsche”. It’s evident that his respect for classic design and high-quality products extends into his own jewelry, which is why the connection between creator and clientele is an enduring one.