Ever since she was a little girl, Alexandra Itouna has been making jewellery designs using modelling clay, wires and beads. After following her passion and studying at the Gemological Institute of America, Alexandra went on to gain invaluable work experience at renowned jewellers on London’s Bond Street including Cartier, Bulgari and Chaumet.
In 1998 Alexandra established her own brand, creating unique and vibrant one-of-a-kind jewels with a modern, romantic and organic aesthetic. We chat with Alexandra about her journey.
When did you fall in love with jewellery?
"As a child I was passionate about jewellery and I started making my first pieces with my hands, using modelling clay, wires and beads. I was wearing them at school and it made me very proud that my schoolmates were admiring them.”
How has your childhood influenced you as a designer?
“I am half Greek, half Austrian. Born in Athens, my love for the sun and the beaches inspire me. As a small child, I was often visiting Vienna, my mother’s hometown from where I have great memories. My beloved grandparents took me to a lot of museums and beautiful places all over Austria. I was especially impressed and inspired by the jewellery and crowns of the Imperial Treasury at Hofburg Palace in Vienna. I believe these were my first incentives to start my path in the jewellery business. All these aristocratic images from my childhood still influence me to make elegant jewellery.”
"My favourite work experience, before I started my own brand, was at Bulgari."
How did you get into the jewellery industry?
“After finishing the German School of Athens, I decided to turn my continuous love and passion for jewellery and gemstones, into a profession. I went to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), in California and received my graduate gemologist and fine jewellery design diplomas. Following my studies, I gained my first and very important work experience at the famous brands of Bond Street in London, Cartier, Bulgari, Chaumet and Asprey’s. My favourite work experience, before I started my own brand, was at Bulgari. At that time its designs were close to my taste and I think that my very first designs were influenced by them but very soon I developed my own style.”
What drove you to start your own jewellery brand?
“In 1998, having gained enough expertise and technical knowledge in the jewellery business, I felt a strong need to build my own business and jewellery boutique in the fine shopping area of Kolonaki, Athens. Under my own brand, I was free to design according to my own feelings and express myself directly through my creations.”
"Under my own brand, I was free to design according to my own feelings and express myself directly through my creations."
Values are really important us at Jewelstreet. What are your core brand values?
“Honesty, quality, uniqueness, craftsmanship, timeless elegance and finest materials are my most important values. My strict values contribute to the fact that my jewellery is of the highest international quality standards and most of my creations are one of a kind.”
Where do get inspiration for your designs?
“Very often I get my inspiration at home, on the beach, before I fall asleep or even at the gym, where suddenly an image of my next creation appears in my mind. All my jewellery is made in Athens by the best artisan craftsmen. Following all the creative procedures; I give all the necessary instructions for a perfect result.”
Where do you source your gemstones?
“On my trips and exhibitions, I look for rare and unusual gemstones that inspire me. I also work with official and trustful gemstone sources in Athens and all over the world.”
"My continuous passion for jewellery and creativity drives me to keep designing fine and unique jewellery."
How do you want someone to feel when they are wearing your designs?
“Generally, my main clientele are elegant and stylish women who are looking for high quality and one-of-a-kind jewellery. I’ve had royals, actresses, successful entrepreneurs and other famous people who have visited my boutique. I want them to be proud of owning a timeless piece of art and to feel beautiful, glamorous and unique.”
What has been the highest point of your career as a designer so far?
“When I fulfilled my dream to open my own boutique store and started designing under my own brand.”
What does the future hold for your brand?
“I feel that I have arrived in the Greek market. I’ve already got some private international clients and I would like to achieve a wider range of clientele abroad. My continuous passion for jewellery and creativity drives me to keep designing fine and unique jewellery.”
Alexandra Itouna's collection is available to shop on Jewelstreet here.