In celebration of the worldwide exclusive launch of Nikos Koulis’ latest collection, ‘Lingerie’ at BG, we sat down with the famed jeweler to discuss the inspiration and design process behind his beautiful creations. ‘Lingerie’ is Koulis’ first collection using pearls as a main material, characterized by exquisite details, elaborate technique and a seamless flow reminiscent of sensual laces. The designer uses solely Tahiti silver pearls combined with white diamonds, emeralds, blue sapphires and rubies; and in certain pieces he combines them with black enamel – one of his signature materials. Meet the designer as he unveils the new fine jewelry collection, ‘Lingerie,’ this Wednesday, April 5th from 5-7pm on the main floor.
Bergdorf Goodman: We are so honored to be the home to the worldwide launch of your ‘Lingerie’ Collection. What made you decide to skip Basel this year?
Nikos Koulis: I am truly excited to present ‘Lingerie’ exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. It’s a different collection in terms of materials and forms and a fascinating creative journey. After 5 years in Basel world I decided not to take part this year, since I felt that the aesthetic environment was inadequate for my brand. There were so many operational changes that didn’t reflect the status and experience I coveted for the presence of my brand, so the decision came organically. I decided to reach out to my clients through other routes, and maintain the selective nature of the way I work and think. I make my own rules and follow my instinct, so the proposal for launching my brand new collection at BG fused my buoyant outlook with an attractive occasion.
BG: Tell us about the inspiration for this new collection. Where did the idea of ‘Lingerie’ come from?
NK: Lingerie is my first collection using pearls as a main material. The core idea was a softer design approach compared to the Oui or Spectrum collections, a more ethereal appeal. In the workshop, while we experimented with so many elaborate details, the pieces reminded me of delicate, sensual laces, thus I named it ‘Lingerie’ although it could be misunderstood. My aim was all the pieces to have a very light, seamless flow. I use solely Tahiti silver pearls in different sizes combined with white diamonds, emeralds, blue sapphires and rubies; and in certain pieces I embraced the black enamel element, channeling the Oui collection.
BG: Take us through your design process. Do you have a particular woman in mind when creating these beautiful pieces?
NK: In every piece I create, I leave a part of myself, so there is a personal element and a lot of thought enclosed in the resulting soul of the piece. I cherish classics, I love structured forms, I believe in the importance of intricate details. My inspiration is random; a design idea can derive from a landscape, a building, a book or a song. There is no muse, but I ‘m thinking of women who are confident and want to express themselves through the jewelry they wear. However, it’s not only about the design; what excites me more is the production process. This is when I feel the most creative, when we experiment with materials, we ‘push’ our craftsmanship boundaries, and we give a sentimental value to each piece.
BG: What are some of your favorite materials to work with and why?
NK: Diamonds in different cuts, my favorite are cut cornered trillions, emeralds because they always have a graceful imperfection, and gold without a particular reason, since forever.
BG: What is your first memory of Bergdorf Goodman? Is there one piece from the collection that you feel every BG woman must own?
NK: My first memory was at Bergdorf Goodman is almost 15 years back and it is still my favorite retail destination in NY: cool, classic and curated. The BG woman encapsulates so many different types and styles, that I can’t pick just one piece for her. However, I still believe in the power of jewelry to make you dream. The pair of brooches that can also be worn as earrings convey the rarefied magic of a precious item connecting a couture legacy with a contemporary flair.