Head Designer for the Japanese jewellery company Tasaki

1. Did you grow up in the typical, as we say Greek family?

I don’t think I could say yes, since my mother is French, therefore I grew up in a bilingual and bicultural environment.

2. Where did your parents come from and what is your connection with your roots?

My father is Greek with German roots and my mother is French with American roots, so you could say we are quite a mix! Having grown up in such a family and later on moved quite a bit for my studies, I realised that my roots are not necessarily in places but with people. Of course I frequently visit Greece where my parents live and France for work, but I consider my roots the people I spent my childhood with, family and close friends.

3. Do you have any special memories from your childhood?

Yes of course, so many, I remember really enjoying from an early childhood making things with my hands, drawings and small objects. I remember the summers at our holiday home by the sea and trips to Paris during Christmas to see my grandparents.

4. How did you choose this field of expertise?

I was very lucky, it all fell into place very naturally. I was always interested in making things since a young age and one day I realised I wanted to have a use for those things so I decided to make them into earrings. When I finished school I enrolled into Mokume, a vocational Institute in Athens for jewellery and that’s when I felt my life had started. After that I studied sculpture for 4 years , followed by a Masters at the Royal College of Art which cemented my love for jewellery .

5. Has your Greek heritage affected your jewelry designs?

Absolutely! All those school trips to museums admiring the greek artifacts… I remember those cabinets so vividly, I was mesmerized by the tiny precious pieces of jewellery , beads, signet rings and head pieces that had survived throughout the years. I always go back when in Athens, I discover new details every time.

6. Turning pearl jewelry into modern art… How did you fall in love with pearls?

I must admit it was accidental! When I was studying at the Royal College of Art I was working with lots of different materials until one day I picked up some pearls. I was curious to see whats inside them so I decided to cut one in half. I thought the core of the pearl was so beautiful that it had to be shown so I started designing around that concept and soon I found myself building a whole collection around it . When I graduated , the collection was quite a success so I carried on working with pearls and eventually decided to launch my eponymous brand in 2010 .

7. What should we expect from you in the future?

More pearl jewellery! I am still working with the japanese jewellery company Tasaki to create two collections per year under the brand name M/G TASAKI. They have had a lot of success in Asia and are slowly moving in to the European and American market. I am also creating collections under my own name for private clients and fairs such as Collect at the Saatchi in February 2017. And you will be seeing some very special one off pieces created for 2 shows during the London Design Week this coming September.

8. What is your motto in life?

I believe in very hard work but also good quality family time since I have become a mom.

9. How often do you visit Greece?

Two to three times a year , and this summer we are going to Kefallonia.

10. What does Greece mean for you?

A lot of happy memories and also a place I could see myself living in the future.

11. If you could address a question to all Greeks, what would you like to ask them?

What will you do to make the future better than the present?


Head Designer for the Japanese jewellery company Tasaki

Melanie Georgacopoulos is a famous jeweler and designer, redefining the image of the pearl by successfully turning pearl jewelry into modern art. She is the Head Designer of the fine Japanese jewellery company Tasaki and she continues to create extraordinary jewels for private clients.

Georgacopoulos was born and raised in Greece. Her father is from Greece and her mother from France. From a very young age she was spending her time admiring jewels in the Greek museums and French bookshops. Georgacopoulos learned the craft of jewel in the Mokume Institute in Athens and continued studying sculpturing in the College of Art at Edinburgh.

During her studies in the College of Art, she met with the famous Swiss designer Antoine Sandoz. She made a 2 month internship at his office during the summer break between the 2 Masters years.

Once she finished her studies, Sandoz offered her a job designing jewels in some of the best companies in the world. Georgacopoulos stayed with him for three years. She thinks of him as her mentor. She started designing for small companies and shortly after worked with international brands.

In 2010, Georgacopoulos had to make a hard choice and even though the risk was high, she decided it was worth the effort and opened her own studio in London. She already had a lot of acquaintances from her previous jobs, so she found an agent and participated in the French Fashion Week.

The next step was to focus all her ideas around the only organic precious stone in the world, the pearl.  She was fascinated with the way pearls are made from a small sea shell and can be used directly, without any need of process to reveal their beauty. She wanted to reinvest at pearls and give them a modern touch.

In 2012, Georgacopoulos started working with the world renowned fine Japanese jeweler Tasaki. That partnership gave a lot of attention to her company and also gave credibility to her work. Her pieces were continuously featured in fashion events all over the world and sold to selected customers.

“Pearls are inherently full of contradictions, youthful purity and age old wisdom, subtlety and perseverance, life and death. In my work I try to express these contradictions, the slash in the name M/G fully illustrates this quest to look not only literally inside pearls but also metaphorically, to liberate them. I set out to give pearls new life as a versatile material with a powerful aesthetic that breaks away from traditions and becomes part of contemporary culture.”