A Syncretism of Tradition and Innovation Based on a Belief.



At the begining of the 19th century,Mikimoto established its unique araftsmanship and design  philosophy as the distinctive Mikimoto style, combining traditional Japanese golden work techniques and European jewellery design.

Since then, Mikimoto has continued its evolution in every sense for over the century. This year, Mikimoto is introducing a new theme, Praise to Nature, making the next stage of its evolution. In this interview, Yoko Tanaka, one of the designers for the collection, talks about her great passion for jewellery design.


A New Jewellery Collection Inspired by Nature

~Mikimoto has just launched a new collection, "Praise to Nature" this year. Can you tell us about how you came up with the concept?

We wish to express gratitude and appreciation to Mother Nature to mark the next stage of Mikimoto's journey as the originator of cultured pearls. Though inspired by nature, it's not a literal representation of the theme. In this collection , I explore impression and images that natute evokes in us.


~How do you translate your ideas into designs?

I have two different approaches: Design first and then decide on what stones to be used, or, start with a specific stone in a given product and then let my imagination take it from there. For example, the design of a nacklace in "Praise to Nature" was inspired by the beautiful colour of paraiba tourmaline, which sparkles likes no other gem out there. I wanted to create jewellery that emanates the energy of butterflies gathering around a beautiful spring and flying up into the clear sky. I drew many sketches and finally came up with the design.


~As a designer, you are required to create designs that represent the design philosophy that Mikimoto has developed and refined over many years, while striving to express your own creativity. How do you balance these two seemingly competing agendas?

I think the key is to  seek "a perfect balance of tradition and innovation."

I would like to elaborate a little more. We cannnot evolve as a brand if we only communicate our heritage of tradition as it is, but still, we cannnot establish and maintain a trusted relaathionship with customers with innovation only. When I design, I always think about what value Mikimoto can bring to our customers, leveraging over 120 years of our experience and expertise.  



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