Jewellery

Milamore meet jewellery designer George Root

Interview with George Root who designs Milamore jewellery in New York which is then created in Japan. Here, he explains the foundations of his collections

What does a jewellery designer wear in everyday life? In the case of George Root, the creative behind independent jewellery brand Milamore, the answer takes some time to inventory. When I asked Root recently to detail what he put it on that morning, the designer’s list reads like an inventory of small treasures and includes a “candy sapphire tennis bracelet” and a custom-made sapphire collier set with a neon yellow diamond. Then, a classic Milamore diamond necklace, also featuring sapphires.

Root first established independent brand Milamore – its name is a sobriquet of Mila, the nickname of his beloved grandmother Milagros, and the term amore – in 2019.

The brand has since garnered a list of stockists – among them Santa Monica’s Broken English, Moda Operandi and Pantechnicon in London’s Belgravia – offering creations made in Japan. Today, some of these complete Root’s haul of jewellery: his pile of necklace also counts a Milamore Kintsugi Infinity emerald necklace and the brand’s best-selling and Classic Duo Chain II, finessed with a Diamond Braille Puzzle Charm – its tactile design a precious expression of Braille’s system of raised dots –  and an emerald charm. And on his wrist, sitting near that multi-coloured sapphire tennis bracelet, a Milamore bangle, also part of his recently launched Kintsugi collection.

What are some of your earliest, personal recollections of wearing jewellery?

I’ve always been drawn to jewellery, since when I was a kid. My very first item of jewellery was a choker necklace choker back in 1990. I remember back in the day everyone had a black leather choker with a silver pendant and I thought it was so cool.

In turn, do you remember the first piece of jewellery you designed and saw realised for Milamore?

The very first piece that I designed within Milamore was [the] Duo Chains. I was inspired by pocket watch chains and wanted to connect two kinds of chains to create one chain. I design our Duo Chains with focus and attention to the details of clasps. The clasp is handmade and it has a Milamore logo with four pieces of diamond. We have expanded this collection by merging different chains with yellow gold and white gold. I love how versatile the collection is. You can wear Duo Chains every day. Style it like a lariat, wear it as a bracelet, or dress them up with our charms.

What initially inspired your Duo Chains?

Long before I started Milamore, I met a very chic Italian lady in Milan who was wearing two antique pocket watch chains as a necklace. I thought it was the coolest thing and such a statement piece!

Milamore Duo Chains are modern variations of the chain that she was wearing. We have some chains that are lighter and some that feel heavier. They are all made in gold, but some chains – like Duo Chain I and Duo Chain II –  are hollow because they are meant to be layered with other necklaces.

Some of our other chains –  Duo Chain III, Duo Chain IV, and Duo Chain V –  are heavier, due to the type of chain. Duo Chain I and II feature the pocket watch clasps, and III, IV, and V, feature our signature Milamore clasp. I wear my Duo Chains every day and love to layer them. I even sleep and work out in them!

Where do you work from?

I work from my apartment in SoHo, New York. I also work from my house in upstate New York, which is within nature and is my ultimate safe place. It neutralizes my energy and most of my designs are created while I’m there.

Milamore Self Love Ring Float Diamond Ring in yellow gold with white diamonds
Please tell me more about Milamore’s goldfish mascot.

Good question! The goldfish is my spirit animal. I’ve always loved the colours of goldfish, ever since when I was a kid. In Asian culture, the goldfish represents abundance. However, my friend from Japan told me a different story. She said that when the goldfish dies, the bad luck dies with it  and brings fortune. I got a goldfish tattoo back in 2014 when I just moved to New York. I had no job, and nobody wanted to take me as a PR consultant because I was not connected in America. I wanted to bring new energy to me, that’s why I got the tattoo. So much has changed since them and I feel I have manifested a lot. Naturally, it became the Milamore icon. Also, goldfish swim clockwise, which represents energy flow and good karma.

Milamore Kintsugi large hoop earrings in yellow gold with pearls
sugi collection is inspired by ancient art, how did you apply this traditional technique to modern fine jewellery?

For a long time I have been familiar with the philosophy of Kintsugi. When I started Milamore, I wanted to create a universal brand that speaks to everyone and has deep cultured values.

This is why I designed Kintsugi. It holds a metaphor everyone can relate to. It is the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold lacquer. Our collection recreates this art through Kintsugi jewellery. Imagine the wearer as the broken pottery and you wear Milamore Kintsugi rings – the wearer completes the Kintsugi design and becomes the artpiece.

Every single one of us – including myself – has experienced challenges and overcome them. We heal our brokenness. The scar is a reminder of how we transformed, and what we learned. We become stronger and more confident through these lived experiences.

The Kintsugi collection gives the invitation to embrace and celebrate what makes you, you. I want people to be empowered by wearing the Milamore Kintsugi collection.

What pieces of jewellery would be part of your personal, perhaps impossible collection of gems? Any dream pieces?

All of Milamore is very personal to me. But aside from that, I dream of Castro Smith’s engraved rings and vintage Cartier Crash watches in yellow gold. I’m a huge watch collector as well and I love the story of watches too!

Milamore Infinity Kihei necklace
Milamore Braille ring in yellow gold with diamonds
Milamore charm in yellow gold with pearls

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From latest collections, extraordinary designers and celebrity trends, we'll keep you up to date with today's ideas and stories.