Catarina Militao Jewellery, designs with a little piece of Portugal
Inspired by her Portuguese heritage, Catarina Militao has created a brand of intricately designed jewellery pieces that can be worn for any occasion. From her rings influenced by Portuguese handkerchiefs, to her "Nine" Collection, that pays tribute to Portugal's annual forest fires, it is evident that although Catarina has established her award-winning brand in London, her designs will always carry a bit of Portugal with them. Here to speak about her beautiful designs and plans for the future of her brand, is an interview with Catarina Militao.
Describe a typical Catarina Militao wearer?
Women who are sophisticated and want to wear contemporary jewellery that makes them feel confident, adventurous, and special. They have a natural sense of style and an evolving modern personality. They tend to wear my jewellery for any occasion, making them feel confident in their own skin.
Tell me about your recent collections Sweetheart Handkerchiefs and Nine. What was the inspiration behind these collections?
Both collections might seem very different, but they were both inspired by my Portuguese heritage and surroundings. The “Sweetheart Handkerchief” collection was developed in full after the Ring from this collection was awarded at a Portuguese Jewellery Contest – all the collection is inspired by the history, symbols and colors of the Portuguese Sweetheart Handkerchiefs reinterpreted in a contemporary and modern approach. The “Nine” Collection was inspired by the forest fires catastrophes in Portugal, that unfortunately happens every single summer – 1€ of each sale is donated to the Portuguese Firefighters. This collection is composed by nine earrings, nine necklaces and nine rings all with a very sophisticated and minimal look, with a 'Tromp-l'oeil' design.
You studied product design at university, why did you decide to go into jewellery?
Jewellery has always been my passion and I knew from an early age that it was something that I wanted to do. Unfortunately, in Portugal there is only one University that offers a degree in Jewellery Design and, at the time, that university was far away from my home and unbearable for my family to support. So, I decided to study Product Design at the university in my home town, which gave me a general knowledge regarding the design process. After that, I specialized in Jewellery Design, completing internships and numerous of courses in it.
What is your favorite piece of your collection?
The Ring from the ‘Forest’ collection is a piece very dear to my heart – this was the very first piece that I did during my first internship while I was at university and it received an award at a Portuguese Jewellery Contest. From that moment I knew that I was on the right path!
Best way to wear Catarina Militao jewellery?
At any occasion of your day – from the office to the party. They are pieces that make you feel inspired and special every single day.
Who/what are you inspired by?
I’m especially inspired by my surroundings – from Architecture to a word in a poem. I’m also fascinated by my Portuguese heritage and handicraft techniques, where I reinterpret them into contemporary but complex jewellery.
What part of the jewellery design process is most difficult?
During the design process, what sometimes becomes difficult is the production of each piece. All of my collections are handmade by me and some of the pieces require many steps and a lot of bench time until they are done – for example, all the pieces in the “Sweetheart Handkerchief” collection are handsewn, making every single piece unique.
You’re from Portugal, do you think there is a Portuguese influence inherent in your designs?
Absolutely. I have always been very interested and enthusiastic about my Portuguese Heritage and what make us different from other countries. Even if it is an unconscious process, I believe there is always a little piece of Portugal in all of my collections.
Where do you see your brand going in the next five to ten years?
I would like to see the brand becoming more international, expanding to a wider audience and growing in scale.
Want to find out more about Catarina Militao? Check out her Ocotur.