In 1941, while Greece was in the grip of WWII, Ilias Lalaounis took over the family firm. Prompted by a passion for history, he began studying the art of his ancestors.
In the 1950’s, while Greece was recovering from the war years, Lalaounis’ vision became clear: he decided to breathe new life into Greek museum artifacts and transform them into jewelry by reviving age old techniques while also introducing the use of modern technology.
His craft would not only be about producing an object of beauty; he would also seek to convey the spiritual and symbolic link of an object to its historical past.
In order to perfect his art, Ilias Lalaounis needed not only to grasp the idea behind those ancient creations, but also to school his fellow craftsmen in the art of neglected/forgotten techniques, such as granulation, filigree, hand-weaving and hand-hammering.
Lalaounis founded the Greek Jeweler’s Association and exhibited his first collection in 1957, the ‘archeological collection,’ inspired by Classical, Hellenistic and Minoan Mycenaean art. With modern jewels steeped in antiquity, this was anachronism at its most refined and the world took note.
In the 1960’s, after his uncle passed away, Ilias Lalaounis decided to branch out on his own. He started his own company with its headquarters on Karyatides Street, at the foot of the Acropolis.
Since 1998, the mantle of Ilias Lalaounis’ inexhaustible creativity has been passed on to his four daughters, who are ensuring the continuity of his legacy and that Lalaounis timeless creations will continue to adorn women and men for generations to come.