Dear Shaded Viewers,
I met George Root in Tokyo in another incarnation, at that time he was a creative director for different brands. At the age of 30, George Root is now Creative Director for a fine jewellery line, Milamore, designed in New York and handcrafted in Japan and named after his beloved grandmother who’s name translated from Spanish is Milamore and means ‘miracle’.
DP: How did you go from public relations and consultation to creating a luxury brand?
GR: I was doing creative direction for a Japanese local fashion brand called SeaRoomLynn last year. I suggested to them that they should start selling gold hoop earrings because that’s hot in Europe and New York and soon would be a trend in Japan as well.
They took my advise and they sold out of the gold hoop earrings so they decided to start a fine jewellery brand.
Azusa’s family business is jewellery production that is based in Tokyo. She proposed that we partner and start a brand that is unique but also true to price. Within ten months Milamore was born. It is designed in New York and handcrafted in Japan.
DP: You live in NYC but produce in Japan how do either of those countries effect how you work?
GR: It’s been 5 years since I moved to New York. It works perfectly for me especially the 13-14 hours of time difference. My business partner runs a fashion brand in Japan, so during the day they are busy with their fashion brand which makes communicating about Milamore in the morning or at night ideal. I work during the day for Milamore and my other consulting jobs. It’s 2019 we can communicate seamlessly as we desire.
DP: You do one of a kind pieces but also limited editions, what is your ultimate goal in as far as the market you intend to reach?
GR: I was named after my father, George, because he wanted me to become a global person. Japanese, American, French, Italian, the name George exists in all languages. Therefore….Milamore has to become a global brand. We want to be in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Wherever our clients understand our brand philosophy.
DP: Tell me a bit about the symbolism that goes behind the different designs.
GR: You mean about the spirit animal?
The meaning it says on the back of the tarot card:)
I became so obsessed with goldfish because it has the meaning of “purification”.
5 years ago, when I moved to New York, it was a brand new life adventure and it took time to adjust to the difference of cultures and cities. I got my goldfish tattoo on my right wrist as a reminder of what I’d been thru/accomplished and it turned into an art. Just like my jewellery.
For example, the puzzle charms. I grew up with single mother. She worked non-stop day and night. I was left alone a lot and played with puzzles. I turned those bitter memories into 18K gold with diamonds that are Braille. I love to recreate those memories into something delicate and beautiful. Either negative or positive, all of your experiences are part of who you are.
DP: Your jewels have no gender, is that part of your DNA and if so, why is that? Frankly I agree I never look at jewels with a specific gender…just wanted the philosophy behind it.
GR: Believe me or not, I grew up being mistaken as a girl. I would walk into the men’s room and boys would ask me if I was a girl LOL
Even when I go to Paris I get “Bonjour Madame”. Back in the day, I was so insecure about it but now I laugh and I think it’s cool.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels that way and I want to remind others that they too should feel free to embrace their beauty. Today, we have a specific idea of how men and women should be defined. Sex or gender is beyond that and you can not categories it.
DP: Your idea is to sell direct to clients, right? Or do you think of taking certain pieces, maybe puzzle pieces and producing them wholesale?
GR: For japan, we want to focus on direct to consumers. That’s just because I have a strong relationship with the Japanese market and I know it well since I was doing PR there for 9 years.
But, outside of japan, I would like to be at boutiques that I feel personally connected to.
DP: What was the first jewel that you ever owned and when/where did the impulse to design come from?
GR: Hmm. I think my first jewellery was a silver cross necklace when I was 6. I grew up in the Philippines where we are super Catholic. Having a cross necklace was normal. I’ve been traveling all over the world and normally what I find is that jewellery comes from Christian, Jewish, Chinese or Middle East cultures but I could never find Japanese amulets.
That’s why I created my charms. They are based on Japanese good luck symbols the idea being now people can wear the jewellery not only for the beauty of Japanese culture but also for the uniqueness of it!!