Variations on charms have come and gone over the years—companies such as Pandora and Alex and Ani have seen much success with their takes on collectible adornments—but the charm bracelet has a rich history. This contributes to the popularity of collecting antique and vintage charms today (not to mention the thrill of the hunt), as consumers attach them not only to bracelets, but also to chains, anklets, hoop earrings, and more.
Newly made charms are a hit too, and many of the most beloved have an old-world air about them, making them prime for mixing and matching with pieces from any era.
One such collection is from new brand Milamore. Founded in 2019 by CEO and creative director George Root, and cofounded by Azusa Yamato, whose family of jewelers is well-known in Japan, Milamore offers pieces designed in New York and handcrafted in Japan.
“I think people still love charms,” says Root. “They’re not only fun to collect, but they can also possess memories of the specific time and place you purchased them. When you style them together on a necklace or bracelet, these memories create a full story that represents you.”
Here you’ll find all the necessary talismans for a complete charm collection—the evil eye, the hamsa—but with a twist that makes them the brand’s own. What stands out though are the puzzle charms (above and top), each a piece of a puzzle customizable with an initial and diamond accents arranged in corresponding braille (these charms are also available without diamonds).
You’ll also find icons relevant to Japanese heritage: a crane whose elegant wings are beautifully set with baguette diamonds, and a turtle, whose shell is another setting for those glittering stones. Both symbols of longevity, they feel appropriately timely as a sentiment to cling to in this moment of moments.
“I would definitely recommend starting with a charm that speaks to you the most, and pair it with a simple chain if you are a beginner,” says Root, when asked for advice on how to start a charm collection. “I like the idea of wearing charms that are spiritually healing and offer protection from negative energy—charms that feature iconography like an evil eye, a hamsa hand, or the animals we use in our Spirit Animal collection.”
These are not the only offerings by Milamore, mind you, they’re just the ones I’ve chosen to highlight today. The brand’s line is worthy a gander or three and comprises crushingly gorgeous sculptural pieces (earrings, ear cuffs, bracelets, necklaces, rings) as well as chains that are so alluring they make my pulse race with want.
An ode to Root’s grandmother, the name Milamore is derived from a shortening of her name, Milagros (Mila), Spanish for miracle, combined with the Italian word for love, amore. Based in New York City, Root was born in the Philippines before moving to Japan, where he grew up.
“Milamore is still a very young brand, and at 15 months old, we’re fortunate to say that we haven’t seen a decline in sales as we’ve been working hard to build our clientele,” says Root, when asked how they’re holding up through the pandemic. “We’ve made a large effort to clearly communicate our stories, and our clients are resonating with them during a time that’s full of uncertainty. The pandemic has also given us a lot of uninterrupted time to focus on how we can improve our branding, storytelling, and website. We’ve updated the website, which is an ongoing project, we’re developing our new packaging, and working on new jewelry designs. We’re really honing in on our creativity!”Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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