ELLE Decoration (№ 112, February 2012)

Dmitry Gourji, a traveller and collector, consolidated his experiences in a collection of jewellery accessories Gourji, of which he spoke to ELLE DECORATION.

How did your brand come to life?

For twenty years my company has been promoting accessories from a variety of brands; and it has been my dream for a long time to add something truly Russian to these collections. It all started with the ‘White Nights’ pen - it was designed in collaboration with Montegrappa and dedicated to 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. Soon followed the ‘Gagarin’ pen. It was an absolute success; for the first time, our country’s history notably attracted attention from a famous brand. Inspired by this success we launched our own line of jewellery accessories.

Why did you start with the Soviet symbols?

What is more important to me is the general concept of Eurasia, an amazing commonality of cultures that existed across one-sixth of the earth's land surface. For our collections we chose the theme of the USSR as the most comprehensible and popular cultural phenomenon.

But you didn’t stop there, did you?

True, we didn’t. Shortly after that we created ’White Affair’, a totally non-Soviet collection. Then came ‘Gemstones of Eurasia’, a collection with semi-precious stones dedicated to Siberia. We produce what we are experts at: pens and cufflinks, leather accessories and a range of jewellery articles.

Where do you get the ideas for new collections?

They usually come out of the blue. Certain childhood memories, travel impressions or even a badge accidentally discovered at the Izmailovo market may prompt a whole new series. Why not look again at the beauty that is around us every day? I love the Moscow metro, so we dedicated one of our collections – ‘Underground Treasures’ – to this subject. Often, we already have an original design image. The ‘Sports’ collection, inspired by the bas-reliefs from Dinamo metro station, was created in collaboration with an artist Gugo Manizer, the son of Yelena Yanson-Manizer, a famous sculptor and the author of the original bas-reliefs.

Where do you manufacture your products?

We entrust the best professionals – expert jewellers in Italy and Germany, cashmere manufacturers in Italy and miniature artisans here in Fedoskino.

How did the name for your brand come about?

That is very personal. As a matter of fact, I decided, without a moment's thought, that my surname of seemingly unclear origin would be perfectly befitting. And of course, as we produce men’s accessories, I myself am very well aware of what we need.