What inspired you to associate esoteric, mystical, historical symbols and signs of different cultures with your work?
The idea of Mystic J's co-founder Saleh Alda was to produce ethically handmade sustainable jewelry, using only recycled precious metals and precious stones. However, in addition to the fact that our brand accessories should be sustainable, my goal was to create at the same time unique, modern, and fashionable jewelry with meaning, distinctive and different styles.
I was interested in the symbolism of different cultures worldwide and their meanings from an early age. Since childhood, I've also been making sketches of various types, including mystical symbols. I have often had the desire to purchase modern jewelry with esoteric meaning. While there are manufacturers of these types of accessories, they are not distinguished by different and modern copyright designs. Therefore I already knew what Mystic J's jewelry and brand concept, in general, should look like. It is a unity of avant-garde, mystic, and fashion, where jewelry combines past, present, and future. We have returned the jewelry to its original purpose - the meaning. I believe that jewelry design is art, while art without meaning is just decoration. These factors have inspired me to create fashion jewelry in symmetric avant-garde that carries the meaning of esoteric, mystical, and historical symbols.
How much do you consider the astrologically calculated dates or days in relation to your work or, in general, advice of astrologers?
I look at astrology from a different angle in general. Not professionally, though I am pretty well versed in this field. I am not a follower of pop astrology; However, I believe astrology is a profound and interesting system that can be employed in many ways; for example, it is a great tool to get to know yourself better.
When making a collection, which side do you consider aesthetics or symbolic load more critical?
Definitely both, and that's what sets my work apart. As I have already mentioned, there are manufacturers of this type of jewelry. However, they pay less attention to aesthetics, style, and fashion. It is just a copy of the symbol and nothing different in many cases. And the modern fashion jewelry industry is usually built solely on aesthetics. But also, sustainability has become quite substantial over the last years in the fashion and jewelry industry fields. Since it's notorious that fast fashion, the jewelry industry, and mass production contribute significantly to the ecological catastrophe we face nowadays.
In the case of Mystic J, aesthetics and symbolic load are equally important. While working on the astrology collection, I wanted to feel each zodiac sign and correctly convey its meaning and energy. For example, I wanted to show through Aries jewelry the boldness and courage of this sign and its striving for being first, which I emphasized by repeating the symbol on the jewelry with bold design. And in the Pisces jewelry design, I've used black and white Diamond, the symbolic load of which is the constant division of the attention of this sign between fantasy and reality. I even chose the surface of the jewelry based on the meaning of the symbols. I have such specific details in the design of every zodiac sign. For example, I worked on a Leo zodiac jewelry design for the longest time. I created many versions of the Leo design, though I did not like any of them. Because, as I mentioned above, along with aesthetics, the symbolic load is also significant for our brand, where the meaning and energy of the symbol should be clearly emphasized. Eventually, the Leo jewelry design was created by my sister Nanuka Chartolani, who is leading the production of Mystic J. My desire to express through Leo jewelry the royalty, artistry, and striving for being the center of attention, Nanuka has done perfectly.
There are radically different styles of women in your jewelry advertising or image photos. Anyway, what kind of woman wears your jewelry?
In general, when a design is born in my imagination, I already see the model, style, colors, music. In other words, as soon as the design is created, I know what the model, photo session, or video should be like. For example, in the photoshoot of the first collection, I used the photos' background colors according to astrology and the models I chose according to the elements.
In the second photo session, we also selected models with different appearances. The music was specially written for Mystic J by Levan Mikaberidze, and we also used the music of Georgian DJ Cobert. I try to choose women with radically different looks. Stereotypical or trendy beauty is less interesting to me. I focus on different faces and shapes. I want women of all looks and ages to participate in Mystic J photo sessions. Content and authenticity in this matter are also important to me personally.
As for the women and men who wear Mystic J, these are non-standard, authentic lovers of art and extraordinary style, people who appreciate exclusive, unique design and quality. Only superficial trendy fashion and aesthetics cannot fascinate them. They seek something more than just looks. Mystic J's avant-garde jewelry is not intended for the masses since our designs are quite distinctive and artistic. Our brand has customers with original and exclusive tastes, and they are a precious part of our mystic world.
The first collection used recycled 950-925 sterling silver (nickel and zinc free), black Rhodium, Diamonds, 18K Gold (18K). Are you planning to add other stones to future collections and select them according to their energy and other loads?
We have used the same materials in the collection Mystic Capsule, which is in process and is scheduled to be presented in the spring. However, in the following collections - Space, Alchemy, and Aura we will use different gemstones, of course, considering their energy, meaning, and load. Also, some designs will be made with other precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and black gold.
How is the work process distributed between Georgia and Spain?
The brand head office is in Alicante, Spain. Mystic J is 100% vertically integrated with starting technology, design, manufacturing, marketing, ending sales, and customer support.
Mystic J's Spanish team mainly works on design, marketing, and worldwide sales. We also have a part of production in Spain, mainly in gold. But most of our products are ethically and entirely handmade in Georgia under Nanuka Chartolani. Most of our photo and video sessions are also take place in Georgia under the guidance of Duda Gelovani. So we have quite a diverse and international team. However, the strong organizational culture of the brand, common values, and goals unite us all.
Is Mystic J presented in some showrooms?
We work with some showrooms worldwide. However, we do not have mass production. Our jewelry is entirely and ethically handmade to order, exclusively for each customer. In addition, our unique packaging Mystic Boxes are also my copyrighted design, as well entirely and ethically handmade. Accordingly, mainly we present our catalog in showrooms and a limited number of samples. Despite the many offers by various boutiques, we follow sustainable fashion and prefer to remain tailor-made.
What are Mystic J's plans for the future?
Currently, we are preparing to travel to Italy for Milano Jewelry Week. We are happy to be a part of such a fantastic solid event that unites many fascinating and unique emerging talents, jewelry designers, and brands internationally.
We have several exciting news for Mystic J customers. First, we are going to add different types of accessories. It is also planned to produce limited edition and one-of-a-kind Mystic J-style clothes and shoes in the future. However, mystic jewelry will remain a brand's priority in the future too.
Interview by Amarta fashion magazine - with the creative director of Mystic J, Ekaterine Chartolani 14.01.2022