|George S. Tsandikos, Leadership 100 Chairman, left, and Archbishop Demetrios present the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence to Angeliki (Lila) Lalaounis in honor of her late husband, Ilias I. Lalaounis.
Leadership 100 paid tribute to the late Ilias Lalaounis, the world renowned Greek academician, artist and designer at the Grand Banquet on Saturday, February 14, 2015, with the posthumous presentation of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence for his contributions to Hellenism, accepted by his wife, Angeliki (Lila).
The program included a video presentation, organized by his daughter Ioanna, on his contributions as a goldsmith and jeweler whose designs regenerated the glories of Greek history and tradition. Ioanna and his three other daughters, Katerini, Dimitra and Maria, direct both the Lalaounis company and the Lalaounis Jewelry Museum in Athens, which he founded.
Lalaounis transcended his craft and received international recognition as the only jeweler ever elected to be a member of the French Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. Born in Athens in 1920, the fourth generation of a family of goldsmiths and watchmakers, he died in 2013, having transformed his beginnings in a family jewelry company into a worldwide presence. His studies of ancient Greek and Byzantine civilization and ingenious idea of reviving ancient Greek jewelry were hugely successful and attracted an international clientele. His knowledge and grasp of the art and history of early civilizations led to a number of ‘archaeological’ collections based on various cultures in Europe, Asia and America.
The Lalaounis personal idiom was dominated by his distinctive medium, 22K gold, and the belief that ‘every piece of jewelry has a story to tell’. Famous women wore and adored his jewels and “Ilias Lalaounis boutiques” sprung up in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Geneva, Lausanne, New York, London, Virgin Islands and over 19 in Greece. His workshop became renowned for having only the best master craftsmen.