This year, we took Nacre on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean and the Aegean Sea to Greece to reconnect with ourselves and one another in a locale steeped in history and natural beauty.
Known for its whitewashed Cycladic architecture and idyllic islands, Greece is so much more than what’s on the surface. Western culture and democracy were born in Greece, and the ancient Greeks are credited with introducing systematic thought, philosophy, mathematics, literary poetry, and more.
Once again, we collaborated with visionary, Alex Perry from MintySnap and her team to bring Greece to life for our Nacre Circle. Here’s what Alex had to say about her experience in the ancient locale:
"Time felt intentional as I chose to let the sun guide the purpose of each day. As the sun slowly rose, I too eased into the morning and reflected on the beauty of the photo shoot from the night before. Afternoons felt fluid as I settled into the rhythms of sunset. I gave my full attention to golden hour - taking those sacred moments to observe the color of light and shape it for each photograph and video. The beauty around encouraged a pause and appreciation for the landscape as well as the manifestation of my dream to film brands in Milos.”
Mandrakia Fishing Village
No part of Greece is more than 137 km from the ocean, and we began our journey by visiting the remote fishing villages situated on the Aegean Sea. One of our stops was in the quaint fishing port of Mandrakia. Quieter than some of the more popular tourist destinations, the colorful houses and wooden boats of Mandrakia are nestled around a circular bay.
Alex and her team were able to get an intimate look into Mandrakian life.
“Shalize and I had the rare opportunity of meeting the man who designed the charming Mandrakia Fishing Village! Our encounter was only possible because of the generous hearts that exist in Milos.
After we finished filming in Mandrakia, we ate at the only taverna within the village, Medusas. I struck up a conversation with the owner, Pericles, while he was enjoying a meal with his wife and friends. Over an icy glass of ouzo, he sweetly insisted that I return the following morning for a boat tour with his close friend, Mr. Stelios. He noticed us admiring the village while capturing content and suggested we see the beauty of Milos from the sea.
The next morning Shalize and I met Mr. Stelios, an elderly fisherman who lived inside one of the colorful boat houses with his German Shepherd, Erma. Pericles’ friend Dimitris, a Greek coast guard, joined us for the journey to help translate. Mr. Stelios sailed us around the island in his vintage, traditional greek fishing boat, a “kaiki.” Louis Vuitton actually featured his boat in their Milos campaign and Dimitris pulled up pictures to show us.
During the journey, Dimirtis talked about how Mr. Stelios is a Milos legend and well-loved by many on the island. He took great pride in sharing how Mr. Stelios designed all the sitting areas in Mandrakia, laid the concrete, carefully chose the colors, and still maintains the village's beauty with regular touch-ups.
After our journey around the eastern side of Milos, Pericles invited us back to his taverna for lunch. Over a bountiful meal, we talked about life, the Greek philosophy of generosity, and equality. We shared with them how my work with Nacre brought us to Mandrakia and expressed gratitude for our paths crossing. I looked at Shalize, and we were both alive with emotion.”
Leaving Mandrakia, we headed toward Plaka Town.
Plaka Town is the capital of Milos and provides a picturesque view of the Greece you may recognize. The town is divided into the old town and the more modern village. Around every corner, you’re greeted with the traditional whitewashed buildings with bright blue accents and balconies spilling over with bougainvillea.
Exploring Plaka Town together, we were able to pause at local cafes, soaking in the culture and beauty of the town while marveling at the expansive views of the sea. Time slowed down in Plaka, and we wandered the streets, stopping to sip coffee or indulge in a scoop of ice cream. We were able to sample the local fare, including meats and cheeses from family farms.
We wrapped our trip at Sarakiniko Beach. Admittedly, we were looking forward to this stop the most. Also known as the moonscapes of Milos, we thought it a fitting location to capture photographs for Nacre.
When we launched the brand, we were captivated by nature, specifically the moon and the tides and how they are able to mark the time and move us through the transitions of life. We adopted the tagline, “Inspired by pearls. Born of the water. Moved by the moon.”
The chalky-white rock formations of moon beach are made from volcanic rock that has been shaped by relentless waves driven by north winds.
We arrived at dawn to observe the sun rising over the lunar landscape. The otherworldliness of the ashen rocks jutting out of the turquoise sea took our breath away. Here’s what Alex had to say about her first glimpses of Moon Beach:
“I was overcome with awe to see the union of the earth and water elements working together to sculpt such a place of beauty.
I learned from the locals that you can’t even approach Sarakiniko during some days in the winter. The winds are dangerously strong, and the sea consumes the entire beach with wild waves.
This natural occurrence is the very act that transforms the white volcanic rock into soft, lunar-like surfaces. Over thousands of years, the repetitive crashing of the sea sculpted each unique section of the landscape.
It reminds me of the seasons of life and how challenging times often reveal the most beautiful layers of ourselves.”
Nacre Watches x Milos Collection
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Investing the time in exploring our earth is cathartic, energizing, and better connects us to ourselves and each other. Stay tuned for where Nacre will go next!