Katerina's 2023 Highlights: My Milestone Moments of the Last 12 Months

It has become something of a tradition to summarise my top moments of the year just before the clock strikes midnight, and we welcome the fresh opportunities of a New Year. Re-living some joyful moments in my memory helps to trick my mind into feeling that every year is, in fact, a wonderful year, and 2023 is no exception. It was complete with various international travels, 10-year anniversary celebrations, my birthday celebration in Bali, plus an unforgettable series of dinners, red carpets, and special events. I want to thank you, my global community of friends and clients, for making this another fabulous year in jewellery and celebrate my most memorable moments of the year...

In 2021, I picked up a World Influencers and Bloggers Association (WIBA) award and walked the Cannes red carpet. By 2022, I had crossed a trip to Colombia, walking the Venice Film Festival carpet and hosting panel discussions at GemGenève off my bucket list. Below, you will find all the special moments that I have added to my memory vault this year, starting in Italy and ending in Dubai…

10-Year Anniversary Celebrations at Vicenzaoro – January

Reaching the 10th anniversary of KaterinaPerez.com has been such an unbelievable milestone, and I’ve been fortunate to celebrate with friends and colleagues throughout the year. In January 2023, I attended Vicenzaoro, where we kickstarted the celebrations with a special talk and cocktail party! I was interviewed on stage by my friend Elle Hill, founder and CEO of Hill & Co., about my journey in high jewellery, followed by a celebratory cocktail hour organised by Vicenzaoro. It was lovely to see so many people, including my friends from the jewellery community and those who follow me on Instagram. Also, I must admit that hosting my first-anniversary celebration at Vicenzaoro was especially meaningful, as this was the first trade event I attended as a blogger and aspiring influencer when I started my career almost a decade ago. Today, I attend in both January and September, and I won’t miss it!

Judging the Inhorgenta Awards – February

It’s always an honour to be invited to share my opinions and assist in judging industry competitions, with the Inhorgenta Awards 2023 being no exception. I attended the German trade event in February to judge for the second consecutive year, this time helping to choose worthy winners in 10 categories. This year, the judging process was done in person a few weeks before the fair, which made the experience even more personal and meaningful for me. On the night of the ceremony, which took place during the exhibition, I was asked to present an award – specifically the Fine Jewellery accolade – which I was pleased to give to BINDER Jewellery. The brand impressed us with its three-dimensional Perception collection bracelet, which is a meticulously crafted yellow gold piece with oblong-shaped links. The night of the awards itself took the form of a black-tie gala dinner at the BMW Welt museum in Munich, so there was also plenty of opportunity to network and meet new people before the dancing started!

10-Year Anniversary & Birthday Celebrations in London – April

Birthdays are a special time of year for me because I celebrate only two holidays a year – my birthday and New Year’s Eve. The reason behind it is that I moved to the UK from Russia when I was 21, and no one celebrated Russian holidays in Britain while the local holidays never became close to my heart. In the end, my birthday and New Year’s Eve remained a part of me, and I have always considered it important to celebrate these annual milestones and greet them with positivity and exuberance. This year, I turned the ‘Big 4-0’, and so I wanted to combine my 10th anniversary with my 40th birthday and host a party in London for friends of KaterinaPerez.com. Around 20 of us drank cocktails, had a delicious meal and danced at Hovarda restaurant in Soho, and it really was a night to remember. A short while later, I jumped on a plane and headed to Bali in Indonesia, for a birthday holiday retreat with my girlfriend. I had long dreamt about visiting the island, and this trip was a reminder to continue to dream big and focus on positive thinking. We can all make things happen if we work hard and strive towards our goals!

Katerina Perez celebrates her 10th anniversary and 40th birthday in London with jewellery industry friends

Sidaction Red Carpet during Haute Couture Week – July

In the first week of July, during the Haute Couture Week in Paris, I was invited to attend the 20th edition of Sidaction – a fashion dinner to benefit the fight against HIV/AIDS. This popular event is attended by prominent fashion designers, models, actors and actresses in equal measure, so you can imagine how excited I was to walk the red carpet and take part in this glamorous event! The theme of the night was ‘Glittering Night Birds’, and I imagined just covering myself in diamonds… I believe this was perfectly conveyed by my Vivienna Lorikeet dress! I accessorised it with sleek black shoes by Jennifer Chamandi and my iconic single butterfly earring with an electric blue zircon and diamonds in titanium. I was invited by PR specialist Jacques Babando and was seated alongside jewellery designer Elie Top and one of my idols, lingerie designer Chantal Thomas. I’ve long admired her work, so meeting her brought out my inner fangirl!

Katerina Perez attends the Sidaction dinner during Paris Haute Couture Week 2023

10-Year Anniversary Dinner in Mumbai – July 

I couldn’t possibly celebrate my 10th anniversary without visiting my community in India, which has been so supportive and friendly over the last decade. I worked with my long-standing ‘jewellery sister’ Preeta Agarwal to host a beautiful dinner at Hakkasan in Mumbai for jewellers, gem dealers, and journalists, including some who were kind enough to fly from Delhi and Jaipur to join us. The restaurant was fully allocated to my guests. It was a pleasure to spend time off work with Tarang Arora from Amrapali, Farah Khan, Abhishk Ghatiwala, the founder of Ghatiwala Jewellery, Sajil Shah of Sajjante, Apurva and Anand Kothari of SAVAAB, Harakh Mehta of Harakh, Anju Jain of Nafees Jewellery, Dhiren Hirawat of Kamyen Jewellery, Harsh and Shubham Chhabra of Minehaus and many others. I felt inspired to be surrounded by so many talented people who have been generous enough to share their stories and talents with me over the years. I would like to do similar events in the future, as there’s nothing better than seeing friends in person.

Jewellers, gem dealers and journalists from Mumbai, Jaipur and Delhi came to celebrate the 10th anniversary of KaterinaPerez.com

Returning to Hong Kong – September

After a few years away, I was thrilled to return to Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong in September. This really is one of the best opportunities to discover talented designers from Hong Kong, mainland China, Korea, and Taiwan, whom I am unlikely to meet elsewhere on my travels, see my local friends, and immerse myself in a different culture.  To celebrate my return, I organised a lovely dinner with my friend and jewellery designer from Australia, Faith Hilda of Faith Jewels. We were joined by Cindy Xu, Maddy Barber from Madly Gems, Trang Do and Nadia Neuman of Mondial by Nadia. I never tire of being surrounded by women whose passion for jewellery is as big as my own, and it was great to hear stories from diverse markets like Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and many more.

Katerina Perez enjoys a memorable return visit to Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong in 2023

Visiting Athens with AJMIG – October

A Jewel Made in Greece (AJMIG) is a platform for designers to showcase their unique jewellery art in the context of Greek historical craftsmanship. This year, I was invited by jewellery designer and curator Mary Samoli to join her in Athens (it was another city on my bucket list!) to celebrate AJMIG designers' launch at Attica, a luxury department store in the city. My favourite part was getting acquainted with the jewellers and understanding Greek culture and jewellery preferences through the designs I discovered. Of course, I couldn’t meet all 70 brands that fall under the AJMIG umbrella, so I would recommend having a look yourself, especially if you are a fan of jewellery symbolism, history and yellow gold, which featured heavily among the brands I saw. You can see some of my favourite designs in this Reel on Instagram.

Judging the WADA Competition 2023 in Dubai – November

Last but certainly not least, I was invited to judge the new WADA Awards, The World Jewellery Design Competition 2022/23, organised by Tarun Jain and Mahima Verma of the World Academy of Design in Dubai. Having been part of the process of this contest since its inception in January, it was especially gratifying to judge entrants first on their drawings, then on a CAD file, followed by their finished pieces presented in Dubai in November. The ceremony itself took the form of a sparkling gala dinner, where we could see all the finished pieces presented on stage. Models were dressed in beautiful Ezra Couture gowns for the occasion to show off the beauty of manufactured designs. I also wore this designer for the night, but instead of a gown, I chose a hot pink corset and trousers paired with an original black jacket. With more than 300 participants and guests flying in from 30 countries, I can’t wait to see how The WADA Awards grow in the future.

It would be impossible to overstate how lucky I feel to have such a varied and exciting career surrounded by jewellery - my biggest passion in life. None of these milestone moments would be possible without the people who make them happen, from event organisers to jewellery designers, alongside the KaterinaPerez.com team. If you’ve had a challenging or difficult year, I hope that 2024 brings all the happiness and opportunities you deserve. Remember, it’s vital to dream big, stay positive and ‘never say never’. You simply never know what’s around the corner.

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