Mimata jewellery: a delectable Portuguese delight

Joana Mieiro shows how traditional craftsmanship can be made modern with the impossibly pretty Mimata jewellery.

Mimata Love Me Tenderly pearl ring

With a name that translates to “little indulgence”, every piece of Mimata jewellery is a deliciously enchanting treat. Based in Portugal’s second largest city, Porto, Mimata designer Joana Mieiro uses traditional techniques such as filigree to create impossibly pretty jewellery that is the perfect fusion of old and new. Delicate wisps of gold are juxtaposed with strong, geometric shapes, and set with pastel-toned gemstones that resemble the most tempting pick ‘n’ mix sweets. 

Joana has an innate design sense, which she has been sharpening since 2009 - the year she started her own jewellery company. Her first piece was a cleverly deconstructed octagon, inspired by a trip to Rome. Why an octagon? For Joana, the octagon is an iconic symbol of Rome, the city whose ancient society contributed to much of what we call modern: government, law, politics, engineering, art and literature. 

Rome smoky quartz necklace in yellow gold
The Rome necklace from Mimata’s debut jewellery collection is crafted from yellow gold and smoked quartz (£3,514).

The geometrical pattern of this eight-sided shape, according to Joana, was the inspiration for starting an entire collection entitled Roma. Ironically, Roma is still one of her most popular collections, proving that what's old can still be new, when refreshed. This line is now available as a pendant, earrings and a chunky ring in yellow gold and smoky quartz. "The fact that I have been involved in the different stages of designing jewellery, perhaps stemming from my architecture studies, has been fundamental to all my designs," explains Joana. 

She started out as an architecture major but then switched to jewellery-making and design at the University of Porto, after coming to the conclusion that constructing a building would not be an emotionally rewarding experience. Joana's studies also took her abroad to Helsinki, Central Saint Martins in London, and the Richemont Group's Creative Academy in Milan. Architecture continues to play a significant role in her designs, as she sees each jewel as a volumetric shape.     

In 2013, Joana took the Mimata jewellery brand to the next level with the completion of her flagship boutique. Modestly decorated but flooded with natural light and facing out onto one of Porto's most bustling commercial streets, Mimata welcomes visitors in a cheerful environment rife with creative displays of fine jewellery. Delicate glass balls hang on the wall, each one filled with an exquisite jewel. Tiny gold rings are captured beneath upside-down glass funnels. The effect is a surprising departure from the traditional display of jewellery in a vitrine.

Empress rose quartz ring in pink gold
Mimata ring from the Empress collection in rose gold set with rose quartz (£586).

Joana's design aesthetic weaves together the delicacy and strengths that define femininity. The Empress collection mirrors the silhouette of a tiara, which can be seen in the stacking ring, while the Moon collection, called Lua in Portuguese, is designed in gold and soft blue chalcedony.

By uniting classical influences with an avant-garde vision, Mimata jewellery celebrates a Portugal rich in values that are often forgotten, while at the same time opening the doors to a new world of dreams and creativity. 


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