On shoes and two Greek fashion brands
Looking for local fashion labels in countries we travel, we have come across two Greek designers that present unique treasures in their winter collection.
Lucky me, I could stock up on winter boots before going to Cambridge tomorrow.
I like shoes, like any other woman, just a bit more. So let’s start with footwear.
SHOES MADE IN GREECE
The shoe maker Fotis Chaniotakis established his company in 1975 and produces hand-made shoes in Greece with two stores in Athens. They have designed the “Olympic sandal” for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games but sell more than sandals, creating exclusive shoe palettes.
Twenty-five people are employed in the production line and that makes it sound like out of a story book, where diligent pucks and pixies sit together to manually work meticulous machinery, sewing and stitching to make the most beautiful pairs of shoes.
Well, their shoe variety is not that romantic, some of it is a bit on the stiff, elderly conservative side. But I found my boots which have the magic power of transporting me back in time.
They look a bit like 19th century riding or bicycling boots. Which is just great.
In comparison to my infatuation with Doc Martens high heel boots (still on my wish list) these are flat. Because I am really rather sensible compared to my female peers. I have feet that need comfy footwear. Any shoes that make my legs look incredible are worn mainly around the house, preferably on soft carpet.
Translate high heels to the main street and you get disaster.
Girls, if you wear heels, how do you cope with lawn and sand or the common obstacles of public pavement?
I understand that climbing the career ladder or walking the runway works better in 6 – 12 inches. But even on flat terrain, models regularly trip at fashion shows and their ankles snap and some fall of the stage and probably die (classified info).
Wearing flats is my kind of feminism.
And let me cite Wikipedia: “Because bunions are, in all cases, caused by footwear, they are completely unknown in cultures that do not wear shoes.”
I do not want bunions so for now it is going to be ‘prophylactic‘ Chaniotakis boots.
The only thing that is very unsatisfying: the boots are made of real leather and I was going to try to go leatherless in 2012. Didn’t work.
Tomek’s boots are not ‘made in Greece’ (Chaniotakis does not have a men’s collection) but ‘made in Portugal’.
Store location: downtown Athens, Stadium Street 5, adjacent to haute couture fashion brands
CLOTHES MADE IN GREECE
I came across a Greek label that challenges traditional norms with simple lines. It’s minimalist with striking effects.
The Kourbela family started their business with handmade knitwear in 1971 and are growing more popular using various environmentally friendly fabrics to create urban clothing designs by Ioanna Kourbela.
I really like the philosophy that the wearer can recreate the garment to adapt to personal style by wrapping and draping, twisting and folding. My favourite Kourbela garment has sweet ribbons underneath the dress, which you can pull to alter length and style. Just the kind of experimental action I had wearing my towel and bedsheets for fun, creating awesome ‘dresses’.
There is a a very neat collection for men with characteristic straight cuts, simple, making for very unique designs.
Store location: Hatzimihali street 10 in Plaka (men) and Adrianou street 109 in Plaka (women)
This is Tomek and me in winter gear in Athens. We haven’t managed to visit Kourbela yet. I will add pics if we manage to visit after Cambridge.
Keep shopping for the cold days!