Zeus + Δione: Greek at the Seams
The fashionista’s favourite Greek label, Zeus + Δione, debuted six years ago. Founders Mareva Grabowski and Dimitra Kolotoura had a vision that was both entrepreneurial and philanthropic: the duo wanted to create a brand that ‘would give life back’ to struggling Greek villages who survived on crafts, in particular, Soufli, one of Greece’s endangered silk heartlands. Now, the company employs twenty people and collaborates with more than 70 craftspeople from all over Greece, including a feltmaker! Michail-Alexander Passos hears their inspiring success story.
Tell us about your beginnings …
The idea of Zeus+Δione came as a romantic reaction towards the negative environment and financial turmoil that our country was going through. We felt the need to stand against the perception that Greeks are lazy and unproductive. We travelled all around the country and we identified people, factories and workshops whom we could cooperate with. Our specifications were very strict and everything was about top quality. From the beginning – we had a clear vision and a specific mission, to revive and redefine the Greek craftsmanship, forgotten techniques and translate our creations into everyday fashion pieces.
What does the Zeus+Δione brand stand for?
Zeus+Δione is a luxury fashion & lifestyle brand that uses the Greek heritage and tradition as an inspiration to produce high-end products addressed to an internationally selected audience. Named after the parents of the ancient Greek Goddess of love, beauty and eternal youth, the brand is characterized by a unique interpretation of myth and tradition. Moreover, the Greek letter, Delta Δ, is a predominant undertone of the brand, alluding to spirituality, harmony and creativity.
How important are the components/materials used? What constitutes luxury, when it comes to clothes?
Luxury in clothes means uniqueness, aesthetics and quality. In Zeus+Δione we use the finest silk for our collections and the best quality of materials when it comes to our accessories.
Everything you do is produced here. Are buyers sensitive to this?
“Made in Greece” is much more than just a label for us, it’s in the DNA of our brand. When we describe something as Made in Greece, it gains a big value. It means that it comes with a great history in creativity and craftsmanship and we want to unfold this notion to the world. At first, buyers were taken by surprise but eventually the product itself proved that what we were describing, was also the case!
How is your label received internationally?
Foreigners seem to like our collections and they fall in love with the story behind our brand. Moreover, Greece is related to the absolute summer destination, therefore, our brand represents the total summer-luxury-fashion brand and our feedback is always positive!
With the crisis, do you believe that Athens has now become a creative hub?
Every crisis brings opportunities. Looking back in history, the greatest creations were made under a lot of pressure and pain. Creations are a way of expressing feelings and thoughts.
The positive outcome of the financial turmoil was that we all started looking internally for raw materials, production workshops and workforce. As with most communities, Greeks and Athenians have found their own way of overcoming the economic downfall through creativity and this will appear as a positive opportunity in the future.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
Teamwork! Working together with people who share the same attributes is the main ingredient for success! Then Dedication – Passion – and Authenticity follow. Three terms that keep us strong for the good and the bad turns in our industry. We are very passionate about what we do, we are dedicated on a full time basis and we know our values.
Will the Greek-heritage-influence be visible in your next collection too? If yes, what does it translate to, when it comes to clothes?
The light, the architecture, the stones and the sea are in the DNA of our brand. All our collections are inspired by something Greek. It can be found in the details of our clothes, the name of a collection and the story behind a collection.
Finally, a restaurant or bar in Athens you’d highly recommend is…
There is no place or view like the restaurant on top of Grande Bretagne Hotel. The food is amazing and the view is breathtaking as you can enjoy your dinner overlooking the lights of the city and the Acropolis.
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