Mia Evgeniadi is the owner of Showroom10 representing some of the most promising Greek fashion designers. Her love and passion for fashion is not accidental as before running Showroom10 she had studied Textile Engineering and Fashion Design, worked for one of the biggest textile companies of our country and even written a book covering the whole production of clothing.
Today, she talks on La Grèce j’aime about her vision for Showroom10 as well as the Greek fashion industry as a whole.
Showroom10 hosts 18 designers, how do you decide who you are going to work with?
My main goal is to represent designers of a high standard. The apparel and work of the designers I work with has nothing to do with that of big or even smaller companies. I am most interested in their work to be of high quality as far as the production of their clothing is concerned and also in designers whose collections have their own character and style. Parthenogenesis is rare nowadays but each of the designers in Showroom10 has a distinctive style and approach to their work.
Are all designers of Showroom10 Greek?
Yes, all the designers of Showroom10 are Greeks who design and make their works in our country. Unfortunately though, most of the fabrics they use are not produced in Greece. In order to enter the European Union back in the ‘80s, our governments decided to enforce legislation concerning the production process in the fashion industry which led to a sharp decrease of raw materials produce such as cotton. There are now left only a few cotton gins and perhaps one or two weaving factories. There are of course companies where sewing and cutting are done but most of the designers limit the Greek element of their works in designing, cutting and sewing them in Greece and not in using raw materials such as cotton or knitting materials. As I mentioned before, there are only a few weaving companies which are not enough to cover the needs of the Greek market and so is the case for the very few knitting companies since there are only a few weaving looms such as those in the area of Soufli. The whole process of ginning, weaving and knitting has been moved to countries such as Bulgaria, Turkey and China. The official reason for that is the cost of production but truth is that all this situation stems from agreements our governments signed for that kind of production to be taken elsewhere forcing the biggest companies of the country to move their production there.
//Chris P, Gaffer & Fluf//
I get the feeling that you believe a “restart” of the Greek textile industry would help fashion industry, don’t you?
It goes without saying that I do! Greece was renowned for its cotton all over the world with Egypt following our lead. Now the Egyptian cotton is considered the best in the world but how can this be when there is no more competition to it? If we still had the cotton gins, weaving and knitting companies spread all over Greece in the past, there would first and foremost be tenths of thousands of workplaces and then the Greek market wouldn’t have been invaded by big multinational apparel companies because they would have been replaced by Greek ones of a much better quality. Needless to say that this would mean more exports and development which should always be our goal.
//1. Mumu Organic 2. Brokequeens//
What is the main goal of Showroom 10?
Showroom10 has a clearly Greek character. Our goal is to establish the designers we work with in the Greek market and of course export their work to other markets. To show the world the beautiful and distinctive work each of them does. The messages I get from my clients in the islands who meet foreigners more often are very positive and this really makes me happy. I also have many clients from other countries who come to Greece to choose what to buy for their shops instead of visiting trade exhibitions happening in other countries. That, I believe, is great because it shows they consciously decide to buy Greek products which they can’t find elsewhere because they see that Greek designers are original and their works defined by quality, good fitting and an interesting concept in collections that carry a different philosophy.
I’d really love to find a way to take Showroom10 in a country where many people from the fashion industry would be able to see the wonderful work of the designers I work with. I know how hard that is but I’m working on it.
//1. Maesa Morado 2. 2bag//
Are you saying that Greek fashion can compete that of other countries?
Yes, I do. Designers however, need to be able to produce more pieces in order to cover the number of possible orders and also take part in international trade shows and exhibitions consistently. Some of the designers I work with are ready to take that step but this needs to be done in the right way. Unfortunately, Greece does not have the right infrastructures to help talented designers. There is a worldwide trend for products of added value as well as more exclusive ones and I think that as a country we have to promote the local character and originality of our products. It may sound a bit tiring but I need to repeat this, the decisions taken on a governmental level for textile industry and other raw material production were terrible and this needs to be changed. Fashion industry in Greece lacks almost everything. There is no raw material production, delivery or promotion system. The only positive thing is the efforts and will of each of us individually.
//1. Emma Swimwear 2. Marivee 3. EleannaKatsira//
Do you think Greek women are stylish and what distinguishes them from women of other countries?
There are Greek women who are so stylish I can’t help staring at them when I see them in the street and there are many whose style is rather plain. However, one out of two dresses very stylishly and I find the 50 per cent a very good number. I like Greek women who adapt trends to their budget and body and not those who do the opposite. Many tend to just follow fashion and end wearing similar if not identical clothes to each other. I think only a few European women dress stylishly and that is why the well dressed Greek women are better dressed to the well dressed women of other countries. It goes without saying that what I’m saying doesn’t apply to those wearing established designers because things there are simpler. Wearing the suit of a famous designer and adding a pair of shoes by another established designer means that your outfit is going to be stylish no matter what. Style is about putting together budget pieces in a way that they don’t only look good but they make you feel good too.
//1. Katerina Psoma 2. Clash-ified2//
What makes a piece of clothing successful?
Now, that’s a very interesting question. A successful piece of clothing is made up of many different things. Design, pattern, quality, fitting are all important but if the designer does not manage to sell that piece of clothing its success is limited to a 50 per cent. It doesn’t matter how beautiful a piece is or how talented its designer, if it doesn’t make the consumer want to buy it, it is not successful enough. Just to make clear though, that I’m not referring to custom made clothing or haute couture because these are a totally different story.
Do you only wear clothes of the designers you work with in Showroom10?
I always do so at work! I believe it is important for my clients to see the clothing I sell worn on somebody and I also love the fact that because of what I do I am very lucky to be able to wear so many designers together! I love the wearing Stelios Koudounaris because his pieces are all very feminine and minimal at the same time. I can’t live without my Mummy’s Boyfriend bag and Nortin shoes. I think the Samantha Sotos kimonos are the most beautiful in the world and I simply adore how comfortable my Gaffer & Fluf and La Vaca Loca clothes are. Truth is that I love every piece of clothing in Showroom10 because if I didn’t then I wouldn’t be able to sell them. As far as foreign designers are concerned, Armani suits are unrivalled. I love the way Dsquared2 always give a sporty air even to their fanciest pieces, the androgynous feel of Haider Ackerman’s clothes and the work of Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga. As with Greek designers I choose particular pieces from each of them.
//1. Samantha Sotos 2. La Vaca Loca 3. Mario Knitwear//
What would you advise a designer now taking his first steps?
The most important thing is for them to be authentic and creative. Their work should be distinctive and they should be faithful to what they do. They should also give their creations the touch needed to be sold without compromising too much on their vision. This is the hardest part of it all but it is also the key to success. The final product should not be of a high or low price, it should have the right price for what it is. They should also never forget that they do not only have the choice of producing their own line but that of working and expressing their creativity in a fashion company as well.
//1. Stylishious by Alexandra Katsaiti 2. Mummy’s Boyfriend 3. Nortin//
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