Christina Economou is part of the emerging designer, women’s ready-to-wear group doing things her way. Economou knew at a young age she wanted to be a fashion designer and set off to accomplish this by studying at Parsons and Istituto Marangoni in Paris, where she won the 2011 International Award at London Graduate Fashion Week. When she returned home to Athens, Greece after working alongside Giambattista Valli, she was prepared to launch her business and namesake collection in 2013. Economou, a Greece native, is able to manufacture and produce locally. The line is an editorial and retail dream as the classic and sophisticated brand is known for its interesting prints and rich fabrics while remaining very wearable.
When did you first know you wanted to be a designer?
I have wanted to be a designer as long as I can remember. I’ve always been very creative and loved clothes.
Can you tell us a bit about your upbringing in Athens?
I was born and raised in Athens. Growing up, I spent my time exploring the busy alleys in the historical center of Athens looking for amazing vintage pieces in the numerous flea markets Even though I later studied and lived in Paris, Greece is very much a part of my inspiration.
Do you spend the summers on any of the islands? Which one? What do treasure most about being there?
I spent a lot of my childhood vacationing in the Greek islands of Amorgos, Spetses, islands of the Ionian Sea and so many more. I loved the contrast of the white picturesque villages and the vivid colors of light summer clothing.
After graduating from Parsons in Paris you stayed to work with Giambattista Valli. What was that like?
I worked at Giambattista Valli after graduating from the Istituto Marangoni from September 2011 until July 2012. It was an amazing experience to see his approach to design; he really understands what women want and manages to express their most feminine desires through his romantic creations. I also had the opportunity to be there at the start of his Haute Couture – it was very interesting to observe the amazing techniques and the craftsmanship that goes into every piece.
Did the experience influence your decision to launch your own collection?
No, because I always wanted to launch my own fashion brand. However the experience helped me to launch my own brand of course. It helped me to find the way to develop my business and my collection creatively.
Who is the girl you design for? Do you have a muse?
The woman I envision wearing my clothes is very confident and has no boundaries. She wants to feel good in her own skin every morning and not only on special occasions. She wants to be able to express her sense of style every hour of every day with no limitations.
Chiara Ferragni of The Blond Salad has been very supportive of your collection, has this helped gain awareness for your brand?
The brand has gained a significant following with international fashion “it” girls. The most important collaboration is that with Chiara Ferragni, one of the most influential personalities in the international fashion world. We have a great collaboration with her and of course this helped to gain awareness of our brand.
As a young designer do you see yourself at an advantage or disadvantage keeping up with new forms of social media and promoting your brand?
Of course at an advantage! I use word of mouth and social media to promote my work. Social networking platforms actually play a vital role especially for young people’s lives.
Prints are a fundamental part of your collection. For many, prints require a personal or emotional connection. Is it like that for you? Where do you collect inspiration?
Prints are a signature characteristic of our collections. The brand has exclusively developed our own iconic prints, and since 2015 we have been collaborating with the very talented print maker, CALLA, on a series of unique prints for our collections. For all of my prints there is of course an emotional and a personal connection.
Have you ever looked at production outside of Greece? Aside from being you own turf what have been the advantages to producing in Greece?
No! All of our products are produced and manufactured exclusively in Greece. The brand prides itself on the use of unique Greek silk printing savoir-faire and its support of small scale, family-owned local manufacturing. The techniques employed reflect hand-made precision and attention to detail.
In what way are you most fulfilled by being a designer?
Fashion is a form of art. I really like the idea that you can become someone else depending on what you are wearing. I see clothing as an interpretation, a transformation.
I love that I can be creative every day. There are no limits to where a design can take me.