Christina Martini is the designer behind Ancient Greek Sandals. Entirely made by hand in Corfu, the collection focuses on quality, comfort and contemporary designs.
After honing your skills in footwear at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton what inspired to you to focus on flat sandals?
After 13 years away from home I had the urge to come back to my roots. I needed to find a clever way to make this happen because luxury fashion houses don’t exist in Greece (obviously). When I met my business partner Nikolas Minoglou, we had the same idea and dream. Ancient Greece was always an inspiration for me and I felt hand made sandals was something which was missing from the market.
Of course my work and experience in the luxury shoe market has helped a lot. I try to adapt many things I learnt throughout those years and use them for AGS, mostly quality.
How did your upbringing influence your collection?
I used to love Ancient Greek Mythology taught at school. I was always impressed and intrigued when my parents took me to visit archaeological ruins, which as you know are everywhere in Greece.
Are the sandals made from sustainable materials?
The leather used comes from a tannery specializing in natural vegetable tanned leather. They use the most innovative technologies that respect the environment. Most of our leather is chromium free, except for the optic white leather. We also use a natural rubber anti-slip piece under the sole to protect the heel.
What type of shoes do you offer in the Fall?
For the moment we offer sandals for Spring/ Summer and hot climates. We are very seriously thinking about moving into fall shoes such as boots, though this might mean that we will have to adapt our logo and name accordingly….There is still some strategic thinking to do.
How do you plan to expand the collection?
For S/S 13 we have designed a small Men’s collection which we are very excited about. We are also thinking of creating a kid’s collection soon. Bags and small leather goods are also in our future plans.
Will you be adding more colors into the mix?
For S/S we already have 10 colors! Every season we will keep some colors and add some more. Most of our colors are in earthy tones, you won’t find fluo colors here…. at least not yet.
Do you feel less pressure designing at a lower price point? Was that one of your goals?
No, I definitely do not feel less pressure. I find it more refreshing going back to basic structures and techniques. My goal is to see women in the streets wearing the sandals. I want women to be able to afford to buy something they desire.
How would you differentiate the line from K Jacques St. Tropez?
Design wise, we have a lot of different, more elaborate designs, which are mostly inspired from Ancient Greece. Our construction is different, it is less heavy, instead of a heel we have an inner piece between the insole and the sole ensuring comfort. AGS has a raw finish with a feminine aesthetic, we could say that they are more delicate.
Don’t get us wrong I love K Jaques!