Mareva Grabowski and Dimitra Kolotoura of Zeus + Dione, talk exclusively to Delood regarding their lifestyle brand. Zeus + Dione started as a fashion brand amidst the severe economic crisis in Greece and has now become a worldwide known Lifestyle brand that unites Hellenic heritage, traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design elements.
Having acquired important business skills from their previous careers, Mareva in banking and asset management and Dimitra in travel and tourism communications, the entrepreneurial duo seized the opportunity yhe bad economy had to offer and found the courage to create something spectacular.
The Zeus + Dione brand is one that combines Greek craftsmanship, raw materials, heritage as well as culture and aesthetics into creating a luxurious lifestyle brand that is in its full Made in Greece.
Zeus+Δione is in the process of putting together a foundation that will allow older women to teach younger men and women the traditional techniques and allow the heritage to continue. This way Zeus+Δione will not only contribute in creating jobs for the economy but will also help conserving and continuing a tradition that is a source of life for today and the future.
How did you get started?
It was an on the spot decision in the midst of the economic crisis. Actually, it was a romantic exercise that proved successful… We embarked on a year-long quest, dipping in and out of workshops, finding the finest craft-makers in the country and, ultimately, decided to start working with a few small, family oriented workshops known for their expertise in silk, leather or yarn.
What does the Zeus + Δione brand stand for?
Zeus + Δione is a lifestyle brand with the ultimate goal of proposing a pure, simple, authentic way of living. Combining our aesthetics with the high quality of what we produce in Greece, we return to what Greeks used to stand for and that is... less is more.
How would you describe your last collection?
Zeus + Δione Resort 2015 collection “Framed Environments” focuses on the frame, the panel, which serves as the ultimate form, “severe” and structured but at the same time inspiring and liberating. In this collection, geometrical patterns flirt with natural textures such as silk, linen and cotton. The color palette, dominated mostly by black and white shapes, is interrupted by glimpses of light in beetroot or turquoise, encompassing the essence of the Greek summer.
What fabrics and materials do you like working with the most?
The most common fabric we work with is the fabric that is produced in our country -at the little town of Soufli, silk. We are very proud of the quality of the silk we use and the fact that we weave it as we wish, as well as dying and printing it!
Can you tell me a bit about your design process, from concept to completion?
We are three people involved in this creative procedure, Mareva, Dimitra and Lydia Vousvouni, our designer. Each one of us proposes a concept – of which the strongest idea goes ahead. We suggest the size, how big the collection should be and the next step would be to check and approve designs. We match fabrics to designs and we bring along the other designing teams that work on shoes, accessories and jewelry. A series of fittings take place and then we form the final pieces for the collection which is ready to travel to Paris for our buyers!
Do you follow trends as designers?
We don't follow trends as such. We have a very strong identity that leads us towards different paths of what is supposed to be "trendy". One collection we decide to concentrate on pleats and the next collection into fluid forms and earthy colors.
What are your future career goals and plans?
We aim to put all our energy and time in making Zeus+Δione a global lifestyle brand.
Can luxury and simplicity excite?
The sophistication of a simple item that has been made with care and crafted with expertise is the most luxurious item someone can discover!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
We get our inspiration from the magnificent light of our country, the stones, the sea, the landscape, the simplicity of a temple and the glorious traditional folklore costumes.
In your opinion, which designer has the greatest influence on the modern fashion industry?
That is a hard question to answer as there is great diversity of influences but amongst the strongest we would say is Dries Van Noten as he penetrates deep into his cultural concepts and thus brings heritage techniques to a modern ground that is then minimalized and used as an inspiration to all design sectors. Also, we love Phoebe Philo and Raf Simons who have the most authentic modern aesthetic and a vision that sees beyond the present.
Which is your favourite museum or art gallery?
Tate Modern is one of our favorites because it holds spectacular collections of international artists of modern and contemporary art. Also the Louvre museum is our favorite not only for its world renowned collections of antiquities paintings and sculptures but also of the magnificent historical monument... Nice of Samothrace and Venus of Milos are amongst Louvre’s most important collections. However, we are very proud of our own Acropolis Museum which is a place that we visit very often and get inspiration from as well.
Can you buy style if you have the money and the intelligence?
Style is something that comes from within. Style is the way someone stands, the way someone talks or eats... It is the personality that reflects style... Simple things show someone's style and it definitely cannot be bought.