While most of the high-end fashion boutiques are closing due to the economic crisis, small fashion concept stores spring up in Athenian neighborhoods and suggest something alternative.
ATHENS, Greece - Back in 2008, when the financial crisis broke out, very expensive boutiques began to close one after another. Those stores were offering apparel from the best fashion houses in the world, and for the Greek women who wanted to show their social status through their clothes and accessories, those boutiques were their means for succeeding in their goal.
Today, the social and financial standards have changed, and so have the "goals" of the Greek women. The Greek fashion industry has some excellent examples to brag about, and the concept of the fashion stores has changed a lot. Visiting a fashion store gives someone the opportunity not only to shop apparel but also enjoy a cup of coffee with friends. Above there are three fashion concept stores that have changed the Athenian fashion scenery.
At the larger European capitals, some neighborhoods bear a very distinct air of style. Small shopping districts are usually bursting of sociability. Those neighborhoods envied Annousa Mela, the owner of Anamesa, when she was traveling abroad and was wondering why there any in her city. She attended her studies in Philosophical School, but she knew that the fashion and beauty sector is where her passion lies. She has worked for Greek fashion magazines as a journalist, but she couldn't express her point of view through them. She initiates a fashion blog "MyStyleForcast" where she writes about fashion and her thoughts on it.
One day, while she was strolling around with her kids, she looked down in an apartment block, and she saw a very interesting place where she could create a room for fashion workshops. Anamesa (Between) was born. "It was the place where fashion and beauty could be brought together under the urban aesthetic I was looking for.", says Annousa. Anamesa is located fifteen stairs down on the sidewalk of a classic architecture Athenian building, and for someone to get inside is a big decision.
The collections of the urban aesthetic clothing are kept changing, and there are never the same. Customers could also find menswear and kidswear. Recently, Annousa bought the next door store and converted it into a cafe since there were a lot of people who wanted to sit, have a coffee and chat with her. "Besides, fashion is a silent dialogue, and we decided to make it a regular one," she claims. In addition to clothing and the coffee, there is a big section of books and press releases, rare editions that she can find due to her job. MAC's press releases about next season's trends are the most wanted. Because nowadays, "you have to approach fashion in a holistic way,” says Annousa and many customers agree with her.
"It's one of my most favorite places in Halandri neighborhood. It has taste, a unique style, and adores the beautiful stuff. A "hand-made" multiplex combining one-of-a-kind aesthetics of a refined cafe-bar with Greek fashion designers' creations and jewelry," says Evdokia, a radio producer at Avopolis Radio and a regular customer of 7th Thought.
At one of the most central streets of Halandri, a northern suburb of Athens, there is a place where someone can drink the most exclusive origins of tea, eat homemade pies and shop clothing from young talented Greek fashion designers. Furthermore, customers can bring their pet with them since the store is pet-friendly. Korina Zervaki was working as a journalist since 2012 when she decided to launch her dream place, in a rather difficult conjuncture and went against the laws of inertia.
"I wanted to create an environment which combines different pleasures, coffee, a sweet, a unique garment. Various things that will make you feel good and have fun. Meanwhile, I wanted to feel comfortable, feel like home. In a few words, come as you are!," says Korina. At 7th Thought except for the free press magazines and newspapers that are available, there is also a lending library with books worth reading.
220 Concept Store Athens, A Reception Point of New Ideas
220 Concept Store Athens is not just a new fashion store. It's a new space where Greek fashion designers can show their creations, and also it's a welcome place where creative people can express their ideas not only about fashion itself but also about whatever has to do with the fashion world.
In May 2016, Konstantina Alveratsidou, an architect and the designer of the cocoandsilk clothing brand, decided to launch this avant-garde space for Greek fashion design at a northern suburb of Athens, Neo Psychiko. Alveratsidou's favorite fashion designer is Yohji Yamamoto, and someone can spot this influence at her store's interior design.
"I like the minimal style and neutral colors. I love the serenity and the balance, you'll rarely see me in a "cried out" outfit," says Konstantina. The store is literally bathed by the sunlight while mainstream music works as the perfect soundtrack for making the shopping a pleasant experience. The human presence is discreet but always willing to help the customer.