We met Elena Athanasiou (and her sweet parents) at their workshop in Ampelokipoi, Thessaloniki, last week. We first came in contact with her work, some months ago, and we really wanted to meet her in person and interview her for Stylishly Beautiful. She welcomed us to her workshop, where she gave us the tour of her space, and informed us about her handmade leather bags which she creates with the help of her parents who have a big experience in the field. Elena started her personal collection of handmade bags in the past 3 years, but you can already see clearly how talented she is. Apart from that she’s the sweetest person you can meet, and we’re sure that she has a bright future in front of her. So, let’s meet her through the interview she gave us.
1) Stylishly Beautiful Team (from now on SBT): Tell us a few things about yourself.
I was born and raised in Thessaloniki. Ive been in the field of fashion, and more specifically in the field of women’s bags, from a very young age, due to our family business. For the past 3 years, I work on my personal collections, which I design and fabricate.
2) SBT: What initiated the creation of Elena Athanasiou exclusive bags?
I started doodling my first designs in winter of 2011, while I was at the traditional workshop of my family, in Thessaloniki, which operates since 1992. The truth is that things went relatively quickly from there, since my first Elena Athanasiou Bag was sold in January 2012.
I mostly work with 100% genuine leather from Spain.
4) SBT: What inspired your own creations?
Inspiration comes from the simplest, everyday stimuli, which could be a painting or a quick glimpse through the car window while driving through the center of the city.
5) SBT: Are you influenced by the fashion trends in creating one of your own designs, or are you based exclusively on your own inspiration?
Fashion is definitely something that influences us all, more or less. But I’m always trying to make my creations timeless, so they can last much more than one or two seasons.
6) SBT: How time consuming is the creation of a bag?
The process has the following stages: Design, Pattern, Sample Final Product. There is no particular timeframe in the creation of a bag. Each bag, can stall you more or less than another one, in each of these stages.
7) SBT: Which is your most favorite piece, among those you’ve designed so far?
I don’t have a favorite piece, but I do have a favorite series, and that is «vacchetta».
8) SBT: Which are your future plans/dreams?
After establishing my brand in my own city, Thessaloniki, I would like to open up an Elena Athanasiou Bags store in Athens.
9) SBT: Tell us a few things you’d like us to know about you and your bags…
There are certain collections that I present every 3 months, but what makes us special is that we can intervene many times at the first stages of our collections, and create bags that are close to the taste and the aesthetics of each of our clients. We can customize the bags by changing the straps (long or short), the color (many options), the inside of the bag (with or without a lining), the outside (with nickel, gold or without any metallics) or anywhere else, according to the order of our clients. So everyone can create the bag of their dreams, based on our collections.
10) SBT: Where can we find the Elena Athanasiou exclusive bags?
You can find them at our workshop: Eleutherias 52, Ampelokipoi, Thessaloniki. Tel. 2310 742 968. On our site: www.elenaathanasioubags.gr. On Instagram athanasiouelena, and on our Facebook page: Elena Athanasiou Exclusive Bags.
All the other photos: © StylishlyBeautiful.com