The face behind the brand The Artians is Konstantina Kampisopoulou, Greek interior architect, and fashion designer. The Artians by Konstantina attempts to reinvent the wardrobe of modern women, using rich color patterns, elements from all kind of arts, Greek symbols, and ornate traditional Greek embroideries.
What is the concept behind The Artians? How did this brand come to life?
The concept of The Artians by Konstantina is to open a spectrum for possibility, to filter beauty found in all kind of arts through design and creating real-life art in prints and cuts of clothing that define feminine, elegant and innovative garments. Our brand was born during Greek recession when the passion for work and creativeness was even stronger and followed by the strong power of will to search for beauty and inspiration thus honoring our "Greek heritage".
How did you come to understand that you wanted to pursue a career as a designer?
Both my grandmothers were ‘designers’ at their time, both being successful as dressmakers and innovators. Being part of this large family, I was always inspired by clothes and the special attention given to fine craftsmanship. My adolescence was completely dedicated to art and painting, and later I followed a career in interior designing and architecture. However, since my big love was always fashion, I finally turned to it, determined to create a fashion brand that could intermingle art with fashion.
In your designs, you use rich color patterns, elements from all kind of arts, as well as Greek symbols. How do you combine all these different elements?
Having grown up in Greece, a country of so much light and color, a country where art and ancestry in art and architecture is mixed with the contemporary creating a unique art puzzle, it seems natural to me to be able to bring together symbols and art elements of all kinds. My sources of inspiration are countless, sometimes only being the sea breeze or a walk at the Acropolis.
What is the process behind your divine printed clothing garments?
It all starts with the unique prints created by me for each collection’s project. This is the most exciting procedure for me and is a product of much thought and research. The symbols and patterns then find a magical way to enter my digital ‘canvas’ . They are always redesigned by hand and then transform into digital. The matching of the print to the design comes next bringing together the final product.
Do you believe that there is a close interplay between art and fashion?
Over the last years more and more important artists collaborate with fashion brands. Even though there is a conflict between art and fashion; the first being the desire to create something timeless and focusing on the permanence of the soul, whereas the second complying to the contemporary and seasonal.
However, I believe we cannot ignore art when it is all around us and it’s a path of constant inspiration that will never let us down. It’s up to the consumer to decide. The one certain thing is that we must approach the arts with humbleness and respect.
What is your signature style?
The Signature style of Konstantina is the exclusively printed luxurious clothing bearing a visual language in order to be desirable and flattering; creating something innovative and something that women will appreciate for its intelligent design aesthetic as well as its function.
You’ve stated in the past that fashion acts as a major symbolic system that communicates meanings about our identity and social relationships. Could you tell us a little bit more?
In all cultures and times, fashion has been showing the identity, political and social situation or just the status of each individual.
Different clothing was worn by priests, women of different backgrounds even from ancient Minoan civilization. The use of art elements was already present to decorate clothing for the highly privileged of the palace to separate them from the mass. Symbols were used in ancient Egypt in the same way, as well.
Traditional Greek tribal costumes of the early 1900s, that are a constant inspiration for me, as karangouna’s costume of central Karditsa, were costumes made to define proudly a woman’s identity in different stages and occasions of her life. Whether to declare she is married or to be, a widow, or a person of high society.
I keep finding that intriguing in a way of thinking. Clothing should still declare who we truly are, our sexual identity, what our personal aesthetics and style are, emphasizing the uniqueness of each individual, our professional background or even our character, even if that means going against the stream called fashion trends in order to retain our personal individuality.
How do you approach your dreams through your fashion brand?
There are the dreams we hope to approach that usually are distant and sometimes unapproachable. On the other hand, there are the dreams we are living at the present.
I am happy that I have achieved doing the work I always wanted to do. Being creative and resourceful is essential to me and finding acceptance and recognition in the fashion market is already a dream come true.
I do hope however that with hard work and persistence I may even come close to the more distant ones.
Interview by Vasia Fragkou
Find out more about The Artians by Konstantina: