We’ve been speaking with young, talented fashion designer Georgia Margariti this week, to find out about her beginnings and how she’s developed her art. This Greek designer has turned heads at the Athens Xclusive Designer Week and looks set for further accolades; here she tells us her views about the fashion industry and has some words of advice for budding designers.
Georgia Margariti was born on the Greek Island of Paros in 1987, which is where her family still resides. She studied Social Theology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University of Thessaloniki and also studied Greek Sign Language – not, perhaps, the most obvious route into a career in fashion design. Yet to be a fashion designer has been a dream of hers since her teenage years and, upon graduating from university, she decided that she would follow that dream.
Currently studying Fashion Design at the renowned Veloudakis Fashion School in Athens, Georgia has already made a name for herself, having featured at the Athens Xclusive Designer Week and in several other design contests. She describes the style represented by her clothing line as ‘minimal, geometric, with clean cuts and patterns’ and her use of bold, block colours are certainly striking, with almost utilitarian lines broken up with intricate and detailed patterns.
Her ideas and talent caught the attention of the press during only her second month at Fashion School. She is certainly one to watch out for, though perhaps not only in the field of clothing creation, since she told us, “I love the idea of inventing new material that I can work with and make clothes of.”
Inspiring an artist
Still very much a resident of Athens, Georgia has undoubtedly been inspired to pursue her chosen career by the styles on display around the city. She describes the city’s sense of style as “multicultural-multi-ethnic… full of different kinds of people expressing themselves through their clothes.”
Beyond that, Georgia (like many designers) has some favourite high-end fashion designers.
“I love the work of Gareth Pugh for his amazing ideas, Yohji Yamamoto for his impressive but also minimalist clothes and last but not least Alexander Wang.” When it comes to buying clothes for herself, Georgia tends to shop around to find just the right pieces to complement her own minimalist, geometric style.
Closer to home, Georgia is inspired by listening to music when she designs, and by some of her great teachers in the Fashion School.
Georgia’s design process
We asked Georgia to try to describe exactly how she goes about creating a new design or collection and how she finds inspiration. A naturally visual person, Georgia told us that anything can act as a stimulus, from the city moving around her to the images she surfs on the internet.
Once something has her attention and sparks her muse, her preference is to draw a quick sketch of her ideas before quickly moving on to the phase of constructing a sample to help her visualise what she wants the final outcome to look like. While becoming inspired and conceiving an idea can take time, actually designing and constructing the piece takes as little as five to seven days – her record, she told us, was just 20 minutes, when she was designing for the Athens Xclusive Designers Week competition!
Creating a fashion shoot or show can take considerably longer, though, since “you have to find the right place, the models have to fit to the concept of the shoot or the show… music is also an important factor in order to give the right feeling of the whole concept… and finally little details such as accessories and footwear play an important role and have to be considered.”
But the design pieces are the central feature in any show or shoot and Georgia makes sure that her clothing is of the finest quality by ensuring that it is tailored to perfection; she buys her fabric from small stores in downtown Athens where she delights in finding hidden fabric treasures on occasion. It is this attention to detail that helps her to create memorable and high-quality pieces of clothing.
The models she prefers to use are ones she chooses herself, rather than simply turning to model agencies. She has been known to approach strangers in the street if she thinks that they have a look about them that would work well with her designs in a shoot or on the catwalk. Her favourite professional models are Gisele Bundchen and new face Cara Delevingne.
Future hopes, aspirations and advice
In the long-term, Georgia says that “I would like to make a difference in my field. To be different from other designers. To have unique ideas and clothes from which people can express themselves.” In the meantime, her energies are currently focused on supporting and promoting her collection in the Athens Xclusive Designers Week and completing her studies at Fashion School.
For others thinking of following in her footsteps, she would offer the following advice: “Hard work is the key. Without it even the best talent can be lost.”
For her, the ‘hard work’ is getting through her Fashion Designers course – in particular, in completing those modules that do not particularly interest her. “What I enjoy the least is when I am assigned tasks in school which are not my thing, for example extended use of colours.” Of course, her designs use a fairly limited palette to meet her minimalist preference, and studying this particular element of design is not something she enjoys – but she knows that it is part of the larger picture and must be endured!
As well as hard work, she believes that “character plays an important factor in order to be successful. You have to be humble, keep a low profile and always try to work hard and try to evolve.” A large part of her character is her perfectionism – she has a real drive to attend to every detail to make her designs, shoots and shows perfect.
If you would like to follow Georgia, she does not currently have a blog but can be found on her Facebook page (G. Margariti).