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Mary Katrantzou: success has made me bolder

27 November 2012 / 00:11:44  GRReporter
5121 reads

Victoria Mindova 

The name of Mary Katrantzou is a world famous brand for designer clothes. Among the fans of this label are Claudia Schiffer, Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce, Keira Knightley, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna and a whole range of other film stars and celebrities. That name belongs to a young girl from Greece, who through hard work has turned her fantasy into a fashion sensation. It seems that the success she has achieved will be following her in the future as well.

According to the British Vouge, Katrantzou is "the Leonardo of Photoshop". With her first collection in 2008, she captured the attention of critics with the bold digital prints she herself had created. Digital print proved to be a risky decision at a time when the minimalist sentiment was still prevailing in fashion. The structure of the clothing, the precise make and the individuality of the collection appear to be the secret of success.

GRReporter had the chance to meet personally with Mary Katrantzou during one of her short visits to Athens. We wanted to know more about her, her work and how an ordinary girl who is not yet thirty can conquer the world's catwalks, not as a model but as a designer. Her idea of ​​a career was quite different in the beginning. Mary began her education in architecture.

Her love for colours made her attend a three-month course held in the world famous Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. There she realized that she wanted to occupy herself with fashion professionally, wanted to have her own brand, and was ready to put all her efforts and hard work into achieving this. Her background as an architect allowed her to understand very quickly the essence of design a garment as a three-dimensional creation.

She carried out bold experiments that proved successful enough not only to impress the critics, but also to gain real customers. She was declared a young talent and this year, she was nominated for Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. Currently, over 260 shops in different parts of the world are selling the models of her original collections. Katrantzou collaborates with the Topshop supply chain, for which she remakes her haute couture collection for a high street collection and she makes accessories for the French Longchamp too.

Her inspirations come from the most ordinary things. In previous seasons, we saw dresses inspired by the yellow pencils with pink rubbers or a print of an old typewriter playing a central role. Spring 2013 presents how stamps and banknotes can become elegant prints of sheer dresses bearing the romanticism and ease of the Mediterranean, but the elegance of the French Riviera as well.

It turned out that Mary’s family had a direct connection with Bulgaria. Their roots come from an old Greek family that lived in Plovdiv and later in Sofia. The Katrantzou family returned to Greece in the 1920s.

Mary Katrantzou fascinated us with her ease, sincerity and nice personality. In almost all of her public appearances, she is always dressed in black, which is in a sharp contrast to the fashion aesthetics she has developed herself. Vibrant colours, bold prints and precise asymmetry, which sink into the mind, prevail in her collections. Here's her story:

About hesitations

Success is a relative conception. I do not think that it has made me more confident. Maybe it makes me a little bolder. In other words, I believe in what I do. If I have an idea and I believe in it, I will do whatever I can to make it happen. I do not yet believe that I am ready for the next big step, but because I had proven to myself in the past that I can handle it, I continue to make efforts.


In London, you can start working as soon as you get your diploma. The platform they provide to show your work (London Fashion Week) and the financial aid you can get is crucial. The British Fashion Council (BFC) helps spread our work. Real customers come and see what you can do.

Some things that would have taken five years to achieve, took me only a year. What helped me was that I started to sell very quickly. So, my team grew as well. My responsibility is much greater because 25 people depend on my work.

The support of organizations such as London Fashion Week is crucial for a young designer. The fact that you are part of such an event, of the new generation of designers and have been approved to participate in this event in itself helps you. Even if the audience do not like it, it will pay attention to it. My first collection was difficult, because I relied mainly on the prints when they were not fashionable. If I had come out with the same collection in Greece, most likely no one would have paid any attention to me.

I started in a period of minimalism when nobody wanted to wear strong bright prints. To understand these aesthetics, you need the support of world-renowned names in fashion.

A turning point in her career

Tags: FashionMary KatrantzouCollectionPrintsDigital print
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