The ingenious fashion designer who reached the top of the Fashion Industry
Mary Katrantzou is a Greek fashion designer, internationally recognized for her talent and ingenuity. From time to time, she has received comments from Vogue magazine, she has won fashion awards such as that of British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent (2011) and the Designer of the Year Award (2012) by Elle magazine. Her inexhaustible source of talent and her hard work led her to success, having managed to enter the international fashion industry and to dominate, restore prints and redefine the fashion industry with her aesthetics. Its unique creations have reached the White House and has collaborated with the largest companies such as Victoria Secret, Longchamp, Adidas and others.
She was born in Athens in January 1983 her talent and aesthetics were somehow inherited from her mother who is a well-known interior designer and her father who involves with textiles, also having a glorious past, as his family was the one who “marked” the sports shoes in Greece, with the brand “SPORTEX”.
In 2003, she moved to the States to study architecture at Rhode School of Design but later she transferred to Central Saint Martins College Art and Design (London) where she completed her bachelor’s degree (2005) and her Master’s degree (2008).
Mary Katrantzou with her mother.
In 2005, she graduated from college and switched her focus from print for interiors to fashion prints. The first “opening” of her career was in 2008, at the graduation show of Saint Martin’s, where she presented her first creations, focusing on the prints of oversized jewels on fancy dresses, which created the illusion that they wore giant accessories would be very heavy in reality.
Her collection received a nomination for the Professional Award L’Oreal and Harrods, while at the same time she made her debut in London Fashion Week, where she impressed the public and the fashion magazines.
Katrantzou’s first ready-to-wear collection debuted at London Fashion Week in February 2009, with the support of the British Fashion Council and New Gen scheme supported the designer for 6 season (from Spring-Summer 2009 to Autumn-Winter 2011). Despite the small collection with just nine dresses, Katrantzou has picked up 15 stockists, including Browns, Joyce and Colette. “I didn’t even put prices on clothes, it was the first time I wasn’t prepared for that,” she said in an interview.
A collection for Topshop was presented at the Fashion Week of London in autumn / winter 2010 and was available in stores in February 2011 while the clothes were sold out within the first few days of their release.
The first distinction award was not long to come in 2010 was awarded the Swiss Textiles Award in Zurich, succeeded Alexander Wang.
Swiss Textiles Award
A few years later, one of the largest sports companies approached Mary Katrantzou and asked her for cooperation. The year 2014 was the year when the designer left for a while the armored style dresses and in collaboration with Adidas they made a sport collection of sports and accessories with the designer’s signature.
Mary Katrantzou dared stick her head above the fashion parapet and show a little rack of trompe l’oeil shift dresses with digitally printed jewelry on the front. Against all the odds in that gloom-laden economic climate, international buyers smiled on her collection, and her risk paid off has written on English Vogue.
“When I started, the prints in the fashion industry were specific. People wore floral or geometric shapes, but they were not used to “wear” a bottle of perfume, for example,” she said in an interview.
In September 2018, Mary Katranzou celebrated her 10-year burst onto the fashion scene with a special show at London Fashion Week.
“These ten years were difficult, but they gave me a wonderful journey of creation. There are moments that I will hardly forget, like when the famous Paris boutique “Colette” came out of my outfit, i was in love with this boutique since I was a kid. After ten years of work I feel more liberated and more confident about myself. I feel lucky because i do what i love the most ” said at the night of the Show.
The models wore the creations of the designer or otherwise the “artworks” as characterized by the English press, and in combination with the imposing and pompous musical investment of the Greek composer of internationally renowned Vangeli, created an atmosphere that transfered the audience into the unique world of the designer.
She has Greece in her heart, this is obvious in her designs, but also in the professional partnerships she chooses to make.
Recently she designed the costumes of a dance performance by the award-winning British choreographer Russell Malfant, in the music of the Greek composer Vangeli.
This show presents the Greek traditional dance through the artist’s contemporary look and in combination with the colorful costumes of the designer, the audience automatically travels to the Greek culture.
Her ten-year presence in fashion has many successes, her clothes and delicate fabrics have been worn by the ex America’s first lady, Michelle Obama, and the current first lady Melania Trump. The artistic world and Hollywood in particular adore the dresses of the Greek designer, stars like Beyonce, Adele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cate Blanchett are obsessed with her.
She chooses always to wear black clothes and almost never her own creations.
“I think there are two types of designers: those who wear their own clothes and become an advocate for their brand, and those who dress in monochrome to shift the focus away from themselves and on to their work. I’m definitely the latter” said at an interview.
Her collections are now sold in over 200 fashion shops, including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Colette, 10 Corso Como, Joyce, Luisa via roma, Mytheresa, Hiphunters, Stylebop, Opening Ceremony and Net a Porter and in 47 countries.
The last significant collaboration of the designer is with the American company Victoria Secret. “The beauty of this collection lies in the duality of objects. The pieces can be worn as underwear or as normal clothes, so all fabrics have a double purpose, “she said in an interview.
Although she is only 35 years old she got to the top of fashion industry in a very short time, leaving her own personal stamp in the world of fashion.
Mary Katranzou is a genius young woman who, with her talent and hard work, has achieved. She is an inspiration for the new generations of Greek designers (and not only), since she dared and succeeded. She shares a bit of her colorful inner world through her creations carrying and bringing Greece across the world.