The Fashion Folk S02 ep13 : Kathy Haendels, Yiannis Tongos, [State]

Interview with Kathy Haendels

Haendel's haute couture and designs grace the hips of the well-heeled Athenians and have found their way to the Middle East and Abroad.


What is Kathy Haendels?

Haendels: My mother.

Haendels: Kathy Haendels in Greece is a brand name and a maison of haut couture since 1983 and
actually we have now in Athens four shops who are exporting … all over the world. Is one of the
most known brands in Greece for weddings, for cocktail dresses and well, it’s well known.

Haendels: Of course Kathy Haendels you know it’s my mother but actually when she was really
working now she’s still with us and we are very happy for that, but when she was designing and
working, she had a very feminine line and we kept this spirit of making clothes the woman should
be very, very beautiful, very sexy, and very elegant. So this is what Kathy Haendels makes designs
dresses all over this year.

Haendels: I studied in Belgium Brussels political and economical science, but I prefer the job of
fashion designer and actually I think it was a good choice.

Haendels: Well she needs some assistance in the economics and the you know and the account,
commercial side and everything and then when I start I like also make the designs, I make also the
commercial part and well now I’m doing most everything.

Haendels: I have a team of design and pattern and I’m working with this team very hard to make
new dresses, new designs, new concept, new cuts and everything and well actually we create
around 500 items every year.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Haendels: When you have a brand, first of all the first thing before the commercial, before the
marketing, before everything is the product. You have to have a good product in your hands. Well
designed, well sewn, well finished everything. So I have to be involved in the steps of the job so I
finally, I like to do everything, as you know so I’m sure that our product will you like or you don’t
like that’s another question, but at least it’s well done and you know every six months we present a
new collection, it’s something like you know having exams.

Where do you get your cues?

Haendels: Everyday life and what a woman needs. We have a lot of friends, we discuss, we hear,
you see and of all these things that you have in mind, you choose a theme and you create. Now
next summer and next winter collection is a little bit ba… a little dr… and we name that God Save
The Queen from the song you know, it’s a play, it’s a play between reality, between the things that
a woman needs and a little bit of fantasy, a little bit of story and fashion is not something very
stable, something very real, it’s not only real, it’s also fantasy.

Haendels: At the beginning it was very difficult, fights, things you know but now she’s very, very
glad that what we are doing. My mother was doing more haut couture we are doing now haut
couture and prêt a porte because actually it’s very expensive make only couture and it’s only for a
few people and only for wedding dresses and it’s not for I say everyday use, an haut couture dress,
so that’s why we had to create a big prêt a porte line, very strong, to keep the name, to keep the
brand and to sell dresses because actually otherwise, no work.

Haendels: We have on the second and the third floor the atelier of making all the sketches, the …
and the first designs and all these things.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Haendels: We are looking for material and material that we can cut and make cuts on it of course,
and then we choose the materials and then we design and then we choose the accessories to finish
the dress and that’s how it works.

Haendels: Three or four years ago we create the Greek Chamber of Designers and now I’m Vice
President of this Chamber and you know we make a great job because it was a Greek fashion week
twice a year, 35, 40 designers had the opportunity to show to the people their work, their dresses
and their imagination and everything and it was a great, great step for Greek fashion actually and
of course, during this period of three or four years now, good designers get better and better and
they make very, very, very big steps of progress.


Jewellery Theatre Elements

Haendels: When you are alone in your island you think you’re the best one of the world. When you
are in competition, you have to prove that. That’s a good thing to be getting improve in your work.

Haendels: I think that Marilyn Monroe’s she’s past, she’s over I think. This kind of beauty, she’s
very beautiful actually but I think it’s not what we feel as beautiful. Angelina she’s a sex symbol
actually that most of the women getting as a model of sexy woman.

Haendels: It’s a new silhouette that is coming I believe and the older women are going now to the
gym, getting more you know and a little bit … it’s a very strong publicity of a woman getting
through Angelina Jolie in the mind of the woman.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

Haendels: Three sizes less than it was 20 years ago. Gym, food, not so much, very healthy and
things, like that, they are taking care of their body and now we two, three sizes less.

Haendels: In the last fashion week, not this March, last October, we had imaging design shoes
very, very beautiful designs, but they were not so practical and the girls you know they couldn’t
walk well. We got the shoes just the day of the show, we didn’t have the time to see how it goes
and everything, well we put the shoes on the model and the model could not walk on the catwalk,
so what we did after the first one and second one, we see the difficulties on the television, behind
say well wow, they cannot walk so what we imagine with the stylist make the show was to walk
just to the end of the catwalk and then to take it out and to walk with the shoes on their hands, it
was very funny actually it was very funny because everybody thought that we did that you know
for fun, for styling for fun and you know the show was saved.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Kathy Haendels, Yiannis Tongos, State