The Fashion Folk S03 ep3 : Samantha Sotos, Sotos Fashion, [Athens]
Interview with Samantha Sotos
Sydney born, Athens based "Euralian" designer.
I’m Samantha Sotos and we’re at Athens Fashion Week at Gazi technolopoulis.
I’m a fashion designer who, in my work, I like to merge simple with a twist. I’m originally from
Australia and I’m now living in Greece.
My parents wanted me to, wanted the family to move to Greece and so my sisters actually moved
before me, I moved straight after my HSC, my parents never came so I don’t know what the story
was, ship them back to Greece or something I don’t know, and that’s when I started thinking, what
do I want to do.
At that time this friend was studying at this school called Acto Graphic Design and they had
fashion design and they work in conjunction with Middlesex University in London and that’s how
it all came about.
It was two years in Greece, in Athens, and then two years in London. It was a great base for
learning to design like to know what you’re designing and technically can it happen.
In Australia you’re considered Greek, here you’re Australian so you sort of don’t know where you
After 2004 where we had metro lines and the Ithiki Highway and the airport, it made life a little bit
After I finished in London I worked for Collette Dinnigan for nine months, I went in ’98 October
and I started working in January, I went to as work experience because there wasn’t any job
available and in the afternoon they employed me, they said there was a job for me so it was, I was
an all rounder in production, before the show I was doing her sketches for her sale books.
As a company she was very organised, just everything was blocked, liked you’d have your
production to QC to dispatch to starting the new collection it was just very organised, also seeing
how international she was like in dispatch seeing where she sold to and seeing you know Greece
such a small country I saw how many orders she had and I thought gee there’s a market there.
Her clothes they’re elegant but they’re simple and it’s something that it’s not quite Greek and it
was just encouraging knowing that I too have a simple style that you can make it.
If you want that appeal for Greece you need your crystals you need your prints and I just think they
want to look hot. I think to look hot you have to just show cleavage, more is not enough. Here
women flaunt their femininity and men want that as well.
I mean if you’re going to a wedding on an island you’ll wear flat shoes, you’ll wear even pants,
like a nice loose pant, you don’t need to wear what you would necessarily wear in Athens, but at
the same time you go … which is beachside and again you’ve got people are more flirtatious and
they flaunt more what they wear because it’s a summer lifestyle there.
I know when I went to Paris there’s a confidence in what they wear, they follow fashion but at the
same time they’ve got their natural style.
I found in Italy I remember when I had gone first in ’95, I was so surprised, it was winter and I saw
men wearing black suits, beautiful tans and white shoes and they pulled it off.
In London I find they’re so inventive with their fashion and what I love there is that they dare to
wear. I’m talking about just every person, a student to someone who is not even studying fashion,
people have a say in what they want to wear and they experiment. I think it’s just such a design
When Greeks go overseas they have more of an opportunity to excel because they are given a
system that works. Internationally I don’t think that it’s got the groundwork here for someone to be
discovered or to, I just don’t think you’ve got the resources here.
I came in like mid 90’s but I hear that in the 80’s things boomed, you know whoever had a
business they did really well so they were quite influenced from overseas and in a way that allows
for exposure as well for certain people and so you’ve got Billy Beau who was in the limelight, he
knew the right people, Mikanos for example is an island where each year you’ve got so many
celebrities that come here and have houses so and obviously Greeks as well have houses there so it
becomes a little meeting point so you know there might be five clubs there or two clubs whatever
it is, you’re going to bump into each other so that already starts your networking and I think that
could be just the basis how things start here for people.
My advantage is that I’m from Australia, I work to a program with my work and I’m quite strict
with my work, but you’ve got flexibility here in life and you just sort of expect the unexpected.
You start off planning to do this and then you end up doing something else so and that’s something
that it’s really a lifestyle that I’ve even incorporated into my work because that’s the whole thing
with my work is I want clothes that are from day to night that it’s you know expect the unexpected.
That you will, that you will go out tonight and at least you feel comfortable with what you’re
wearing. So I just feel that that’s what exciting as well about here because you don’t really plan so
you have to fight for things and you have to make things happen so there’s never a dull moment.
My inspiration comes from so many sources, my summer collection it was called Footprints in the
Pacific and it starts with an idea, it could be you know a word, it could be music and then
everything just adds to it so when I start fabric sourcing, colour sourcing, it just all comes together.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Samantha Sotos, Sotos Fashion, Athens