The Fashion Folk S03 ep9 : Lakis Gavalas, Gavalas Fashion, [Athens]

Interview with Lakis Gavalas

Fashion is not Lakis Gavalas’ first choice in life. He was born in 1957 and comes from a wealthy family from Piraeus. His father was the owner of a marble processing factory and the little Apostolakis (this is his real name) is a graduate of the Greek-French School. The designer told for Athens Magazine that his first job was at age of 17 at a furrier who made school bags in the area of Monastiraki. There, he demonstrated his talent in fashion for the first time as he managed to make a few state-of-the-art bags for that time. According to him, these bags were very successful. He went to Italy as a dancer at the age 20 and started working in the Italian television RAI. He discovered the world of fashion there and became fashion shows choreographer first. His more creative collaboration with Italian designers began when he was 27 and at the age of 29 he returned to Greece with the idea to open a shop on the island of Rhodes, which at that time was still a free zone and all luxury goods would be imported duty free. Later, his commercial network started growing, and then he created his own brand of apparels .LAK, although he does not like to be called a designer.


So Lakis Gavalas is a kid, is an adult, is an artist and is a crazy person. Create fashion for a country
which when I first arrived 30 years ago was something unknown as a word.

Mr Jean Louis Dumas from Hermes approved my first changing model of a Kelly tradition and
Kelly bag which he liked very much and that’s why today in the brand Hermes my name is on their
design list with this Kelly Lakis bag.

I born in Piraeus in Greece and I grew up in Piraeus until I moved to our summer places which was
Kifistia and De… which was the northern part of Athens. Then I was not so good at school but I
was so good with my because of my way of moving because I used to dance at home, then I went
to school and I danced professionally ballets in Greece … axopoulous and Silinos.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

And then one summer somebody from Rome scouting dancers and they chose me from the whole
Greece after being coming even from Spain to Greece they choose me like the Mediterranean
dancer. So I went to Rome and I stay in …working for the ballet, Italian ballet … at that time. That
was 1971.

Of course it was strange first of all for my parents and then for everybody else because … was a
very hysterical person moving like no grace, I thought should be better to perfection my movement
and my way of behaving by having dance you know and that is what everybody said to me that I
have to follow artistic way in my life, like the dancing and then the fashion.

When I was going to prepare the costumes from Sunday to Sunday for the Sunday show, I had to
go to the archives, they modify all the kind of clothes of the other shows they had before all the
Sartori isle they were talking to me because they said if we should do like that it would do this then
they start on this then, they have a feeling and a taste on fashion.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

After that I went away and I said to my choreographist four big designers like was Toussadi, Cr…,
Armani at that time because at that time they used to make with movement the shows the p…

There I was saying also to the designers to Toussadi I remember very well because he was very
friendly with me, I said to him, if we should do it larger, shorter or longer should be much more
graceful, so he said to me oh, wow, why don’t you come to work for with me and then like that I
start to meet everybody but then I went to France, I was working with many people from there
ready to wear in French with Jewish people which I love extremely because they were showing me
how to make money and how to maintain to make money constantly without being a mafia so I
had a very good school there up there.

Then I came back much more mature and then all of them they said to me, … Mundaly’s her
name, Toussardi they said why don’t you want to represent us in Greece so that’s it how I came
back to Greece, my parents they were waiting for me, they invest my first steps on the commercial
part of my life and even if I had a lot of … of many people because there was something strange
and something very new, that makes me stronger so much as to come today to be what I am.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

You must know T… Toussardi, M… everybody, I still bring everybody there are, even if with who
I am not working they are all my friends, they come to Mikanos to my home to here and there but
I’m very friendly, very open and very democratic you know. I’m not thinking that I’m going to
change the world but I want to remain in the world as somebody as a little thing.

Greece has a lot of talents and what I suggesting by seeing me and doing this thing they try to
follow and I am very happy about that and really they can have wonderful shows that even the
foreign press talks very well for them.

UK Fashion Week I am not involved, I have my own shows a part of the Greek Fashion Week and
this is why because there, all those people of course they are my kids because I know them since
very young and when I went for the first time just to make the sponsors to come and give
sponsoring because my name is very big in Greece, actually I am a celebrity as they saying I love
that but you know celebrity without producing is not a celebrity you know and so when I went into
the thing I see that all the press they were talking about me just said what for I should steal away
thing from those guys which anyway I was not going to distribute or doing anything with that I was
only going just participate to the celebration. So then I went off, I don’t have anything with the
fashion week, then … to come with a foreign press and have those guys with a lot of them they are
really very talented.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

But I like sometimes to have the how you call the stick of somebody whose had a whip yes, you do
this, you didn’t do it very well, I like this thing to be saying to myself because otherwise the
fashion says to me Lakis you do it so fantastically, you are the best, you are this, I’m fed up to
listen you are the best, I don’t want to be the best because that means I’m finished. Tomorrow if
I’m the best I don’t have anything else to do.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Lakis Gavalas, Gavalas Fashion, Athens