Athenswears discovered Stathis Samantas, another emerging designer who is very passionate about shoes. He is young, talented and with a sexy and cheeky sense of humor which he implements into his designs.
- Stathis, tell us about you and your background.
I studied industrial design in Athens. I chose this subject because I think it's a broad design course. I participated at the 12th Biennale for Young Artists in 2005 in Naples, Italy where I represented Greece. It was a great experience and I had the chance to meet young designers and artists from other countries, talk about our work and our future plans and how easy or difficult is to achieve our goals in our countries or even abroad.
At the Biennale, I participated at a fashion show where I had the chance, along with many other designers, to show my creations. I was designing shoes while I was still in college. I love designing shoes and I think that it speaks to my psyche.
-Where do you find your inspiration and who would you consider your "muse"?
Inspiration is something complicated. I can't specify a source of inspiration because sometimes ideas rush into my mind. Usually I find inspiration from things that have nothing to do with fashion or design.
But there is one inviolate rule. Shoes must give women the feeling of looking sexy. So they have the privilege and the pleasure of letting other people having their own fantasies. That woman could be my muse...
-What kind of materials, colors, textures do you enjoy working with and what is the main theme of your creations?
I like to combine controversial materials in my shoes. I prefer metallic and dark colors like the combination of black and blue color which is my favorite. I avoid using rhinestones or fake decorative materials because I think that makes shoes look indifferent! I think the main theme of my creations is Sex. I don't know if I will have a different point of view in the future and I don't know if I should think about it now... When I sketch a shoe I'm always thinking of how it would look on a woman and if she would look sexy on these heels with the shoe's materials embracing her foot.
-What are your immediate and long term plans for the future?
I would like people to understand my point of view my philosophy behind wearing a pair of shoes. It's not something simple. Shoes can help you look devine or they can destroy the whole outfit...
-Do you collaborate in any way with other designers?
I would like to do my own work. But there are a few Greek designers that I love their work and it would be very interesting to collaborate with them like for example, Aggelos Frentzos and Deux Hommes.
-What do you think about the design & fashion scene in Greece nowdays?
I think that there are many great talents in this country but it's very difficult to do something here. Greece has nothing important to offer to the fashion world. It's not the 60's - 70's anymore where Greece had a very strong impact in fashion design worldwide. I hope the situation will get better in the future but I am not too optimistic and this is very dissapointing for new designers.
-Let us know the best and worst part of being working for yourself?
The challenge to avoid copying yourself.
-If you could mention one thing that would promote independant designers, both to the Greek retail customer and to international buyers, what would that be in your opinion?
I think that the Greek customer needs to be treated differently than the international one. There is a difference in the mentality. There isn't one thing that could work for both sides. But I believe that there is something the Greek state should do to promote Greek designers abroad. The basic problem is financial. Many designers can't afford to sponsor themselves to show their work abroad. Greek state could give grants and companies could sponsor the designers and help them do something internationally. It's all about money and organisation. Over the last two yearsm we have seen a few minor changes. Greek designers are working together to promote their work at exhibitions in Europe and this is a very good start.
-Please mention where someone can find your designs and if your product can be found internationally. Any info you wish to share...
Well, everything is under construction at the moment, like my website and several deals with retail shops. There is a website where you can get just an idea about my work but it's not representative. I'm working with special custom orders at the moment.