Sunday, January 27, 2013

Interview with Vlassis Holevas – Greece into Fashion

F: Vlassis you are an ambitious fashion designer. How come you chose this sector?
V: Creating in general is something that always fascinates me in every form. Creating through designing clothes and shoes that women wear is particularly intriguing because you give life to otherwise simple materials transforming them into wearable objects of desire that make women feel happy, confident, sexy and look beautiful.
There is nothing better than a client telling you how good it made her feel by wearing one of your designs.
Fashion gives you the chance to be creative but also is a huge industry and it is unique how those two opposite meanings come together. 

F: Tell us some words about your career and your work?
V: My work is a never ending search for new forms, ideas and development of new styles. After creating clothes for major events in Greece I participated twice at the New York Fashion Week.  
That was the beginning of a successful three years stay in The United States.  I dressed actresses at The Oscars, The Cannes Film Festival, The Berlin Film Festival and other major Red Carpet events.  
I like to create evening dresses because it gives you a much larger creative space.  My new passion is shoe designing.

F: Who and what is giving you inspiration for your work?
V: Everything around us can inspire me into designing and creating clothes and shoes. Of course when I see a very interesting raw material such as a fabric or a leather can immediately form the shape of a new design in my mind.  Also through my appointments with my clients and by discussing their likes and needs new forms arise and new designs are born. Music, movies can also be highly inspirational. I also like to take old sawing techniques and develop them into modern fashion statements. 

F: Share with us some of your future business plans?
V: I already design Evening dresses and a full Bridal Couture line. Future plans that are already in the implementation phase include a full shoe collection, a pret a porter line and a business collection.
In the next weeks my brand new Eshop will be on air and of course the reach of new markets around the Globe is one of my major goals in the future.  Having the successful US experience at hand I wish to go there again, reach the Middle Eastern, European markets and further develop new product lines such as bags and accessories in the near future.  The long term plans include the development of sunglasses, perfumes etc.
One of my future business plan is to find a strategic partner-investor that would help achieve those goals more effectively.
F: Who is the most famous person that you ever dressed? Share the experience.
V: The Oscar winning actress Marisa Tomei has worn one of my Couture dresses at The Oscars.
I went to Los Angeles for The Oscars week invited by the shoe designer Stuart Weitzman at the Beverly Hilton hotel and participated at the Oscars suits.
There the stylist of Marisa Tomei came on Monday and picked 6 designs from my collection for Mrs Tomei and I picked one more design telling the stylist to show that one too to Mrs Tomei.  The next day the stylist came to the hotel and returned the six dresses telling me that Mrs Tomei kept the one I gave her but did not know yet if she would wear it.  It is very well known that all the actresses choose their Oscar dress even 1-2 hours prior to the event! Finally Sunday morning (the Oscar day!!) the stylist called me, telling me that Mrs Tomei finally decided to wear my dress among 15 other choices she had and that she needed a seamstress to take it in a little! Of course there was no way at that moment to help her with that request but finally she found the solution so that Mrs Marisa Tomei wore my dress.

F: You grew up in Greece, a country which nowadays is facing major financial issues. How do you see the future for the fashion industry there?
V: I grew up in Greece but I have an international background being born by an Austrian mother and Greek father in Vienna Austria.  So I always saw the future of the fashion industry outside of the Greek borders.  I have proved that with my international clientele and still believe that the future of the Greek fashion industry lies outside of Greece.  We have the talent, the knowledge, the capabilities and the infrastructure to achieve any goals abroad.
F: Are there good Greek designers in your opinion?
V: I  think that's its better for others to decide but in general I believe that there is a lot of creative talent in Greece in all fields.
F: If you could have the chance to dress an celebrity worldwide who will be that and why?
V: Every woman in my eyes is a celebrity to me.  Having dressed actresses and famous people at The Oscars, The Cannes Film Festival and elsewhere I have realized that every woman has the same amount of anxiety to wear something that makes her feel the way she wants to feel. So for me every woman is a celebrity in her own world and deserves the same attention and care. 

F: In your mind who is the best fashion designer around the world ever?
V: Each era has given a different great designer for various reasons.  And that is because in each time period each designer has to face different challenges and difficulties.  Just to name a few I would say Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and in modern times Alexander McQueen, John Galliano.  

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