Already a veteran on the fashion scene, Korda’s designs have been a hit at shows and on the catwalk for a number of years. Her popular collections are stocked by selected outlets in both her native Greece and abroad.
In terms of the fashion scene, Athina Korda seems to have been around for ages, but she’d be the first to say that, despite her experience, her designs are continuing to evolve and her journey is definitely still one of discovery. Perhaps it’s appropriate then that her latest collection is called ‘The Journey Continues.’
Born and raised in her beloved Athens, Athina started studying fashion design in 1995 and, after graduating from the National School of Fashion in Greece, began working as a production assistant and designer for a number of well-known women’s clothing companies. In 2005, she launched her own clothing manufacturing company and in 2010 Athina designed her first collection titled, ‘This is Just the Beginning’. A year later, she had established her own studio in the heart of Athens, staying close to the beating pulse of the streets and where today she sums up her native city’s sense of style in one word – alternative.
Fashion runs in the blood
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Athina got into the fashion industry, as her family’s company manufactured ready to wear clothes for some of the most famous brands in Greece at the time, and from an early age she was drawn to fashion and fashion designing. Athina has come a long way since the launch of her solo career as a designer and has tasted success at the country’s biggest shows, including the Athens Xclusive Designers week, where her collections ‘Work the Void’ (2014), and ‘Lost in a Moment’ ( 2014-15), were very well received. Working alongside other reputable designers, photographers, and stylists, she has earned a reputation for producing her own unique designs. Pressed to define her personal style in only three words, Athina opts for: “geometric, female, and alternative”.
The creative process
Athina says the first item of clothing she designed that she was proud of and made her believe that she had a future in fashion was a ’50s style dress. A quick and efficient worker, she says it takes her on average about one day to construct a piece, from conception through to the finished article – which is pretty quick by anyone’s standards!
“There is no particular process,” she says, “I will be inspired by something and the whole collection can be completed in a few hours. My record in terms of the time it took to finish a design is a few minutes!”
She considers herself an artist but believes that a designer has to be involved in every stage of the creative process, both sketching and constructing the designs. The only part of the process she doesn’t particularly enjoy is the actual selling of the clothes. She sums up what fashion is all about as being to do with expression, revolution, and creation, and says one of her favourite high fashion designers who exemplified this is the late British designer, Alexander McQueen. When it comes to offering young, would-be fashion designers advice, Athina simply says: “Don’t give up on your dream,” while adding that some important skills you need to have a successful career in this highly competitive industry include “knowledge about everything regarding the manufacture of cloth – and to be open minded!”
Hands-on quality control
Athina sources her fabric materials entirely from Greek importers, although their origin tends to be either Turkish or from China. In terms of what makes a quality piece of clothing, Athina is in no doubt that, besides the quality of the fabric itself, an excellent seam is vital. She ensures all of her range achieves a consistently high level of quality by producing the clothing in-house and taking a very hands-on approach. Athina’s clothes and jewellery is available to buy from her own atelier, as well as at selective boutiques in Athens and elsewhere in Greece.
The shows must go on
“I consider my successful fashion shows as being some of my greatest accomplishments as a designer, and one of my long term goals is to put on a fashion show abroad. In the short term, however, I’m fully focused on getting my next collection out there,” says Athina. Putting on a successful show involves models, which she sources through agencies, as well as by recruiting them herself. Of all the hot models on the international scene, Cara Delavigne is her favourite to work with.
For Athina, inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere, although when asked who is the most inspirational person in her career, she is quick to reply, “my husband.” Black remains her favourite colour, and she keeps up to date with the latest fashion trends through the internet and by watching her favourite fashion channels on television. A busy lady who has been one of the leading lights on the Greek fashion scene for over a decade, what is Athina’s greatest strength?
“My faith in what I choose to do.”