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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 16 July 2016
16 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 16 JULY 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM B38 by Ioli Michalopoulou and Mirella Manta Creating fashion in the heart of Athens B 38 is a shop established in Athens by the fashion designers Ioli Michalopoulou and Mirella Manta, showcasing their unique designs and also hosting other selective original items. Having shared an atelier for many years, the designers Ioli and Mirella came to realise that although an atelier can be cosier than a shop, the process of visiting by making an appointment makes the decision a bigger one. People admit that they feel more obliged to buy when visiting the designers' personal working space and showroom. Therefore, many fail to satisfy their impulse to visit a clothes shop, look around, try something on and enjoy themselves. This is why Ioli and Mirella decided to make their collections more visible and accessible to everyone. The concept ‘atelier in a shop’ is to maintain a high level of service and personal contact with the customer while being in an easily accessible place. The specific, central location of B38, on the corner of Voukourestiou and the beautiful, pedestrianised Roma Street, has the added advantage that its grand shop windows make it possible to see the whole of B38 and the clothes from both within and outside the shop. Ioli Michalopoulou and Mirella Manta met at college while studying fashion design and have been inseparable ever since. While creating their own designs and collections, they also cooperated in theatrical productions, short films and promotional campaigns as costume designers. Through these collaborations they became two really effective work buddies who eventually decided to also share a working space. Creating their own collections as well as their common art projects in the same atelier, they realised how different perspectives can be complementary and add to the final outcome. Always inspired by the saying ‘Together we stand’, Ioli and Mirella live and work in the centre of Athens. All about Ioli: - Never pass up a work proposition; you never know where it might lead you. - Each figure has, at least, one competitive advantage. Emphasise it with the right clothes. - I wear only my own creations, mainly what has not been sold. - For the past 13 years she has been a vegetarian and that is why she never uses leather in her creations. - My goal is to feature femininity and the fragility in female nature along with the dynamism and toughness all women have inside them. - Life is a choice. You can be cynical or visionary. You can pick your clothes or pick your character. - "Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art." Andy Warhol All about Mirella: - Create clothes that either adjust to female body type or readjust it by making a quiet effect. - Flexitime clothes, wearable around the clock! - Our appearance affects and is affected by our state of mind. - Take care of yourself; it will surely make your day! - I am my own first customer; I design to wear and I wear to design. - The ultimate goal is to surpass gender. It is all about 'hibersex'. - As Rick Owens said, the coolest thing is when you don't care about being cool anymore. Indifference is the greatest aphrodisiac: that's what really sums up style for me.
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