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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 October 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 OCTOBER 2018 15 FASHION that the work coming out of Greece is the perfect bridge to the divide. "From what I can gather and from I can see, people crave to wear something different, and this is worldwide. Like I was struggling shopping in Melbourne, and a lot of people are – that's what we hear," she says. While the concept behind AlexAndrea Living was initially born from pure aesthetics, now that the store is up and running, it has become so much more for the best friends and business partners. This month they will be celebrating the store's first birthday. Asked what it means for her to be championing the work of Greek designers, and celebrating her own Greek identity in the process, Alexandra's passion is undeniable, unable to fight back the tears. "Sorry, I'm crying now ... how can I explain it to you? The emotions are overwhelming; it feels amazing. We both love what we do; we're both passionate about it," she says. "Someone gave me the opportunity to be able to design, to be able to move forward in my career and what I love and what I do, and I just felt that it's time to give back because I could," she says. "In the fashion industry in the past I would actually do garments, do accessories, I would do whatever it was because this is what the market wanted because it was mainstream. Whereas now I'm doing something that's not mainstream, it's something different, it's individual and I absolutely love it. The biggest, biggest plus for me is seeing people come in, appreciate it, love it, and walk out with a smile on their face and then they come back. That actually pulls my heart strings." In a way, Alexandra sees the experience as coming back to her roots in more ways than one. Now at 50, she recalls as a child when goods were made in Australia, the quality completely different, before manufacturing moved abroad. "I just think that people have lost their ways, I really do, and I think sometimes when you're forced to do something different and it's what you love, you end up doing it well, and when you know that you're contributing to feeding how many families because you've reopened a factory, that's what a lot of these designers in Greece are more proud of than anything else, that they can actually feed other families. And that's a big thing," she says. "I hope from the bottom of my heart that we get a lot more Australian designers producing in Australia; that's what I'd like to see. I think that's a big start for employment number one, a big start for the economy, and for education as well." While Melbourne has a reputation abroad as little Greece, for Alexandra the store being based in Brisbane couldn't be a more fitting choice for clothing produced in Greece. "When I'm sitting here and I look, I think climate-wise Brisbane's perfect," she says. "Really, what is there to wear on a hot day? Which country has perfected that? I've been a buyer for the majority of my life and I think Greeks do summer better than any other country in the world. In fact some of these designers that we stock are selling in France and in New York now because of the summer ranges they're selling. No-one does summer like the Greeks do summer." For more, visit AlexAndrea Living's Facebook page: https://www. facebook.com/alexandrealiving/ and Instagram @alexandrealiving. Best friends and business partners, Alexandra Servos and Andrea Ibrahim in their store.
20 October 2018
3 November 2018