Mimika Kolotoura the co-founder behind Zeus + Dione talks about
the brand's success and her life!
Zeus+Dione, the Greek fashion brand known for its contemporary interpretation of traditional Greek craftsmanship and aesthetics, recently celebrated its 10th year anniversary.
Zeus+Dione is a Greek fashion brand that was founded in 2012 by Mareva Grabowski and Dimitra Kolotoura. The brand takes its name from the parents of the ancient Greek goddess Athena, who was known as the goddess of wisdom, courage, and inspiration. The brand's collections feature a fusion of ancient and modern elements, with a focus on clean lines, geometric patterns, and luxurious fabrics.
1) Welcome Mimika! What a journey! From marketing and advertising to creating Greece's most luxury fashion brand. What drove you here?
It’s been a real pleasure to have this conversation with you as I equally admire the founder of the Apoella stores, Ms Christina Plakopita, and always thought of the concept of curated “resort stores” around the Mediterranean, as a brilliant idea. Simple ideas are always the strongest and so was the idea of creating the Greek life-style brand, Zeus + Dione, 10 years ago. We wanted to create a brand that will encompass the rich culture and heritage of our country, interpreting the craftsmanship and deep knowledge on weaving, embroidery, pattern cutting and other techniques into clothes and accessories, relevant to today’s woman. And indeed, what a journey! A fascinating adventure that inspired and continues to inspire more and more Greek initiatives in the field of fashion and somehow Greek fashion items became something like a trend. This is our proudest moment and our go-to motive. The passion of creation and the persistence to prove that our country is the most amazing in the world! We proved that a well-thought product can be relevant to the international audience and can equally compete with the other firms in the market.
2) Leaina was your inspiration behind the new Resort 23 collection. What signifies this symbolism?
Leaina is a dynamic and passionate collection, in which our creative director, Marios Schwab has drawn inspiration from the Mycenean civilization. The lion, a symbol of statue and ferocity represents every woman with strength and lithe elegance. The nonchalance ease combined with the strong colours of the styles here, signifies the effortless attitude of a “leaina”.
3) Congrats for the Zeus + Dione 10 year anniversary. What has been your proudest moment so far?
I have had countless proud moments during this journey. The people, the small workshops, and the local communities we embraced and all together we committed to always serve the best quality in everything we do. The small accomplishments and the greater achievements internationally, the stores that opened their doors to our items, the eyes nearly popping out of the ones’ -listening to our story- heads, and so many others. However, the moment I will never forget was when we collaborated with Maria Grazia Chiuri and Dior for their Resort ‘21 collection. I still remember standing next to her, along with my team of collaborators and craftsmen at the press conference just before the show, and there was this voice within me shouting “bravo”!
4) Which was the most challenging thing, when starting Zeus + Dione?
When we started, the financial situation of our country, as we all remember, was at its lowest. So, the most challenging thing was to convince and give hope to our collaborators and the later workforce that we would make it. To encourage all these individuals to create something of high standards that eventually would find its position in the international market and would be successful. The ones who believed in that dream are the ones that we are still working together as a powerful team and a wider family.
5) Which item has a special place in your wardrobe? Which Zeus + Dione item is a must-have for a new customer?
I cherish and always wear a white silk shirt with our signature jacquard “spathoto” pattern. The ‘Hera’ shirt -as it’s called- is a must-have item which everyone should have in their wardrobe. The quality of the silk is unique - it feels almost soothing to the skin-, making it one of the best value-for-money silk shirts in the market, according to many fashion buyers around the world.
I love most of the destinations that Apoella has set foot on, ‘till now. However, I have a soft spot for the Costa Navarino one, as I love to spend some quality time with my daughter and friends there.
7) What's in your weekend bag?
We have just launched a Z+Δ weekender bag made of leather or canvas, that I absolutely adore. For a long trip or a weekend getaway, this lightweight and roomy bag will always be a loyal companion to my lifestyle and to my adventures. I always carry with me a pouch full of moisturizing face-creams and serums; my friend Mareva (the co-founder of Z+D) makes fun of me because of that. I also carry a couple of Zeus+Dione silk shirts (summer or winter). Last but not least, I never forget to pack my favorite book of the month (most often based on my friends’ suggestions) and a pair of sneakers, as running has become my latest obsession.
8) Which Greek artist inspires you?
What a great question! Art is the best antidepressant and a form of inspiration like no other. Having studied and lived in London for almost two decades, I was mostly exposed to European art. I had the chance to discover in depth the Greek art scene during the last decade, so I already have a long list of favorite painters and sculptors. Personally, I draw inspiration from the later paintings of Moralis, Tsarouchis, Fassianos and Takis as well as the following women Chryssa, Liana Vassalou and Vana Xenou. As I mentioned before, the list is endless and so many others belong to it.
9) Your ideal summer in Greece is...
The ideal summer for me is unquestionably on Syros, my island! At my summer house, where I can isolate myself from the craziness of the fashion world and recharge my batteries. I love meeting with my childhood friends and doing the same things we did when we were younger. To spend the day swimming, eating and sleeping by the sea. We still go to the open-air cinema carrying big baskets of popcorn. That’s fun for me and quite relaxing!