Stelios Koudounaris does not need any introduction. He is one of the most successful Fashion Designers of our times, which has distinguished himself with his unique style. He says he prefers not to attract attention,  something that is impossible, I have to say. You see you can’t hide a talent. That is why he was chosen as the judge of the successful greek tv show “Your Style Rocks”. This year, he is even more happy, as he celebrates 10 years of presence in the fashion industry.

Στέλιος Κουδουνάρης - Σχεδιαστής Μόδας - Συνέντευξη - Vesper Magazine

How does the story of fashion designer “Stelios Koudounaris” begins?

It may sound a cliché that I always knew what I wanted to do, but it is the truth since it was something I wanted as a child. Of course, my mother had a great influence on me as she had, and still has, a clothing store in Cyprus. When I was young, even since primary school, I had a specific point of view about clothes. I used to draw them on my books, I was styling my friends and later on my mother’s clients. But I always wanted to be able to make garments just like I was envisioning them.

How did you decide to live and work here in Greece? Was it difficult to adjust in a different way of life?

It came naturally after studying in Greece, I stayed here. It was not at all difficult to adjust. First of all because, apart from the fact that Cyprus is very close, just one and a half hours away from Greece, the cultures of the two countries are the same and of course the language. It was just like I left from a small town and came to a little bigger. It was definitely hard at first, cause you are away from your family but when you are young everything is much easier and simpler and you risk more. Perhaps here in Greece it is difficult to be established, but you have more opportunities. Of course you can find my garments in Cyprus as well, through the network of stores I am collaborating with.

Στέλιος Κουδουνάρης - Σχεδιαστής Μόδας - Συνέντευξη - Vesper Magazine

Have you make any steps abroad?

Although I’m setting small goals so that I can achieve them faster, I’m happy to tell you that my creations are already sold in 14 countries.

So, are you impatient?

Yes and no. I’m trying to do things the moment that I wish for, but not faster than things should be done. I prefer to make steady steps, to know that what I think and envision, I can do it without risking everything.

So you don’t like to take risks?

Not anymore. I used to risk a lot when I was younger. Now, however, I am aware that there are people that I work with and they are depended on me, I have a responsibility towards them. Apart from the fact that I am a designer, I also have a business to run, so I have to ensure its viability.

Στέλιος Κουδουνάρης - Σχεδιαστής Μόδας - Συνέντευξη - Vesper Magazine

How do you feel about the fact that this year that you celebrate 10 years in the fashion industry?

I haven’t actually realized that it has been 10 years. It was an unstoppable journey with too much effort, intensity, difficulties but also a lot of joy at the same time. I feel happy because I see all these difficulties now, as lessons and valuable assets for the future. I am particularly pleased that a circle was closed and a new one started because I feel I have completed a course and now I go for the next one, as a designer and businessman and also in my personal life.

Στέλιος Κουδουνάρης - Σχεδιαστής Μόδας - Συνέντευξη - Vesper Magazine

What are your new plans as a designer?

I may design for the same woman I was 10 years ago, but now I see things from a different glance. My clothes, although they can be worn by any age, from younger girls to mature ladies, still I have matured as a designer. I also want to meet the needs of our days. I want my creations to be special and practical at the same time, so that they keep up with the daily routine of the client, but also last in time.

Who is the woman you design for?

She is a woman who uses clothes as an extension of her personality. She is dynamic and she takes life in her own hands. She wants to be pretty, elegant and different from anyone else. I try, even my simplest garments to make a difference, something that will be recognized by someone who knows a bit more about fashion.

Στέλιος Κουδουνάρης - Σχεδιαστής Μόδας - Συνέντευξη - Vesper Magazine

What are the main features of your creations?

Generally my creations have tight lines. Even when I make something with volume, I handle it with such way that it will flatter every body type. I also use enough black details on my creations, especially in places I belive they are underlining the figure. I consider the shoulders a very sensual part of the body and I always emphasize them. But even if there is nothing of the above in my creations, someone who knows my work will understand that it’s mine by its energy.

Looking at the past, is there something you regret for?

No, I certainly see some mistakes, but I “regret” for me has a heavy meaning. Besides, as I already said, all these are now valuable assets for the future, so that I become better and better.

How do you get inspired to create a new collection?

To tell you the truth, there is no specific mechanism for me. Surely there is a rational way to start creating a collection that I have the pleasure of teaching over the past 3 years, but I function instinctively. Everything is an inspiration, from something insignificant and small to something very big and important. From a song, a movie, to a conversation or a small subject. There are times when I chat with someone and suddenly I focus on something that will attract my interest. and then I get lost in a storm of inspiration. There are few of such moments but they are really a blessing. Of course now, after ten years there are a lot of ideas and there is always the right time to use them.

Στέλιος Κουδουνάρης - Σχεδιαστής Μόδας - Συνέντευξη - Vesper Magazine

Is it difficult to constantly create new collections?

Sometimes it’s hard, because lets not forget we’re humans. Our mood is constantly changing, and the situations we experience influence us either negatively or positively and this has an impact on the process of inspiration.

What is the secret of your success?

I think success is something different for everyone. If we say that it is a success that I am a designer who has become established and is in the consciousness of the public, for me this is something very pleasant. However, there is no secret but it is the result of really hard work, consistency, patience and persistence. However, I find it a personal success that I have a job that I love and I don’t have to do things I don’t like.

Στέλιος Κουδουνάρης - Σχεδιαστής Μόδας - Συνέντευξη - Vesper Magazine

What is your advice for the young designers?

They definitely have to love fashion very much, to see it as something more deep and important and not just superficial. To live the journey until they reach their goals, to insist and not to quit. I am sure that whoever really wants to succeed, he will find the way.

What kind of a person are you?

I am a man of contradiction and I am not easily satisfied. I am impatient but at the same time I am not, I am seeking stability but I also like instability. I like everything and nothing. I am also bored too easily. Luckily I do a job that changes very quickly. The seasons pass quickly and I stay alert. So there is not enough time to get bored.

Στέλιος Κουδουνάρης - Σχεδιαστής Μόδας - Συνέντευξη - Vesper Magazine

What things give you enjoy doing?

The truth is that I love my job very much and everything I do has to do with it. Even trips that I love, most of the times I combine them with my professional obligations. Of course I always steal a few days to wander around and think, observe things. In the summer, of course, I love to visit the Greek islands. Being on the beach and relaxing. I like to socialize with people and I enjoy good food. On the other hand, however, I also love to stay at home. I especially enjoy watching tv series. If I find one that I like, I can see the whole series within two days.

If you have to wear only one color, what would that be?

That would definitely be black. Already most of my wardrobe is black. I believe that this color best illustrates the characteristics of every person, especially the face. However, I am so conservative in my own dressing because I focus more on what I want others to wear and what I want to see around me. You can even say that it’s a way for me to become “invisible” and to observe everything.

Thank you very much, Stelios

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