The Trendsetters blog

Nina Davaris, Marketing Director Davaris Textiles 

Good morning, Mrs. Davaris. The process of clothing cannot start without you. How do you feel about this "omnipotence"?

I wouldn't characterize it as "omnipotence" but as a "unique privilege" since you have the joy and satisfaction of supplying the raw materials to create a product that embellishes our daily lives and fills us with beautiful emotions, and that is something very nice.

Do you manufacture or import fabrics? Do you export?

Primarily, we import fabrics and then carry out several processes in Greece, such as printing and dyeing.

Exports are a big part of our company, as there is a whole department dedicated to selling our collection abroad.

Do your customers have the option to choose from fabrics you have already manufactured and designated, or can they order their own fabrics? In the latter case, is the cost higher?

Unfortunately, the production process of a fabric is quite time-consuming, lasting almost 3 months from the decision and purchase. So as a company, we try to anticipate our customers' needs in terms of colors and fabrics so they can have them on time. Changes and fabric selection by a customer are quite difficult unless a customer is looking for something specific and we start working on it early together.

What we can offer as a service to our customers is special dyeing in the color of the customer, which may have a cost difference. Also, with the development of printing, the customer can make changes to our designs as well as provide us with their own design to print.

In each season, when are the fabrics ready for sampling and when for sale? Is there a long interval? How does the process work?

The sampling season of a collection usually starts 3-4 months before the clothes hit the stores. The summer collection is sampled in September and the winter one in April.

Our customer makes an appointment, either at our premises or at their own, and our sales representative visits them with their suitcase containing the entire sample catalog of the new collection. The customer then has the option to request color charts of the qualities, request samples (e.g., from 1 to 10 meters), or place an order directly.

Do you facilitate smaller businesses with a few meters of fabric or do you target larger businesses?

Certainly, there is a commercial policy we follow, but beyond that, depending on the profile of the prospective customer and the fabrics they are interested in, it can be adjusted to facilitate even businesses that need a few meters of fabric.

Who defines the trends in fabrics for each season? Is there someone you consult?

The trends in fabrics are always defined by haute couture fashion in combination with the trend we discern in the market from sales, our customers' demands, and our relationships with fabric factories.

Creativity is the heart of our company, and as a family business, it is one of the primary roles of the family members.

Do you think the Greek consumer would be interested in knowing where the fabric they wear comes from?

My opinion is that in the times we live in now, we face a much more informed and involved consumer in the production process of the goods they purchase. I mean, consumers now have a need for information about the origin of a good, so the origin of a fabric would interest them, I believe.

Stathis Samantas, Shoe Maker

Good evening, Mr. Samantas. Tell us a few words about yourself and what made you get involved in women's shoes.

It's one of those things that are difficult to describe to someone else because they need to feel something similar to understand you. Initially, I believe in the design power of shoes and how they can enhance a woman's image. Additionally, I believe that women don't randomly choose their shoes, as there seems to be an unconscious connection in their choices. This is something I try to study through my work, examining women's relationship with their shoes and analyzing the romantic and psychological significance of these objects. Of course, my own as well.

Tell us about the collaborations you are proud of.

I have collaborated with most Greek fashion designers, creating shoes for their collections. I am proud of all my collaborations. I would say the most special ones are those related to the overall setup of collection presentations. Specifically, the shoes I designed for Marianna Goulandris - Laimou when she designed swimsuits with the brand Marianna G., with the art director of the show being Michalis Pantos. Also, the shoes for the haute couture show of Laskaris, a collection inspired by the work of Dominikos Theotokopoulos. I would also like to mention the shoes I designed for Stelios Koudounaris' collection in 2010, and I am very happy now about the course of his career.

Do you believe that networking plays a role in the fashion industry, and if so, why? To what extent?

I believe it plays an important role but not a determining one. Certainly, a network of contacts can shorten the time to success for a designer (compared to a designer who has to build this network from scratch) and can help the designer gain recognition. However, ultimately, we are all judged by the result, that is, the quality of our work, which will make a brand last over time. The world that understands will respond only to serious efforts.

Would you like your work to gain global recognition and become a reference point in the shoe industry? Do you think you have achieved that in Greece?

Global recognition is an important goal. Besides sales, I find particularly interesting the different response that a female audience can have to my collection in different countries. As for my success in Greece, I don't know if I should answer that myself. All I can say is that I have a good client base of women who recognize the work behind my collection, like my style, support me, and I thank them.

What are the conditions for a fashion accessories designer in Greece today? Is the state helpful in your work? What do you think could be done?

The state helps to some extent. There are grants for participating in exhibitions abroad, aiming for designers' internationalization. There are also programs for various technical or commercial issues concerning a business. However, the conditions have become difficult because the pandemic was a strong blow for countries that did not have strong shields. Inflation, high prices, and socio-political turmoil are obstacles for fashion, which needs prosperity to thrive.

Do you think that creating a very good product is enough, or is there something else needed to conquer the consumer market?

I consider advertising essential, in whatever way each designer sees fit for their brand aesthetic.

What is your opinion on social media? Is it an ally of fashion brands or not?

Of course, it is. It's an open window to the world. However, careful use of social media is needed by the consumer audience because... not everything that shines is gold.

What shoes do Greek women wear? Do they have good taste?

There are women who always want to wear beautiful shoes, whether they are for their everyday life or for evening outings. Either you have it or you don't. If you ask me, I would agree with those who choose to look good every day because our life is our everyday routine and not just the occasional weddings and events. Let's wear them, enjoy them, and feel beautiful.

Anna Mavridis, Fashion Influencer

Good morning Mrs. Mavridis.

Anna Skoog Mavridis it is your full name. Where exactly is your native country?

I’m Swedish and my husband is Greek. I decided that I want to keep my husband’s surname.

Are there many influencers in Sweden? Are they successful?

Oh yes, some of the world’s biggest influencers. Some of them have millions of followers and they are very successful. To be honest, I’m not that kind of influencer. What I mean is that influencers will try to show almost everything and influence people to buy it. So, how I want to be seen? I want women to have a look at my profile, at my photos and get inspired and not only of what I’m wearing. I want to give a positive vibe, a good energy and nice aesthetics. It’s not only about clothes, but also about home, travel, even my family. Of course, I show my style and what I’m wearing, but I never propose products for someone to buy. I even don’t write a lot of text in my posts. I never do giveaways. I did a few in the past but I said no, it’s not my thing.

Of course, I like to influence people to do a different combination of wearing things. But I think that it is more for the younger ages that they are influenced by someone, and they want to be them. My followers are older, 30, 40 60 years old and they can say ok, I can wear this as well!

I see from your pictures in Santorini that you are also Greece’s ambassador. You make the Greek islands look fantastic and you convince people to visit Greece.  

Yes, I love Greece. That was never a plan to convince people to come to Greece, but it can be also a way of influencing people to travel if you show hotels, if you show travel spots. I have so many followers due to Santorini. They came to Santorini, they stopped me on the street “Hi I’m from Brazil, I’m here because of you, I’ m from Argentina, Australia etc. Of course, I have lots of Greek followers because I live here now, but I used to live in Germany, I have many German followers and a lot of international followers. I had them from the beginning.

What initiated your interest on becoming a fashion influencer?

I never had any plan. I never even knew that this work existed. I started 10 years ago, with Instagram. I took and posted pictures of Santorini, of me, of my family, I wore my own things. At that time everything was different with Instagram. Suddenly I got a lot of followers and then day by day during the second summer I got more followers. Hashtags didn’t exist at that time. So, when occasionally I posted a photo of myself, everybody was asking “Oh what are you wearing, from where is that dress”. Then I started putting a little bit more photos of myself. I had 5,000 followers at that time, it was quite a lot. Then I got an email from an American company in L.A. that made leather handbags and they asked if they could send me some bags because they loved my style and the whole island feeling. I thought it was a joke. I said to my husband “is it a scam or something”, “why they want to send me something for free?”. I didn’t answer to them because I thought something will happen. Then I checked the company, and it was OK. And then suddenly I understood that I must mention the brand and make a hashtag. Then I learned that. My first 2 brands were the one from L.A. and an Australian resortwear brand. After that there were some Greek designers. And it started to be fun. It was like Christmas. It was amazing!

So, is it still fun?

It’s still fun, especially when I travel and make photos. And most of the time its relaxing because I don’t see it as a photo shooting, I don’t use a photographer. My friends, my husband takes almost all the photos, even my son sometimes.  

So that’s why it’s easy because we can do it in our daily life. I always wear the clothes that I show to my photos, so it is always my daily style.

Isn’t your husband getting bored of taking your pictures all the time?

In the beginning yes, he didn’t like it so much, but when it became business, he was ok. It’s about supporting each other. When I’ m in Sweden my mother takes the photos!!!

Is your job hard? What are the main skills you need to be a successful fashion influencer?

This work is not for everybody. I put a weekly schedule for my posts. It’s more tough when someone must go for shootings all the time and put makeup and so on. There are periods that there is a lot of work, and I must take photos for one outfit minimum per day. In Santorini I have one day outfit and one night outfit. But sometimes its stressful, when I have a lot of work, and I wake up and I feel like I want to be in my jogging pants, and I know I must dress up and I must get ready. The good thing is that I don’t go to the hairdresser and put much make up. I’m not fixed from top to toe. I put my sunglasses on and …ready to go!

How many followers do you need before you can be a professional influencer?

You can have 10,000 followers and still have an impact to others, to a small amount of people. You can still do a great job. It is easier of course if you have a good engagement to have more jobs.

Can an influencer be based on fake number of followers?

No, companies can do research on it. It is not normal for a person to have 100 followers and the next day 100,000.

In which way do you think that the presence of influencers is necessary to the fashion business?

Maybe they have become necessary because of Instagram. It’s so easy to get your “fashion dose”. I think the importance of influencers to the fashion business is that they reach out and not only to people in Greece, but it is also worldwide.

Did fashion influencers replace fashion models?

Yes, I think so! Because in the end I think people are more inspired from influencers and they see them like normal people, they are more reachable.  Models are always too beautiful too perfect and whatever they wear of course it looks amazing on them but. They will show some fashion trends but, in the end, people don’t identify with them.

Does every woman want to be a model? Is influencing a way for every woman to become a model? Are there any prerequisites?

If you want to be a fashion influencer you must have a sense of style and some kind of uniqueness. Of course, many people want to see the girl next door. It’s not possible for everybody, but you must find your way and be consistent.

Do you invest in your job? Which expenses do you make?

I travel. I always traveled with my family but now I think a little bit more of where I’m going and choose better hotels because I can do better photos. I also invest in accessories: to upgrade my photos, I buy some nice handbags, some nice shoes to go with the styling. You need to be a little bit updated.

 What would you advise to anyone who loves fashion?

Now days there is no age somehow in fashion. You must be careful to wear things that look good on you and not to go for things because you saw them somewhere or it’s in fashion or whatever. Me, I have the same style. I’m not someone who is going to show the latest trends. I think you need to be true to yourself and to try to figure out how you want to present yourself.