As we've frequently documented on this site, it can be a pretty big challenge for designers based outside of the fashion capitals (that's New York, London, Milan and Paris) to gain brand recognition and sales accounts internationally, but Athens-based Christina Economou has set her mind to it — and at just 26 years old.
Named one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 in Europe, Economou launched her advanced contemporary line in 2013 after studying at Parsons and Istituto Marangoni in Paris, winning the 2011 International Award at London Graduate Fashion Week and spending a year and a half working for Giambattista Valli. "It was better than college," says Economou of her time training under Valli. "We were a team of 12 for a [brand that] does four ready-to-wear, two couture collections and custom [orders], so everyone did everything. That was the most intense year of my life."
She left the label with a wealth of knowledge about design, materials and production, and it shows in her collections that are filled with original prints, various textures that are mixed in surprising ways and fabrics that often feel differently than they appear. Fall 2016, for instance, is filled with velvets and brocades that are significantly lighter — and thus more wearable — than they look and than those fabrics usually are. "Usually velvet is heavy and that gives it a more serious feel, but I wanted it to be really lightweight and easy," she explains.
Her silhouettes are distinctive but utterly wearable: Desirable A-line frocks, high-waisted trousers, slim-fit puffer coats, chic trenches and minimalist dresses in silk and velvet make up the bulk of the fall collection. "I'm all about fit," says Economou. "If something fits well you can wear it all day." Prices range from around $200 for a jersey top to $350 for pants to $900 for a silk gown, and everything is produced in Greece; she even found a facility near Turkey that collects silk worms locally to make the fabric the "old-fashioned way."
In the U.S., she's currently stocked at American Two Shot and the Standard Hotel in Miami (her e-commerce site ships here, too). She's making a push to increase her presence stateside for fall 2016 as well, and recently secured press representation here. Given her not-insane price point, impressive fabric quality and how well she strikes that balance of wearable and distinctive, we think she has a pretty good shot of doing so. See her fall 2016 collection in the gallery below.