ART SOUVENIR, CONTEMPORARY FASHION DESIGN & VINTAGE SHOPS
A new community of designers, artists and craftsmen is breeding quite impressively in the Greek capital, revisiting the past in novel forms. Youngsters with a graphic, architecture, industrial or fashion design background join forces to create innovative and unique products extremely appealing especially for the foreign visitors. Most of them have studied and travelled abroad and aim at translating current design trends into a sheer Greek visual language, producing handmade, mostly, contemporary or vintage accessories, clothes and souvenirs. Urban sub-culture and landscape, vintage popular imagery and folklore items, objects of everyday life, elements and symbols of the glorious Ancient past, bucolic, neo-romantic and neo-classical themes all blend together for an intriguing mix. The displayed objects may feature motifs from popular art, textiles and other materials usually employed in different contexts or elements affirming and reinterpreting Athens urban soul. The result can occasionally puzzle the visitor, but often ignites his curiosity for the essence of Greek recent past, the idiosyncrasy of its people and the uniqueness of Greek nature. At its best, it can allow him to grasp outright small realities of this fascinating country, often at extremely affordable prices.
You can visit most of such shops with BeyondAthens city-breaks or themed stays.
Matalou at home (accessories and clothing). Ypitou 5.
This shop has opened more than 10 years ago but it is constantly growing and building up synergies and collaborations with like-minded Athenian designers. Thanks to this, the owner’s handmade leather (also recycled) and textile original items such as bags, wallets, hats, belts and paper objects, are displayed together with selected items from other designers and shops (Theia, Euangelia, Koukoutsi, Meet the Cat, etc.). The Greek mascots are particularly fancy, check them out. Also, Matalou is the promoter and mastermind behind the collective BylocalAthens that issues an own Athens Bylocal Map.
Are you looking for a souvenir from Greece with a twist or a gift different from olives and ouzo that will surprise the person that will receive it back home? Set amidst the madding touristic crowd of Plaka’s main shopping street, this is new shop is fresh air for you and arguably the right place to start from. Handmade jewellery and leather, t-shirts, paper objects, wooden glasses, stamp bangles, tableware, bags from Greece is for Lovers, Dreamer, Ble Aspro, LoveGreece and Typokomeio, among others, and much more, make for a very consistent Greek memorabilia showcase.
Koukoutsi (T-shirts from Greek designers).Skoufa 81.
An impressive collection of t-shirts and hoodies with original unique designs made by the owner, plus a small series of shirts selected through an open international contest. Cotton and print quality is top-notch and the array of colours to choose from really huge. If you don’t find the design of your choice combined with your favourite colour, you can order it and collect it within few days at no extra cost. T-shirt collections include: Greek Moustache Revolution 1821, famous sentences and aphorisms of great Classical Greek thinkers, themes inspired by the Greek crisis, contemporary architecture buildings in Athens, urban details, Greek trademarks and landscapes and of course the shirt “Ich Bin Ein Athener” = I am an Athenian (too). The common feature of all is a clean-cut, minimalistic style and the use of one or two colours maximum in the print.
Hellenic Art & Design. Chairefontos 10
In this tiny and packed showroom in the heart of Plaka historic neighborhood you will find thread handmade decorative items, chalk objects, small home furniture such as lamps, mugs, pitchers and bowls, all by Greek artists, craftsmen and designers. A joyful explosion of colour, continuously renewed.
Tourvas (Greek traditional bags). 29 Irinis str., Neo Faliro
A brand new endeavour, this to create a modern version of the bag of everyday workers that was widespread in Greek villages back in time. The tourvas was indeed the bag that humble farmers and workers used to carry on their shoulders during their working day. They would fill it with personal items, some clothing, food and tools they would use in the field, in a workshop or a small factory. On the way back, having their hands free would allow them to stop to cheer people, or collect fruit and vegetables, perhaps some flowers to bring back home and cheer up with the beloved after a day of hard effort. Today’s version replicates many aspects of the original such as its dimension, employs good materials and it is available in many different designs. The perfect made in Greece companion for your tours across the Greek countryside and islands.
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