Sophie Kokosalaki was born in Athens, Greece, in 1974. She is a well-known Greek fashion designer with her own label based in London.
She started sketching dresses in childhood, because her mother put her into such bad clothes. Her father was a civil engineer and her mother a journalist.
She studied literature at the University of Athens. Athens was the setting for Kokosalaki's first fashion experiments, Kokosalaki is regarded as a rising star of the London fashion world . After graduating, she set about making a small line of dresses, by hand, which she managed to sell to a boutique. She couldn't even operate a sewing machine at that time.
Then in 1997 she came to London and did her Masters degree in fashion design at Central St. Martins College of Fashion. Her fellow student was designer Maria Chen. Her graduation collection was polished enough for Pellicano in South Molton Street, London, to display it in their windows.
She started her own company in 1999 and in the same year also started designing for the luxe Italian leather house Ruffo Research. She has completed 6 collections for them to great acclaim but has now decided not to continue designing for Ruffo.
A graduate of London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, she was chosen to design the opening and more than 7,000 closing ceremonial outfits for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, which were staged in her home town of Athens. She spent two years researching the traditional dress of different parts of Greece before taking up the design work. As you will have seen, when watching the Olympics, she did a brilliant job and the people taking part in the ceremonies of award presentations, and leading the athletes around the venues looked really spectacular.
After her career had been launched by UK Vogue magazine, she received the Elle Designer award and Art Foundation Award for Fashion in 2002 and New Generation Designer award in 2004, and receives regular editorial from Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and W magazines. In autumn 2006 she was appointed Creative Director of the leading Vionnet fashion house but resigned in May 2007, stating that she will solely concentrate on the development of her own label instead.
For her collections, she chooses classic Grecian draping and adds handcrafted elements, giving her clothes a hip, young and relaxed look. Her speciality is soft flowing dresses and she has also shown promise in her knitwear. She treats leather like fabric, twisting, pleating and knotting it into unexpectedly feminine designs, or wrapping studiously elegant tailoring with harnesses made from twists of leather and tulle.
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