Take a dive into the journey of IT'S A SHIRT and the brands founder Christina Christodoulou.
1) What was your main inspiration behind launching IT'S A SHIRT?There wasn't a particular moment of inspiration - it was just short of a pilot test for me. After completing my MA in textile design in Sweden and returning to Athens, I was thinking of continuing my family's small clothing production but with a new aim and vision. On the contrary, I never liked the clothes my parents had to produce for other local brands. So considering that, one day I realised my closet was full of shirts, mainly oversized ones with a unisex fit - this gave me the idea of focusing on a specific garment which I always tended to buy even if I didn't need to. It really gave me the chance to explore and experiment a lot more.This is how IT'S A SHIRT started.
2) Who or what has been the biggest inspiration behind your personal style evolution over the last 10 years?
Ha! Whenever I look over pictures from the last 10 years, I wonder why I dressed like that. In my firm belief, people change and we are affected by the circumstances we live with and this is portrayed in how we prefer to dress ourselves. So, I can't say that I had one particular inspiration when it came to how I started to dress. However, I would say the places and faces are a key role in the way I dress. Places I visit and the human beings I meet have affected the way I dress more than any designer or guru of the textile and fashion industry.
3) What has been the biggest barrier you've come across in the fashion industry in Greece?
Greece is the barrier herself. This country never had a strong fashion culture or the slow production or aim for sustainability (circular economy) within the field. Trying to create something in Greece with values such as gender neutrality, garment quality and timeless design has been quite difficult. The market is not yet 'there' compared to most other countries in Europe (especially Scandinavian ones). We have other sectors which are flourishing in Greece, such as food and tourism. Nonetheless, we have a strong cotton production and I try to utilise this and use linen from the north of the country. Admittedly more and more young people are educating themselves when it comes to what they choose to wear and who they support with their purchases but we still have a long way to go. Putting the difficulties we face aside, I do get great support from a group of people here and this boosts my willingness to remain in Athens and produce here as well.
4) If you could collaborate with one designer or individual on a project - who would it be and why?
Recently IT'S A SHIRT accomplished a collaboration with artist Michael McGregor from Los Angeles. It was a tough process sending fabrics to and from LA, but in the end the result was worth it. The series is a hand painted collection with a few one-off unisex shirts. At the moment I have reached out to individuals that I would like to collaborate with and I'm hoping these projects come to fruition. Few are the Posternaks (photographers/artists) / dj/visual artist Yaeji. The list could be very long but I would like to mention OlderBrother from California who use natural dyes for every collection they do, no matter what the materials and fabrics are. Regarding the styling aspect, I would definitely love to work with Siri Andersson.
5) If you could style on actress/actor, model or influencer - who would it be and why?
Hmmmm... Only Tilda Swinton comes to mind now. She is all of the above plus such an inspiring personality and down to earth human being.
6) What can we expect to see from you over the next few years?
Ah! I wish I could answer this but I guess this is the reason we live, we do not know what the future brings and we try to formulate it. I am thinking all the more to move closer to nature and keep on feeding IT'S A SHIRT through a different prisma and perspective. No matter what, collaborations will play a strong role in the very near future by engaging different fields and locations.
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