London-based designer Athena Procopiou admits to being influenced by exotic far-away destinations; while researching for her recent collection, she traveled to Dubai to explore unique local places. Featuring bold colors and vibrant prints, her kaftans, kimonos, and dresses work well with the region’s customers. Her designs are stocked in a number of boutiques across the Middle East, including Boutique 1 in Dubai, Harvey Nichols in Saudi Arabia, Saks Fifth Avenue in Dubai and Bahrain, and Al Ostoura in Kuwait. Here, Stye.com/Arabia chats with Procopiou about choosing to design kimonos, her inspirations, and her summer essentials.
CATERINA MINTHE: Why the kimono?
ATHENA PROCOPIOU: Many years ago, I saw a woman in New York wearing a vintage kimono and she looked so cool. She was wearing it with a bandeau top, jeans, and cowboy boots. This voguish image stuck with me for years and I always knew that one day I would design one.
The kimono is incredibly versatile and can be worn either to the beach over a bikini and sandals or dressed up with skinny trousers and stilettos for a night on the town. It’s the ideal piece to bring on any beach or sun holiday. It has a wonderful flow when you’re wearing it and can make any woman feel totally boho-chic.
What is the inspiration behind your prints?
My prints are completely inspired by my travels. I’m forever exploring ancient and exotic places around the globe and am constantly getting ideas from old tiled floors, vintage wallpapers, or color palettes from rare tapestries. I often channel a “Talitha Getty in Marrakech” vibe. I’m also inspired by the sounds of the ‘70s and the incredible images and unorthodox fringed fashions that come from this legendary musical era. I’m a hippie girl at heart and have always had a soft spot for Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and their over-the-top looks. I think I was born a few decades too late.
Can you share some trends for Summer 2015?
The ‘70s are back—although did they ever leave? Lots of fringe, psychedelic colors, and paisley will be coming our way.