From the heart of Athens to the Golden Globes Awards, and New York, his fashion designs found their way to the so-called capital of fashion, New York. The Greek fashion designer, Vassilis Zoulias, gave New Greek TV's journalist, Despina Afentouli, an exclusive interview about his professional life and fashion choices, from the first steps of his career as a journalist to the world of fashion.
1. Tell us about your background, and what inspired you to pursue a career in fashion designing?
I was observing everything about it [fashion]... my mother's friends, while they were playing cards, old movies, and I was frenzy leafing through magazines.
2. What is your personal style in your designs?
My personal style is classic with a twist...
3. You had a 20-year experience as a fashion editor for magazines, including Vogue Greece. When did your fashion designing career unfold?
At the age of 16, I did my first professional photo shooting for a magazine, during summer break from school, and that day the photo shoot stylist was sick and did not come... So, Parthenis [a Greek fashion designer] told me ... you go, you are ready!
4. What does fashion mean to you?
[For me] Fashion is a way of living and the air that I breath... All my life is about fashion.
5. What is your favorite part of being a fashion designer? Do you prefer directing photo shoots or dressing people?
I have done both with full devotion, professionalism, and - above all – love both... I cannot single them out.
6. How would you compare past and current trends?
My experience has shown me that fashion simply makes continuous and repetitive cycles from yesterday to today.
7. What is your fashion approach?
My approach mainly refers to the old school Hollywood glamour...
8. What are your current fashion projects and plans?
During this period of time, I am preparing a pret a couture for the Greek and the U.S. market.
9. To what extent can fashion accessories make a difference in an outfit?
Accessories always play the most important role [in an outfit].
10. What is the difference between fashion as an art form and fashion as a directive?
Fashion is not at all an art. Fashion as a directive exists to serve the system which is oriented towards the masses.
11. You have an "Atelier Couture and Bridal", and a "Boutique" in Athens, Greece, an "Edite Showroom and Press Agency" in New York. Why have you chosen these two cities to showcase your work?
I did not choose them... they chose me... Athens is the city where I grew up, work, and love, and New York called me after the success we had with [the American actress,] Allison Brie and her appearance at the Golden Globes.
12. Are the characteristics of femininity universally alike or do they depend on gender roles in society?
Of course, they are not the same. They are always along with the peoples' cultures.
13. Your designs have attracted not only Greek, but also international personalities, such as the American actresses, Laura Elizabeth Dern and Alison Brie. What do you think makes your designs stand out?
The highly recognizable style of a non pretentious and always nostalgic elegance.
14. How important is the "copyright" issue on infringement of other designs?
It is very important to have a copyright in fashion, as it is a field that is mainly besieged from non-stop copying.
15. Are there any questions you have always wanted to answer, yet have never been asked?
Do you believe in life after death?
And I would reply... Of course, I believe in life after death... we basically never die... we are energy, which co-existed, exists, and will continue to exist.
Photos of interview courtesy: V. Zoulias' personal archive.
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