Elina Kakourou and Dimitris Patsiouris belong in the category of people who decided to make a living from their passion. Both, as true crafters, use their hands, heart and mind on a daily basis. The union of these leads to the design and production of unique creations, in the case of Elina in handmade jewelry and in the case of Dimitris in handmade footwear, as a continuation of the family business EL GRECO shoes.
Behind each of their creations there is always a story and in this joint interview we will discover the story of the sandal Limeni that emerged from their collaboration. What makes the Limeni unique is that it harmoniously combines leather with metal, the two basic raw materials used by the two creators in their collections.
How did this collaboration between a jewelry designer and a shoe designer come about?
Elina: Personally, during summer time I have worn more than three pairs of sandals made by Dimitris, in different colors and designs. I noticed that every time I wore them in my retail store but also outside of work, my customers and friends said they liked them. So, I thought that since people are interested in them, something could be done between the two brands.
What is the source of inspiration for the sandal?
Dimitris: The basic form of the sandal is the same as our classic handmade sandal Astarte that was worn by Elina and received positive reviews. However, we made some changes in order to combine it with Elina’s metal material that we incorporated in the new design. The sandal is made of the smooth and soft nubuck leather that we use in our workshop. We chose this specific leather, which is a product of upcycling and is in line with Elina’s strong environmental ethics. Also, we chose this specific shade of green because we wanted something that is related to the characteristic green color of the KAKURU brand identity. In essence, we worked on the basic design form and curves of Elina’s jewelry with the basic and most recognizable form of EL GRECO shoes.
Elina: I should also add that the rope used for the bindings is waxed which has been knitted by hand especially for this collaboration, because we wanted to maintain the handmade feel in all the individual elements that compose the final result. The metal we chose is bronze and has been sculpted in our workshop in our own traditional way.
What did you gain from this collaboration?
Elina: I definitely learned that metal, when used in the production of shoes, requires a different approach because it is not as soft as leather that easily hugs the foot. It is a tougher material and its application should not hinder the natural movement of the foot, while at the same time it should add elegance.
Dimitris: First of all, let me say that we are both very happy with the result. From my part, I witnessed how the addition of a piece of jewelry can aesthetically upgrade a shoe and I look forward to seeing it worn!
The Limeni sandals have been released in a limited number, and are available to purchase online, at elgrecoshoes.com and kakuru.gr, as well as in store from EL GRECO (364 Patission Av., Ano Patissia, Athens 111 41) και KAKURU (24 Petraki Str., Syntagma, Athens 105 63.)