A conversation with the people who left their own artistic imprint in the photoshoot of our new Riza (i.e. Roots) collection. Behind this campaign and photoshoot are hidden many talented people with different views, aesthetics, experiences, personalities. But in a magical way, all of this was orchestrated wonderfully, at least in our eyes. That is why we want to highlight two of them, the photographer Ioanna Chatziandreou and the stylist Philippe Missas. In their own words they explain the creative process from the conception of the idea to the final result, which we share with you through images and videos.
Ioanna (@shooterio) was studying tourism in Thessaloniki when she sent out a photo to a competition of a private school where she won a scholarship. She attended both schools at the same time, until she finally decided to take up photography. "I knew it was a difficult profession and I had to convince my parents but it was what allowed me to express myself, it was what I wanted to do." She came to Athens in 2009, where she collaborated with well-known print and online magazines and was represented by an agency for several years.
Philippe (@philippe_g_missas) from a very young age (12 years old!) waited patiently in line to watch fashion shows. "I was standing in the last row trying to see." In the last year of his studies in French language and literature, he took styling classes and began to make contacts with people in fashion, to work as an assistant stylist. He collaborates with photographers and theater stages.
The two met via Instagram and came into contact through a mutual friend. "The first time we collaborated with Ioanna I was very anxious because I admired her, but even today every time I work with her I have the same enthusiasm as if it were the first time, the same nervousness!"
The collaboration with Elina
Elina: I was following Ioanna's work on instagram and I really liked it. When I made the "Niotho" ring, I immediately thought of her because in her social profile she shares an authentic personality and it matches the purpose for which this specific piece of jewelry was made. I had told her that I would love to collaborate with her later on in a collection. This moment has finally arrived and Philippe has been added to our team.
Philippe: The creator, Elina, has the biggest vision, she is the first violin. Both Ioanna and I as creatives try to express, through our own point of view, the vision that Elina has. This whole process has its ups and downs and tensions because we are people with strong personalities.
Ioanna: Elina had a very specific story in mind for this campaign and how she was inspired to create her new Riza collection. She had also found the location, which I think was exactly right, the most suitable for this shoot. It is an area in the Bay of Schinias that is like a painting, all the trees are placed so harmoniously. Especially those in front of the beach, their roots protrude from the ground and spread several meters along the sand. As soon as I saw it, I imagined how the girls we had chosen would be placed. The concept is that these two girls have a relationship with each other, they might be sisters, a couple, friends, etc. So this is what Riza implies, what unites us with our family, with our partner, the connection essentially with our past, our common experiences, our stories. Something like a performance immediately came to my mind, and thus we were looking for the faces of the campaign to be something like characters, and not just models. I really like dancing and I am connected with dancers because of my involvement with the theater scene, and it seemed more natural for dancers than models to perform movements that have to do with bonding and relationships. First we thought of Myrto and then Daphne. And they were a great match, because they have the same colors and hair length and their well-trained body type is similar. It was really like they were related to each other. Regarding the photoshoot for the e-shop, we chose the wonderful model Alisha.
Philippe: Regarding Riza, a personal relationship connects us because for us it is like being a family. The fact that Elina chose us cultivates a relationship where we spend a lot of time with her and she trusts us with her "child". I always try to please the person who trusts me, thus we are all trying to deliver the best possible result, while at the same time maintaining our personality and respecting what the designer stands for. As a result, for us Riza -root means family and what does a family have? Disagreements, quarrels.
Elina: That is why during the photoshoot there were moments of reflection. This has to do with the Riza, it contains reflections and relaxed moments but in the end it finds the way to move forward.
Philippe: I have a Carl Rogers approach to styling - very person-centered. Elina is full of emotion and forces me, in a very good way, to approach it differently and handle it with silk gloves. It's something very moving, and I know that you are thinking they are just clothes, but they are not just clothes. It is an image, it is an emotion that is portrayed and we all try to contribute to it. Styling is a feeling that is created either by the designer or by the model, etc. Like any creative process, this one also has many discussions, exchanges of opinions until we reach the final choice.
Ioanna: I also had in mind very specific clothes that will highlight both the movements and the girls, and thus I truly rely on the work of a stylist. I also feel the responsibility of doing something that agrees with what Elina had imagined.
Elina: To me the most essential and beautiful thing is to experience every step of the process, from the moment I created Riza's first design on paper to the moment when this photoshoot with this great team was completed. When someone comes in and puts in their soul and their talent, it matters. This path, this meeting of people, personalities, our different voices but also the will to work together is more important to me than the end result. If we have managed to find a way to achieve all these and make it work for everyone, I completely trust the result that will come out.
Philippe: We all put in our signature, our energy, our time and our love!
We would like to thank Villa Brown Ermou Hotel (26 Petraki Str., Syntagma, Athens) for hosting this photoshoot.