Valentini Argyropoulou is a Greek accessories and footwear designer living between London and Athens and travelling the world. During her undergraduate studies, she won the “Special Award for creativity and technical skills” at the Athens New Designers Fashion Week. A year later she partnered with fashion designer Maria Tagalou, creating footwear for her show in Athens Fashion Week 2012.
In 2015, Valentini launched her own footwear brand, recognisable for its use of colour. Staying true to her roots, past collections have been inspired by the Ancient Greek Civilisation, both artistically and technically, applying age-long methodologies and techniques in the construction process that can be traced back in history.
1. You have studied so many aspects of fashion, what attracted you to focus on footwear & accessories?
I am instinctively attracted to the shoes, I have been always eager to design, make and wear my shoes – I’m not sure when or why it happened. I started with jewellery as it was easier to study this in Greece, but I jumped into the footwear industry as soon as I was given the chance! As a result, I am unbearably happy when I see people wearing my shoes/accessories, especially when I receive new orders from existing, beloved customers!
2. As well as your footwear brand & website, you also have your own travel blog. Do the destinations you visit ever provide you with inspiration for your designs?
Absolutely! I have visited more than 35 countries so far and each time new designs pop into my mind! Unfortunately, most of them are yet to be developed (even on the paper!), as every new design requires a lot of effort and involve a huge amount of time!
3. You create all kinds of shoes, from wedges and boots, to bridal-wear and bespoke designs. You must have a favourite, what is it and why?
My ankle boots! It is by far the most popular design as they’re super comfy and water resistant. They can be done in countless colours and can be customised for each customer (I’ve designed pairs for a biologist, a musician, a teacher, vegan ones, etc.). I have made 5 pairs for myself so far (and I always take at least one pair with me throughout my travels!). My family and my girlfriends have at least one pair each and even my boyfriend wears one (actually the main photo of my travel blog www.myshoesabroad.com).
4. What’s the most difficult thing about preparing for a fashion show?
Finding sponsors/funding. Small and independent brands do not have the same access to facilities/opportunities that the bigger ones do, so this is a struggle that fashion industry should take into consideration more often.
5. A lot of your styles have a colour and playful feel to them, how important are these factors to your brand identity?
Extremely important! I love when people say “Oh I knew that you made it!”. However, I equally like to explore different styles from time to time and to incorporate new ideas to my existing concept and identity!
And just for fun…
6. If you had unlimited funds to create your own dream footwear fashion show, what would it look like?
I am working on that, even with limited funds, and hopefully at some point it will turn into a reality! So please be patient!
7. Which celebrity would you most like to style and why?
Any feminist who loves colourful stuff!
8. If you were moving to another country (again), but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack?
My favourite clothes , kindle, laptop, mobile phone and as many pairs of (my) shoes as I could squeeze in!
9. What did you Google last?
Apo Island in the Philippines. I wanted to write a blog post about it so I was running an SEO search!
10. What trend are you tired of?
No more square-toe shoes please!
You can learn more about Valentini on her website.
Follow Valentini on Instagram –valentiniargyropoulou