NEW YORK – Elena Baltzoglou, Conceptual Innovator and Creative Director, recently spoke with The National Herald about her life and work. The Athens-native has brought her expertise to New York where she is already making her mark with impressive fashion projects. From a major British multinational retailer to fashion tech startups from Hong Kong, Chile, Israel, Vietnam, and Wales, to international innovative designers located in the epicenter of retail in the USA, Baltzoglou has been contributing to the success stories of fashion players, stepping up their game by crafting impactful marketing campaigns and developing strong and effective content strategies.
Baltzoglou told TNH, “I was born and raised in Athens, Greece, where I also did my undergrad in Management Science and Technology at Athens University of Economics and Business. After that, I worked for the global fashion retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) in the Marketing Department, and at the age of 24, I managed to become the External Communication Manager for Greece and the Balkans.”
“After almost 4 years at M&S,” she continued, “Parsons, the #1 arts school in the USA and #2 in the world, invited me to New York and offered me a scholarship to do a Master of Arts in Fashion Studies with a focus on second-hand clothing markets and buy-sell-trade retail schemes. While I was studying there, I was working at XRC Labs, an innovation accelerator that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, brands, and retailers to foster rapid innovation and unlock new opportunities in retail.”
“Now, I work independently,” Baltzoglou told TNH, “as a Conceptual Innovator in New York, providing consulting services to bespoke brands and fashion tech startups. My expertise involves different aspects of strategic communications that help conceptualize promotional content in a manner that hits all the right chords with the brands.”
Baltzoglou’s research, during her academic career, encompasses many aspects of Fashion, Memory, and Time, and includes Marking Time in Contemporary Fashion and Martin Margiela’s Practice in Defense of Slow Fashion, among other papers.
Of her current ongoing collaborations, Baltzoglou is working with the American Abstract artist Peter Reginato and DZ Zone producer Daniela Zahradnikova. “We launched a limited edition handbag collection epitomizing the idea of Wearable Art in February that was featured on Arise Entertainment TV early in May (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xdtgS7WgOU) and in the latest issue of New York Magazine,” she said.
Another unique project she is involved in is “Cement Chemistry: a jewelry brand that aims to disrupt the main idea of concrete and offers necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings in bold shapes and beautiful colors (https://www.instagram.com/cement_chemistry/).
“We just received the Silver A’ Design Award in Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design Category, 2017 – 2018, and we couldn’t be happier about it,” Baltzoglou said.
Cement Chemistry: a jewelry brand that aims to disrupt the main idea of concrete and offers necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings in bold shapes and beautiful colors. Photo: Courtesy of Elena Baltzoglou
“Also, there are many Greek brands these days that have approached me to help them expand their business and start selling in New York. DeGRwear, YFOS, Aelia Selection, Aquadose, and Sher Makesh are some of them, and there are more in the pipeline for next year,” Baltzoglou told TNH.
“Last but not least,” she said, “as an advocate for sustainable practices and a great supporter of circular economies, I started a series of fashion reuse events called Discover. Connect. Swap, where guests are invited to relax, mingle, get pampered, and swap clothes and accessories they no longer need or wear.”
“The idea is to contribute to the revolutionizing approach of fashion recycle and reuse, while connecting with friends. Any items no one wants will be donated to Coalition for the Homeless. The next Fashion Reuse event takes place on May 20 in Soho, at the whimsical and colorful penthouse of the artist Peter Reginato, where guests will have the opportunity to meet the artist in person and get an exclusive preview of his ‘Day to Night’ exhibition that’s coming up at the Westbeth Gallery this June,” Baltzoglou said.
Her recent work for the Carnival of Love Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Gala was a resounding success, helping to raise $45,000 to benefit families living with autism or special needs in our local community.
More information about Elena Baltzoglou and her work is available online at: www.bael.co and www.instagram.com/bael_co/
Elena Baltzoglou, center, at a Fashion Reuse event. Photo: Courtesy of Elena Baltzoglou