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Left to right: Marianthi Vlachos, Maria Kosmidou, and Barbara Papadede at Hellenic Aesthetic in Astoria on November 14. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
ASTORIA – The Business to Business (B2B) event Tableware and Textiles / Fine Ceramic Art, opened with an exclusive event on November 14 at Hellenic Aesthetic NYC, 30-91 31st Street in Astoria. Marianthi Vlachos and Maria Kosmidou are showcasing the work of Barbara Papadede of Natural Greek Fabrics and ceramist Ilias Christopoulos at the Hellenic Aesthetic shop through November 21.
As Kosmidou noted, the work of Papadede and Christopoulos is being presented together for the first time in the United States, and the purpose of this innovative collaboration between two designers with international acclaim is to nurture customer relationships and new collaborations for their brands, to boost their already high credibility in the U.S. market, to create brand awareness, and to expand their marketing and social media presence for themselves, as well as for all their customers.
Vlachos in her remarks at the event on November 14 noted that she began Hellenic Aesthetic six years ago, saying, “I was pretty much shocked that there was no one platform where you could shop Greek brands in the United States, a place where everything was imported to the United States that could be very quickly shipped to you – I just thought why shouldn’t I be the person to do that?”
She continued, “so, almost six years later here we are and I finally have a brick and mortar which opened just about a year ago… I wanted to create an authentic Greek experience, transport my visitors to Greece, and one of the first people I spoke to was Natural Greek Fabrics. We have Barbara here, and that led me to Maria Kosmidou who represents Natural Greek Fabrics here in the United States and you’re pretty much the reason this whole thing happened because she represents these two wonderful designers that we’re displaying today. We’re hoping to spread the word and create some awareness for them here in the United States and beyond.”
Kosmidou thanked Vlachos, everyone present, and all those who supported the project. She said, “I like to bring together all these talented people and I had a vision to create a team of talented people and go further and promote, as Marianthi does, the image of contemporary Greece, and I think it’s everybody’s obligation in these times to combine our efforts and actually promote a better goal.”
Barbara Papadede, the designer behind the Natural Greek Fabrics, brought the brand to the International Markets. In her remarks at the event she noted that “when Maria met us with Marianthi and Ilias, it was easy to come here.”
Founded in 1936, Natural Greek Fabrics produces high-quality fabrics, tableware, and textiles directly from natural yarns such as cotton, linen, cotton canvas, burlap gauze, gingham, herringbone, sailcloth, woven fabric, and cotton velvet. Papadede has studied as a stylist in Paris France at Esmod. She is in collaboration with architects for interior projects, and she worked at many high-end resorts, homes, and restaurants in Greece, France, and Italy. Notably, the work of the Natural Greek Fabrics has been featured on the cover of the Architectural Digest, Elle Decoration, and Marie Claire in France, as well as other interior magazines.
Ilias Christopoulos is a fine ceramic artist. He has won four awards and three praises at Pan-Hellenic Ceramic Exhibitions. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions of ceramics in Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Denmark, China, and Japan. His works are in private collections and museums in Greece, in Slovenia, Hungary, and Japan. He has taught ceramic art workshops in Greece and in a training program under the auspices of the George Pompidou Center, and has studied ceramics with Hero-Myrto Maganari and Saimon Hill at the Ceramics School of the Municipality of Nicaea. He is a member of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece and of the International Academy of Ceramics.
Christopoulos joined the event via computer from his workshop in Kalamata, Greece, thanking Kosmidou, Papadede, and Vlachos, who opened her shop to display their work, and all the supporters of the event and the goal of promoting Greek products. He then spoke about his work and the unique, handmade designs on display at Hellenic Aesthetic. Christopoulos concluded by thanking everyone for the opportunity and offering his best wishes for the event.
Attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres with the food provided by Maria Petrides of Maria’s Mediterranean in Bayside, NY. Everyone also received a parting gift of one of two magnets designed by Christopoulos featuring the Linear B symbol for wine or olive oil in a special pouch made by Papadede.
The event is supported by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, the Greek Trade Office of the Consulate of Greece in New York, and the Public Diplomacy Office of the Consulate of Greece in New York.
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