Exclusive insight into the world of fashion designer Yiannis Karitsiotis

It’s no secret that Yiannis Karitsiotis ranks sky high amongst our favourite designers at idaretobe. Clean contemporary shapes combine with incredible fabrics and a distinct Mediterranean flavour. With our exclusive Yiannis Karitsiotis AW2015 flash collection flying off the rails we decided to take some time out to chat to the man behind the name about his life, his inspirations and his enviable Mediterranean lifestyle.

Yiannis, we’d like to get to know you better! We’d love to know what inspired you to become a fashion designer and what you drives your creativity?
Two big questions! As a child I was interested in theatre and movies but I was always fascinated by what people wore. So now I’ve ended up being able to do bits of all three – but my biggest pleasure is helping women enjoy whatever role they choose for themselves and their personalities suggest to them – striking, fluid, relaxed, impressive – whatever helps each individual fully become themselves.

And you chose to study fashion design in the UK! What was it that drew you to study here?
I have to thank my parents for enabling me to attend art school in one of Britain’s most significant textile centres – Bradford Art School in Fashion Textiles. Following that I studied fashion at the RCA. I genuinely believe Britain offers the best possible education for the fashion industry. Looking back, it sounds highly planned and efficient, but a lot of it was good fortune .

You have so many fans in the UK. Do you feel a special connection with the UK having begun your career on our shores?
As a result of my experience of studying in the UK, I do feel a strong connection to Britain. I still have friends from my student days and I have UK friends in Greece. On top of that, I can’t thank Jackie and idaretobe enough for continuing support and interest in my work.

We know that you divide your time between Athens and your home on the stunning Aegean coast where you design your collections. How does this gorgeous location influence your designs?
To succeed as a designer you need dreams, imagination, ideas and an interest in how to make women feel good about themselves. Endless sun and blue blue sea, flowers and plants in my seaside garden certainly play a role – but so do fog and rain, which you see plenty of by the sea during Greek winters! I need all these elements to generate the ideas which drive my collections.

Since we’re being nosey, tell us a little more about your life there. How do you relax when you’re not working? And besides fashion, what are your passions?
Well, the fashion world keeps me very busy, moving as fast as it does, new collections every six months – but I enjoy visiting my country house by the sea (where I grew up), relaxing with books, animals, family, friends – it’s a fairly typical Greek lifestyle!

Ok, back to the clothes. We just love the beautiful fabrics that you choose for us. What is it that you draws you to a fabric?
Hard to say! I sometimes ask myself if it’s my Anatolian heritage – my mother’s family were kilim makers, so I naturally ask myself if that has influenced me. I look for things I think will make a woman’s life easier, can be packed without too much wrinkling, cool and flowing – as well as adding to whatever ideas I have for the collection I’m planning.

You create fashion to fit women of all sizes. Why did you choose to do that?
Because women come in all sizes and shapes, and I strongly believe in the right of all bodies to feel good and look stunning in whatever they put on! But, more than that, I’ve never really believed in rules – my fashion ideas are designed to be available and user-friendly to anyone.

How would you describe the Yiannis Karitsiotis woman?
Elegant, mysterious, sexy and, above all, feminine.

What do you enjoy most about creating the exclusive ranges for idaretobe?
The freedom I’m given to explore my ideas!

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about your inspiration for SS2016? What should we be excited about?
Expect to see the sea, rocky coastlines, and sunshine – the ways I’ve found to express that you’ll just have to wait for!

Finally, how would you describe yourself in three words?
Oh dear – am I the best person to say? I asked my friends and they said ‘warm, loyal, independent’.

With many thanks to Yiannis for giving up some of his precious designing time to talk to us. You can explore our extensive range from Yiannis Karitsiotis and don’t forget to check our new arrivals for the season’s key trends.

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