ELIANA

...exploring innovative ways of combining fur with craftsmanship

My name is Eliana Dimitrakopoulou and I graduated from the MA Fashion Design and Technology course at London College of Fashion. The course was a great experience; it helped me discover the origins of my design. I also enjoyed living in London and making new friends – they were the most precious part of my time here! My collection is called ‘Monkey’ as it is inspired by the monkey’s shapes, volumes and colours and it is a reference to Darwinism (where man comes from monkey). Most of my collection was sponsored by Kopenhagen Fur from Denmark. I am very grateful to its manager Michael Holm and the Production Director Thomas Andersen, without whom my collection would have never looked as we see it today. Also, one garment was sponsored by the British Fur Trade Association known as BFTA and won 2nd place for London at the International Fur design contest REMIX within MIFUR, Milan.

Before I started my MA course, I was working in Kastoria, Greece, as a fur designer, specialising in fur design and craftsmanship. However, I actually started designing and working with fur back in 2005 when, once again, I won 2nd place for Greece in the International Fur design- contest REMIX at MIFUR, Milan.

After I was offered an interesting job opportunity, my furry journey began! I also commenced by studying for four years in Greece and graduated with a BA with distinction in Fashion Design and Technology. At the moment, I am working as a freelance fur designer exploring new innovative ways to combine craftsmanship of fur with fashion design. Therefore, I also try to be very involved with the production departments during the process of manufacturing my collection.

Nothing inspires me like…
Music! It is my belief that music its the key to creativity.

I hope…
People in the UK will make they minds up about wearing fur. Fur is our natural choice, fur is beautiful, warm, soft, elegant, glamorous, sexy; in other words everything a woman wants. There is no reason to fight against it. For thousands of years and generations humans used fur to protect themselves against cold weather as we do today in many parts of the world, for example in Russia.

Cultural influences…
I learnt my profession as a fur craftsman in Kastoria, Greece. Therefore, this experience is the basis of anything I do. I also want to thank all the people who taught me their knowledge which allowed me to improve my designs.

I got where I am…
Thanks to my passion to create. I’m probably too young to even say this, as I’m only at the beginning of my career. However, according to the prizes on my fur designs in the past, I believed that recognition has to do with luck; but now I know that most of it is talent and hard work.

Fashion can sometimes…
Be catastrophic. There are times I watch people on the street dressed up like monkeys imitating each other. Individuals should try to find their own style instead of copying a trend that might be a terrible mismatch for them.

Faith in…
Yourself is the most important element to make a start. I always had doubts about my talent, so many times I was shown that I was wrong and felt insecure. For a long time I thought it was only me, but then I met many great designers who are very talented and they told me they had the same doubts. On the other hand, there are less talented people who with their confidence and faith in themselves achieve greater results. Hence, faith works the best!

Creativity comes from…
Everything and nothing. There are times when I’ve got no idea where an idea came from!

I have never…
Used people. There is no need to use people when you are strong enough to achieve something yourself.

Love is…
All around us, we just need to open our eyes!

My dreams…
Are similar to anyone else’s: to have a job, family and friends that I love.

My future is…
Furry. Even if I like all creative jobs, I must say that so far working with fur is what I love most.

Studios make me…
Wanna run, jump, dance! Love to have people around me during work!

The earliest memory…
Of me designing my first collection was at the age of 4 years old. At first I grabbed a pencil.

My mum…
Inspired me all the way through. She is my target customer: elegant, glamorous, sexy and she loves innovation in fashion.

I like making…
Beautiful fur garments for my clients. When l watch a woman feeling so beautiful in my creations, I feel like I need no other recognition.