SPANAKI is the name of Greek, Anna Germanou’s, ventures as a graphic designer & handcrafted jewellery/accessory designer – and it’s obvious that she’s found many ways to weave the two together. She’s a stickler for presentation and professionality, and her ideas as super creative to boot. The clutches we will be showing & selling this week prove that this lady has a serious ability to use every day objects in unexpected ways.
Can you give us a bit more background about yourself and how you began working on your designs?
Well, about me: I enjoy sketching, thinking, reading, watching and listening to people on the streets. I love street markets, libraries, Woody Allen, watermelon, coffee and feeling the breeze on my face.
I started my studies in Informatics and Communication, then I did an executive diploma in Marketing, but my overriding passion for arts and design soon led me in the other direction, so I studied jewellery manufacturing and took my MA degree in Graphic Design at Lancashire University in 2011. I’m an obsessive collector of everything – always on the hunt for special things like old images, diagrams, typography and cartography.
In 2010 I introduced my “REUSE” project based on the idea of upcycling used or discarded materials with the intention to expand the product’s lifecycle by transforming it into something new that can offer a new satisfaction to its owner and, in a way, delay it from being detrimental to the environment .
For those of us not familiar with the fashion/design scene in Greece, can you give us a bit of an insight on current trends and how the concept of upcycling is growing? Is it quite common in your city?
We all know the financial state of Greece at the moment, so you can imagine the fashion industry can definitely be considered one of the crisis’ victims. Every obstacle though can be transformed into something unique! Vintage fashion, second-hand stores and upcycling products are new and upcoming trends in Greece and especially in Thessaloniki which is not as big as Athens. New designers in Greece are trying to find their own creativity paths. There are a lot of young, creative artists/designers that are working with emerging trends and ideas that are more appropriate to the social and economical needs at the moment. Upcycling is tending to become a lifestyle, not only a fashion statement.
You use fashion magazines in the design of your bags, can you tell us why you chose this medium and how you collect them?
During the 90’s, many people working for the music industry were design innovators. In the recent years, the fashion industry started exploring and experimenting with new design ideas as well. Which means that nowadays many great graphic designers, illustrators and photographers express themselves through fashion as well. I started collecting magazines because I found them exciting, innovating and inspirational. My collection consists of magazines gathered from many of my journeys. Free press magazines interest me a lot as well. I collect almost everything that catches my eye.
Do you work with any collaborators? What’s your favorite way to promote your work and what do you find most challenging?
SPANAKI clutches are made exclusively by hand. They are cut, punched, labeled, packed, photographed, even promoted by my sister and myself – if that is considered a collaboration. Because of each bag’s uniqueness, I believe that there is no better way of promoting our work than those who hold and enjoy a bag we’ve created. We are trying to keep evolving and out-do ourselves, which is the greatest challenge of all.