The fashion press industry currently fills the papers with models wearing dresses worth $100,000 along catwalk platform that would have made Marie Antionette stop and stare. Haute couture behemoth continues to make steady progress across Europe. However, couturiers are left breathless for other reasons over in Athens.
Former managing director of Deutsche Bank, Mareva Grabowski, launched her collection of the ready-to-wear brand in 2012. She launched her brand Zeus + Dione with Dimitra Kolotoura, who owns communications agency. While speaking with one of her ateliers this week, she expressed her anger and frustration towards Greece as the country faced economic troubles in recent years.
She argues that a Grexit would be a recipe for disaster regarding politics, economics and geopolitically for every single person residing in Greece. She recalls how the people of Greece are angry and furious. When the country faced a referendum, Alexis Tsipras stated that people were giving their vote in exchange for a framework of the European community. Grabowski believes that Tsipras is out of order for considering Greece to leave the EU when approximately 80% of the Greek population want to remain as part of the EU.
Technically, a Grexit would mean positive things ahead for label Zeus + Dione. The brand, which is made up of 95% Greek-made and inspired pieces, is exported to more than 70 global stockists. This includes extremely high-class boutiques.
All items sold by Zeus + Dione are produced at a local level, aside from a few minor trimmings that are sometimes imported, such as buttons, zippers and other items that aren't available in Greece.
Technically, as an exporting business, leaving the EU would lead to a massively increased income for the company. The brand would be rolling in the money. However, that is something Grabowski is not passionate about. She believes that Grexit would be catastrophic for Greek people who would end in poverty.
The successful Greek company currently employs nearly 150 people living in Greece, including 15 from Athens. Perhaps one of the greatest success stories is the survival of a small silk factory in the village of Soufli, situated in the Evros region of Greece. Before Grabowski and Kolotoura placed their order at the local shop, they were going under, struggling to make a trade. However, the small village shop now provides Zeus + Dione with around 9km worth of silk.
Zeus + Dione also have embroidery workers in the Evros area who make their leather shoes by hand. The company provides jobs to many people all over, helping them to have a stable income.
Many question whether a Grexit would make them take their business out of their homeland. However, Grabowski assures people that she has invested a lot of time and money, and in the worst circumstances, she doesn't think that they would have to move the production of their collection outside of Greece. On the other hand, she explains that if the situation continues, they will have to relocate their headquarters from Athens. Such a decision would only be made if they started to lose business. The company's primary focus is on the people that work for them.