When celebrities like Rebecca Madden from Channel nines the Footy Show and Neighbours star Olympia Valance are wearing your designs you know you’ve made it. That is the case with Melbourne designer Dimitra Papafotiou. Her Chapel street store demands attention and that’s exactly what Dimitra Papafotiou gives her customers, by empowering them with her “Desk to Dinner“ and “Beach to Bar“ designs, to embrace all Woman. In this interview Dimitra tells us where it all began and her plans for the future.
CW: It has been a couple of months since the launch of DIIDA. Take us back to where it all began.
DP: It all began in my one bedroom apartment. I was at the height of my career as Creative Director, for a Boutique Fashion Label, yet I was still not content or happy. I knew I had more to offer fashion woman of the world. I felt that there was a gap in the market place for a luxury woman’s label, which offered classic yet fashion forward clothing for the modern day woman. Diida was born February 2015.
CW: Tell us about your range and what are your influences?
DP: DIIDA will embody a contradiction of elements – its styling is sexy and strong; but remain beautiful and feminine; with a balance of luxury and utility. It is chic and timeless.
DIIDA is strongly influenced by my Greek heritage; which will be the key aesthetic of the brand and this will resonate throughout all the collections.
DIIDA will have two key silhouettes:
1. Soft-draping, pleating and gathering;
2. Structured- sharp edges and form-fitting;
Both linked to Grecian influence and design print. Prints are ethnic and/or Mediterranean inspired; geometric tiles, paisley, Greek architectural design, traditional animal print, and European floras; Geraniums, Florentine irises, Bougainvillea, Valencia rose and hyacinths. The Fabrics are opulent floral and paisley lace, crochet knit, structured cotton sateen, pontis, luxurious silk crepe de chines, chiffons, and georgettes.
CW: How long does it take you from an initial idea to a finished garment?
DP: It generally takes 6-8months from concept stage. It starts with researching, brainstorming ideas, sketching, sourcing prints, trims and fabrics, followed by implementing my designs into patterns and then product samples, before a final decision is made to proceed with the collections in my boutique.
CW: You’re living your passion, what advise would you give to people who wish to pursue their dream?
DP: I, absolutely am! When you love what you do it makes all the difference. It’s not all roses and rainbows. It has been a life commitment and the work never ends. You have to be ready to give it all and be committed. Its long hours, no social life, and stressful moments, but it is all worth it! However, the feeling I get, when I see woman feel and look amazing in my clothing, is unexplainable. It is pure satisfaction and pleasure.
CW: What’s next?
DP: Diida will look at expanding into another five boutiques in Australia and enter into the European and US markets. We have exciting times ahead ☺