Mythic Style: Ancient Greek Sandals
Tales of the gods have enchanted the imagination since Hermes flew to Mount Olympus in his famed winged sandals. Now the legend continues, thanks to Ancient Greek Sandals, a collection of handmade leather footwear. Designer Christina Martini and Nikolas Minoglou find creative inspiration in classical mythology and ancient Greek art. Step into their world with our Q & A, where old-world craftsmanship meets contemporary style.
THE THREAD: Your shoes are handcrafted in Greece. What makes a Greek sandal so divine?
CHRISTINA MARTINI: It’s the tradition and the construction. We try to evolve the structure, making the shapes of the shoes more interesting but keeping the assembly as it was done hundreds of years prior. The technique is basically hand-puncturing holes in the sole of our chemical-free, vegetable-tanned leather—one-by-one. To truly maintain the integrity of the shoe, we use stitching and studs only when necessary.
THE THREAD: Wow, your design process truly does sound god-sent. Tell us a little bit about your working relationship with Nikolas.
CHRISTINA: It’s the perfect partnership. He’s the business mind and I’m the creative, designing the samples and the prototypes. A mutual friend introduced us, and we both saw a gap in the market for this type of product. We started concept-ing the collection while I was working in Paris, and it just came together. It’s a dream come true for both of us, to have a Greek-owned and operated business.
THE THREAD: The shoes have fun names like ‘Nephele’ and ‘Ikaria’. Any special meaning?
CHRISTINA: Most of the time, the name is the inspiration of the design. When I design, I think about a muse or a nymph or a goddess, and sometimes I create my own myths when I design. But usually, they’re linked to the inspiration of the sandal.
For example, the ‘Drama’ Platform Sandal has a small wedge and brings us back to the ancient Greek actors who used to wear wedges in order to appear taller to the audience. Nephele means “clouds” in Greek, and our ‘Nephele’ sandal has wings.
THE THREAD: Greek mythology is filled with so many beautiful goddesses. Which celebrity would be the Ancient Greek Sandals modern-day muse?
CHRISTINA: Kate Moss. I would love for her to wear the sandals. I think she’s an absolute goddess of today.
Find your inner goddess by donning a pair of Ancient Greek Sandals.
Photos courtesy of Ancient Greek Sandals