We are all quite familiar with Greek mythology and the role played by its goddesses; Athena, Aphrodite, Hera just to name a few. All these women were thought to be stunning and their garments even more so. You are probably wondering why I am focusing on Greek folklore rather than fashion this week, wait for it…..the answer is simple. Not only is our next designer from one of the greatest countries rooted in ancient history, Greece, she has also succeeded in mastering the art of creating eco-friendly garments that unquestionably bring out the goddess in a woman.
Designer Athena Bentila, owner of the label Mumu organic, and a native of Cyclades island of the Aegean Sea, Greece, has created an eco-friendly empire that focuses on the use of organic cotton and sustainable fabrics. Taking her inspiration from the cobalt-colored seas and blue skies of the island, she uses luxurious and bright quality textiles that make each of her designs pop. With artist and co-founder of Mumu organic, Roland Wakker, she is able to create classy, vintage inspired, timeless clothing that I must say would last forever in your closet.
So, “faire ressortir la déesse en vous, avec une de ses robes,” and get to know Athena better by checking out my exclusive interview with her below. Until next time this is Kilse from Vert et Vogue bidding you adieu and Happy Shopping!
Hi Athena, and welcome to Vert et Vogue. Your line is amazing; can you please tell me when you decided to get involved in green fashion?
I decided to start designing the ethical clothing MuMu organic in 2008 when I moved out of the city to go and live on a beautiful Greek island.
What are some of the eco-friendly factors you focus on and how do they affect your design process?
For the MuMu organic designs I use only organic cotton fabrics and other sustainable fabrics and components, and I can say that my design process is affected in a positive way. There are many eco-friendly fabrics out there that I can use and have the desired result. Organic and sustainable fabrics have exceptionally bright colors, one of the many things I look for when choosing my fabrics.
They have a luxurious feeling and touch and that shows also on the designs. I can produce long lasting loved pieces with these wonderful fabrics.
I simply love classy, timeless and stylish clothing and this is what I try to implement in my lines. I like to use simple lines with beautiful and charming details that make the MuMu organic clothing charming and feminine. At the same time I like to use art inspired prints, like I did with my SS13 collection, where I used water based prints inspired by the original ecological paintings made by the artist and co-founder Roland Wakker.
Your Audrey dress is very sophisticated and the purple color is so rich. I love it. Can you please tell me who you consider a target audience when designing?
I always have in mind the modern woman of our days who wants to feel beautiful and dynamic when I design the MuMu organic collections. My target audience is mainly all women from their 20s to their 60s who want to feel special, beautiful, charming and ageless.
It is difficult to break into the fashion industry in our days, regardless of the philosophy of the designer.
For me, as an eco-friendly designer, it is also difficult to break into the foreign market because of the existence of so many other designers and labels with the same philosophy. As for breaking into my country’s industry, the difficulties are slightly different since Greece is suffering an economic crisis for many years now, but I hope things will get better soon for my label and my country.
First of all, I think they will feel different since the fabrics I use are friendly to the human skin and there are no chemicals used at all. Organic clothing has a gentle and soft feeling due to the organic fabrics used and they allow to the skin to breathe. These fabrics are not likely to cause any long term infections to the skin.
At the same time I think they will also feel proud for supporting the Fair Trade movement and the local producers in developing countries because, in this way, they are ensuring safe and healthy working conditions for them.
Who are some of your fashion icons?
I admire Coco Channel and I really love the work of Marc Jacobs amongst many others.
Each designer usually has a motto or a set of rules they abide by when designing, do you have one and if so what is it?
My rules and my motto are certainly my philosophy: I am dedicated to designing and producing ethical and beautiful, loved pieces and I am not sacrificing my quality or my principles for profit and for quantity.
What advice can you give other young emerging fashion designers even more so eco-friendly young emerging designers.
I can only advise them to dare to do what they love and they believe in and stay true to their beliefs.