the kids breathing life into athens' creative scene

Despite being rocked by financial crisis and economic instability, Athens' creative scene in thriving.

by i-D Staff; photos by Vasilis Kalegias
26 February 2018, 9:49am

Clockwise from top left: Joseph wears hoodie Off White, trousers and shoes model's own. Valentine wears clothes model's own. Dimos wear shirt Helmut Lang. Theo wears T-shirt model's own, jeans Arnar Jonsson. Kareem, Danny and Nick wear clothes clothes models' own.

AthKids, rap crew

What is the Athens' creative scene like?

How has the financial crisis affected you?
A lot of things have changed but we act like they didn't, because that’s what our Greek culture taught us.

All looks

Iasonas Pachos, designer

How would you describe Athens at the moment?
With words of affection, respect, understanding and forgiveness. I love this dirty, old, stubborn and wise lady.

What's the politics of Greece like at the moment? For an outsider it feels quite divided.
Isn't it a recurring theme worldwide though? Just like Brexit. There's work to be done in Greece, its infrastructure is a constant problem. Greed and short-sightedness create these divisions and problems.

All looks

MeThen, designers

How are Greek youth viewing Brexit in light of Greece’s troubles with the EU?
The UK, and particularly London, holds a special place in our hearts. Historically, Greek youth come to the UK to learn, to get inspired and to get involved. Brexit came as a shock and we’re still dealing with it, since we don’t know how it will affect the exchange of ideas and products between the UK and the EU.

Do you think economic difficulty of the country has made people more creative?
Limited resources call for a creative response. We strongly believe that the country’s financial situation has pushed us to think of new ways to do things. Think of the UK in the late 70s -- post-punk, the new romantics. A naive thought, we know, but we consider Athens in such a romantic way. We wouldn’t like to glorify the crisis but it has created a variety of new sensibilities. Romance is revolutionary.

Grey trousers and blue shirt Eftychia Karamolegkou. White shirt Brooks Brothers. Denim jeans Halmu

Mike Vasilakis, pro skater

How has the financial crisis affected you?
We learned to live with less than before in every way.

What are you most hopeful about for the future of Athens?
I think it will be in a better place in a few years from now. Athens will be a paradise for creatives from all over the world.

Top and skirt Off White, yellow dress Helmut Lang

Nefeli Kouri, actress

How would you describe Athens at the moment?
It’s a shame that such a beautiful city has to witness her citizens going through such rough times.

How are Greek youth viewing brexit in light of Greece’s troubles with the EU?
Brexit was because of austerity. Working class people are going through tough times and this is taken advantage by far right wing parties like UKIP.

What are you most hopeful about for the future of Athens?
Athens has survived through the centuries and I think will do once again.

All looks Sofia Metsoviti

Sofia Metsoviti, designer

What is the city’s creative scene like?
There is always something on. People are active and involved. From zine launches to gigs and dance performances, every week you'll find a good reason to drink and look at stuff.

Do you think the economic difficulty of the country has made people more creative?
I think it has made us more proactive and resourceful. You have to engage with your art and commit fully to it since there is not much money. Everyone likes drama, so we’ve got more eyes on us than before. I hope this will give us a chance to show more of what we have, cause there is so much of it.

Hoodie Raf Simons

STMTS, visual artist

How would describe Athens at the moment?
A boiling city. Full of life, energy, conflicts, tensions, contrasts, distinct ideas and creativity. Clearly the city has been damaged by the economic crisis but it is still full of life and spirit.

What are the most hopeful about for the future of Athens?
I think the hope resides in the younger generations, and the different, more modern ways of thinking. The history of Greek people is that they have survived many challenges and troubles in the last century, so I believe we will rise again this time.


Photography Vasilis Kalegias
Styling Marianthi Hatzikidi
Hair and make-up Dimitris Sarantou