Sophia Kokosalaki

Amber Jane Butchart

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA076

Sophia Kokosalaki was born in Athens in 1972, and her Greek heritage remains a mainstay of her design inspiration. Having studied literature at the University of Athens, she subsequently completed an MA in fashion design at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London, graduating in 1998. Her eponymous fashion label was founded the following year, with her debut at London Fashion Week. A men’s collection and shoe line followed. A defining moment in her career came in 2002, when she was selected as chief designer for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She created uniforms for the teams as well as 7,000 costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies. Collaborations with Topshop and Linda Farrow eyewear followed.

Due to her interest in classical antiquity and draping as a design motif, Kokosalaki was appointed creative director of the relaunched Vionnet brand, a position she held from 2006 to 2007, until her own label was purchased by Renzo Rosso’s Only the Brave group, requiring her to devote more time to her own line. In 2009 she bought her own label back from Only the Brave, and began designing for Diesel’s high-end line Diesel Black Gold: a denim and leather label shown on the catwalk in New York. She held this appointment for three years.

In 2012 Kokosalaki launched the Kore line, developed jointly with online retailer ASOS. Kore (meaning “maiden”) is an ethical collection that includes lace crafted by artisans in Sri Lanka. The year also saw Kokosalaki launch a bridal line with Net-A-Porter. Her interest in draping as a technique is referenced in the way she works: she doesn’t sketch her designs, preferring to design directly onto a mannequin. Kokosalaki’s Hellenic heritage plays an important role throughout her design ethos, providing an ongoing source of inspiration for her work.

Sophia Kokosalaki, F/W 2000 Photograph by Niall McInerney, Fashion Photography Archive

References and Further Reading

Find in Library Amed Imran. ““A New Chapter for Vionnet”.” The Business of Fashion, 24 February 2009. .