This week I had the wonderful privilege of interviewing Greek designer Michail Gkinis of aptform, a talented designer whom I have been following for several years. To read the press release of Michail’s spring/summer 2013 collection, click here.
Thank you Michail for interviewing with us! So tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. My family (mother and sister) were and still are making made-to-order clothes for personal customers. I grew up in an environment with the essence of textiles and the creative sound of sewing machines.
What led you to study in the UK?
My youth was inspired by the science fiction movies like BLADE RUNNER and the industrial post-punk and no-wave movements of London. After some years of life experience in London, I entered to the BA course of menswear in the London College of Fashion. During my studies I did an internship at ISSEY MIYAKE men’s studio in Tokyo. It was breathtaking experience.
Where do you live now?
Since 2006 and after my studies in London (London College of Fashion) I moved to Tokyo, Japan.
What brought you to that decision?
Tokyo was and still is my fascinated city.
In what ways?
The fusion of the modernism & spiritualism. The mix of the old black and white movies with the minimal techno sounds. In one part, the modern architecture of the city, in the other the rusty texture of the walls and as connecting point the silence between the spaces.
What does Tokyo give to you?
I am very inspired by the environment I live in, and Tokyo gives me the freedom to develop my ideas. Also a huge impact plays the fact that I feel very connected with the textile makers here in Japan as there is a parallel way of thinking. I can say that it all makes sense being in Tokyo and all those influences are expressed through my design.
What inspires you as a designer?
My admiration for the Bauhaus movement and its principles, specifically ‘Form follows function’ is aptform’s raison d’être as a pursuit in creating meaningful clothes that explore the passageways between communication, design, and nature, not only in substance but as a purpose for life.
Do you hold to any philosophy that is expressed in your designs?
The engine of inspiration that breathes life into the idea that is aptform can be seen as the amalgamation of practices that range from industrial to nature, which is used as a language to express awareness about the modern social environment through the medium of clothing.
How would this concept be expressed practically in your collections?
Wearable art for those who loves art. aptform is the idea behind contemporary clothing that is meaningful in terms of construction and sensitive in their cut and texture.
How would you say Greece and Japan come together in all this?
aptform is a brand transmitted from Tokyo/Japan designed by a Greek designer. The fusion of Greece and Japan creates a unique Eurasian design. Inspired by the industrial and natural environment, it uses high qualities of Japanese textiles and updates traditional techniques of making. Having simple and original design withdraw refined creativity and enhance the confidence of the individuals.
How would you describe your current collections?
Avant-garde design with sophisticated textures and experimental techniques of making. A post androgynous look with lightweight and fluid silhouettes.
What motivates your brand?
Always our motivation is to lead the way with innovation and evolution.
Any closing words?
Wear aptform. Feel better—think better—act better.