15 Things You Didn’t Know About Me
Some of you may be familiar with me as the designer from my ready-to-wear brand, FOTINI, but you might not know me well as the person beyond my design work! I would like to take this moment to introduce myself (or re-introduce to many of you!), with a few things about me that you probably didn’t know…
1. I was born in Athens, Greece. My mother is from Kalavrita, a southern Peloponnesian municipality in Greece and my father is from Alexandria, Egypt.
2. I initially embarked on a career in finance and marketing at my father’s direction – putting my fashion dream on hold for the time. My dream became a reality later in life, and to my benefit, my business knowledge was one of my most powerful tools in becoming an entrepreneur.
3. In 2007, I traveled in Italy for three years working alongside some of the best ateliers learning the construction of corsetry – my true design passion. In 2010, I founded FOTINI, my own fashion design house based in New York. In 2012, I showcased my first collection in New York Fashion Week, continuing for five seasons, and later in Houston Fashion Week.
4. As a designer, I lived with the mantra that I was a woman designing for women. And I think now, that speaks to my overall business approach. As a confident woman, I want to uplift, motivate, and empower other women as they build and enhance their personal brands.
5. I am currently penning my first book! A memoir about building my own fashion business in New York City, with inner drive and a lot of perseverance. I’ve often been asked to share my story, and this book will deliver an authentic account of the experiences that made me who I am and what it took to build a business in the fast-paced fashion industry of one of the most demanding cities.
6. I found that through my career in the fashion industry, my customers and women acquaintances in general, were coming to me as an advisor and confidante on numerous topics relating to fashion, design and lifestyle. These dialogues inspired the organic progression into my current business venture: Personal Brand Enhancement Consulting.
And now for a few fun facts…
7. I cannot start my day unless my bed is made.
8. Fitness is a huge part of my lifestyle, and I try to be active daily – sometimes even twice a day!
9. I don’t do well around a mess and clutter. Could you call me a “neat freak”? Absolutely!
10. Fragrance is extremely important to me. In a way, it is your signature. It all started when my father gifted me with a beautiful perfume bottle from Egypt.
11. My favorite flowers are peonies and gardenias.
12. I have a fear of deep water, yet I’m drawn to it more than ever. I love being near the water.
13. The Amalfi Coast is my favourite vacation destination I’ve been to so far. I once even met George Clooney! (Bonus fact: I admire Amal Clooney as a person and she is one of my style icons, although they were not together at that time!)
14. A travel item on my bucket list is to go to Egypt to see the other half of my heritage.
15. Loyalty, respect and honesty are key attributes in a person for me.