Mary Katrantzou (born in 1983 in Athens) is a fashion designer who currently lives and works in London, born in Athens, Greece to an interior design mother and a father who trained in Textile Engineering. Mary Katrantzou has quickly made her presence known in the fashion world with her hyper-real and paradisiacal prints – which started out life as oversized jewelry designs on simple shifts for her Central Saint Martins MA collection in 2008. While she has courted attention from the outset, it was her spring/summer 2011 interiors collection, complete with lampshade skirts, that really put her on the fashion map and made hers one of the must-see labels of London Fashion Week from then on. Since then, there has been no looking back and the designer continues to go from strength to strength – and has won a host of awards along the way.
She moved to the United States in 2003 in order to attend Rhode Island School of Design to study architecture. She then transferred to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where she completed both her Bachelorand Master’s degree. During her studies, she managed to sell some of her prints to Bill Blass. Graduating from her Bachelor course in 2005, Katrantzou switched her focus from prints for interiors to fashion prints. Whilst collaborating with Sophia Kokosalaki in 2006, Katrantzou managed to build up a portfolio for the Central Saint Martins Master Fashion Textiles course. In 2008, she opened the Saint Martins graduating show. Her collection was nominated for the Harrods and the L‘Oreal Professional Award. Supported by a Newgen (talent identification scheme created by the British Fashion Council in 1993) sponsorship for six full seasons (S/S 2009 – A/W 2011), her first Prêt-à-porter collection was shown at the autumn/winter London Fashion Week in 2008. Katrantzou’s graduating show in 2008 mapped out her signature style. It was themed around trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery featured on jersey-bonded dresses. these pieces created the illusion of wearing giant neckpieces that would be too heavy in reality. She also designed jewellery made out of wood and metal that were exact replicas of the prints. Mary Katrantzou’s first ready-to-wear collection debuted at London fashion week in Spring/Summer 2009, with the support of the BFC and the New Gen scheme. Despite a small collection of nine dresses, Katrantzou picked up 15 stockists including Browns, Joyce and Colette. The designer achieved show status the following season, in Autumn/Winter 2009.
Her collections are now sold worldwide in over 200 fashion shops, including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Colette, 10 Corso Como, Joyce, Luisa via roma, Mytheresa, Stylebop, Opening Ceremony and Net a Porter, and in 47 countries. A collection for Topshop launched for London Fashion Week autumn/winter 2010 and was available in shops in February 2011 and sold out within the first few days of its release. Katrantzou‘s work has been featured in publications including Vogue, Dazed & Confused, and Grazia. In 2010, she was awarded the Swiss Textiles award, succeeding Alexander Wang. She is one of the designers of Città dell’arte Fashion.Hannah Holman is one of the better known models who recently walked in one of Katrantzou‘s shows.
November 2011 Mary was awarded the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent: womenswear and in February 2012 was awarded Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards. February 2012 saw the release of her collaboration with Longchamp creating a capsule collection of their signature bags and totes. To promote them Vogue Japan gave away a plastic card case with Katrantzou’s prints with their May issue. Three prints featured in this collaboration over several different shapes and sizes.
March 2013 the Mary Katrantzou’s and Current/Elliott’s collaboration launched on my-wardrobe.com. The collection included jeans, dresses, shorts and tops which were inspired by Katrantzou’s spring/summer2013 collection, that depicted postage stamps and bank notes. “In our last show, a critic mentioned denim and what it might look like with our prints,” Katrantzou explained to us. “We thought that it could be a great challenge to work with denim for the first time. I really like what Current/Elliott does, so I approached Serge with an idea for a collaboration.”
In April 2014 Mary announced she would be working with famous high street brand Adidas ‘for the foreseeable future’. The collaboration will be on both clothing and footwear.
Mary has considered plus-size versions of her printed designs. “I buy online-I think as a bigger size, you feel more comfortable trying things on at home,” she told Net-a-Porter.com. Speaking of her interiors collection which features prints of home wares, she describes how you have to adapt designs for bigger sizes. “We just added more information. So on a size 8, you get the sofa, the mantelpiece and the flower, whereas on a size 14 you get the sofa, the mantelpiece, the bush and the room next door,” Katrantzou said she never planned to launch her own label, “I think your ambitions change when you work alongside people who are determined to launch their own labels,” she told us. “They were planning shows and fully blown businesses; applying for NEWGEN sponsorship etc- so I suppose I just thought, ‘why not me too?'”