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'My Own Syros' By Dimitra Kolotoura

5 JUL 2024

Although I was born and raised in Athens, Syros has always been 'my place,' the most beautiful island in the world and my favourite destination in my childhood eyes!

I loved strolling in the central square with its imposing town hall and palm trees, endlessly chasing pigeons, and later enjoying delicious loukoumades (the Greek version of donuts) with my grandfathers at the well-known kafeneio 'Stellas'!

My beloved grandmother, Ioanna, always wore silk dresses with a belt around her waist, exquisite jewelry - or what seemed impressive to me -, hair styled with rollers, small-heeled pumps, and walked gracefully on the cobblestone streets. I admired her with awe. During these walks, I always wore a dress myself, with a huge bow, made from the same fabric of my dress, in my light brown hair. The walk to the square. The most important moment of the day.

Syros is my mother's birthplace, and as a child, I spent all my summers there.

I still go there.

In the years that have passed since then, many things have changed on my island - some for the better and some for the worse. But for me, the warm memory of walks with my grandfathers in the magnificent square will always remain and make Syros the most beautiful place in the world.

One of the most precious gifts the island gave me, beyond memories, was the inspiration for the company of my life, ZEUS+DIONE!

On my home's terrace, my friend Mareva Grabowski and I envisioned this ambitious project. It was there that the first idea was born, and we said, "Why not do it?" And we did. We returned to Athens and began. "The start is half the battle," they say. Since then, the initial idea of the company has evolved, enriched, many things have changed, and above all, the fact that for several years I have continued this creative journey alone!

Yet, what remains constant is that I always return to Syros. There I recharge my batteries, relax, and find inspiration. There, I make crucial decisions, reflect, and organize my thoughts. I have been deeply influenced by the island's culture; therefore, the themes for our collections, curated by our creative director Marios Schwab and inspired by Rebetiko and the men's fashion of the '40s and '50s, speak to my DNA.

Syros is where I find dear local friends—friends of the heart—who I always visit.

Kostas Bougiouris runs the stunning 'Iliovasilema' restaurant in Galissas, while my friends Lina and Letta Fournistaki own the cherished 'Allou Yialou' in Kini. Next to my house, in Poseidonia, is the beautiful 'Peroquet Tranquil' of Rika Fatsea and Marc Bocquet, where we can taste exceptional French cuisine for a change. And for the finest cocktails, we go to 'Porte,' by Haris Tagios, where we also have the option to try excellent sushi at Ikigai in Ermoupolis. I always stop by the beautiful eyewear shop owned by my friend Stavros Kois. I also have younger friends, like Dimitris Stavrakopoulos, who revived an old weaving factory! He put all his passion and love into this place, and now visitors relive the heyday of our country's important textile production factories.

My list of experiences in this wonderful destination—whether in summer or winter—is endless. Most importantly, Syros' rare energy, once a robust nexus of development, culture, and production, continues to inspire me profoundly.