Fashion designer Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos from DIMITRI

DIMITRI – the label behind which fashion designer Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos hides. The half-Greek-born Italian recognized his passion for fashion already in his childhood. After completing his master’s degree in fashion design, Dimitrios worked for several well-known designers and eventually founded his own label. His fashion stands for precision, quality and personality. In the interview, the likeable creative reveals more about his show at the last Fashion Week Berlin, his fashion favorites and his plans for the future.

Lukinski Villas

Germany - Spain - USA

Dimitri at the Fashion Week Berlin

FIV: Dimitrios, you wowed Berlin with your show at the last Fashion Week! What was especially important to you at the show?

It was important to me to show wearable fashion, to encourage a younger audience or younger customers and to round off the summer collection with a beachwear collection.

FIV: What does your current collection look like? What is the vision behind it?

The DIMITRI Spring / Summer 2016 collection is colourful and unusually rocking – especially when it comes to the silhouettes of skirts, dresses and trousers. Pleats, fringes and high-quality, handmade fabrics from India and Morocco give the summer styles a casual sex appeal – 70s cuts exude festival feeling. Materials such as leather, silk and embroidery create additional exciting textures. Accessories such as bags, belts and jewellery are made with great attention to detail, set accents and complete the individual looks.

The swimwear capsule collection called “Oriental Beach Dreams” DIMITRI X UHLALÁ enchants with innovative cuts, oriental and Indian influences and bright colors. Prints inspired by Moroccan tiles and playful details like coins and fringes make dreams of 1001 nights on the beach come true.

FIV: In your opinion, is Berlin Fashion Week a good platform for young designers? Why?

I think Berlin Fashion Week is not only a good platform for young designers but also for already established labels. I am Italian and therefore everyone wonders why I show at Fashion-Week in Berlin. The decision to present my collections there is very simple: unfortunately there is no such opportunity in Milan and to put on a show in that setting would mean a very big investment there. But it is still my goal! I would like to see labels, whether from Germany or not, get the same privileges: Some big fashion magazines make a clear difference in their coverage. One should treat German and foreign labels equally and also consider the continuity of participation in Fashion Week, in times when shows are always being cancelled.

Credit: DIMITRI – Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos

Dimitri on style and fashion must-haves

FIV: What is the absolute fashion must-have for you?

For a woman definitely the sexy little black dress, high heels and designer handbag – for me the perfect fashion essentials.

FIV: How would you describe your fashion style?

My personal style is more casual: jeans, Chelsea boots and a T-shirt. I like to be able to move around at work, so it has to be uncomplicated. When I’m invited, I also like to wear designer suits, preferably slim-fitting ones.

FIV: How did you personally get into the fashion business? Did you do a classical education?

I have been involved with fashion since I was a child. My mother is a very fashionable woman and my origin Italy brings that automatically. Painting, crafting and embroidery were favourite pastimes as a child. When I was 14, I was fascinated by the top models of the time, especially Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell. Despite several apprenticeships in other fields, the fascination with fashion never left me until I decided to study at the Esmod fashion school. I graduated there and immediately afterwards I did a Master in Fashion Design in Milan. This was followed by 2-3 years of work experience with various international labels such as Jil Sander, Vivienne Westwood and Hugo Boss, until I started my own label DIMITRI.

Credit: Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos by Andreas Panzenberger

Dimitrios: At home he likes it minimalistic

FIV: What do you like most about your work as a designer?

Actually, everything that comes with being a designer: creative work, travel, fabrics, materials, trade shows, meeting new people, and honestly, the recognition that comes with it.

FIV: What has been your best experience on the job so far?

There are so many that I can hardly commit to one. Before I started my own business, I had the opportunity to work for Vivienne Westwood. Then my first presentation in front of a large audience at Fashion Week in Berlin.

FIV: As a hip designer you are often on the road. You must long for your home and your own bed from time to time. What does a “perfect home” look like for you?

Hard to say. I feel at home in my apartment, which is decorated in a very clean and minimalistic way: the colours grey, taupe, beige and black predominate, many things were designed by me personally. That’s actually strange, because my fashion collections are always very colorful and playful. But at home I prefer it rather clean, all objects or decorative elements have their fixed place.

Credit: Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos/ Andreas Panzenberger

Dimitrios’ great love: Milan!

FIV: What is THE European fashion metropolis for you? Why?

Definitely Milan! It is Italy’s No. 1 fashion capital. I’m very patriotic about that, unfortunately, even though I also see Paris as an important fashion metropolis.

FIV: What inspires you personally?

I am always inspired by oriental countries like Morocco, Oman, India and parts of Africa. The different cultures, their clothing, jewelry and the variety of colors.

FIV: In today’s fashion business the competition is quite high and constantly growing, how do the designers deal with it? Do friendships also develop or is the competition very pronounced?

Being from Italy and only in Berlin during Fashion Week, I don’t have much time to make friends with other creatives in the fashion industry. I work a lot in Italy and concentrate on my collections there. But I can well imagine that there is competition between some designers.

FIV: Which star style do you personally think is great and why?

I admire Olivia Palermo for her elegant style, while Kate Moss is an icon of rock chic.

FIV: What does your professional future look like? What are your plans for the near future?

At the moment we are already in the middle of the preparations for the next collection, i.e. Fall Winter 2016. My long-term goal would be to be a permanent fixture at Milan Fashion Week and to establish the DIMITRI label internationally.

FIV: Dear Dimitrios, thank you very much for the interview!

More information about designer Dimitri:

Credit: DIMITRI – Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos