The story behind the beloved Greek shoe brand ‘Ancient Greek Sandals’

Nikolas Minoglou and Christina Martini are the co-founders of independent footwear brand Ancient Greek Sandals.

The couple met in 2007 when Martini was working as a shoe designer for Louis Vuitton in Paris, connecting over their love of Hellenic art and culture.

What happened was the creation of the shoe brand, the basic concept of which was to elevate the basic, cheap brand of sandals from the Greek tourist market and create something using high-end materials and superior manufacturing.

Co-founders of Ancient Greek Sandals, Nikolas Minoglou and Christina Martini.

In the early years, Minoglou and Martini produced high quality leather that locals criticized.

“They didn’t take the brand seriously and thought the sandals were too expensive, regardless of the level of work and craftsmanship involved,” Minoglou said in an interview with The Australian.

Nonetheless, the sandals were well received by international consumers, being immediately snapped up by Net-a-Porter, Harvey Nichols and Matches Fashion.

“Greeks appreciate things from abroad, so once we got international recognition, the market here responded well,” Minoglou said.

The co-founders both work remotely, with Martini based in Corfu and Minoglou based in Athens.

While Martini leads the creative side of the business, Minoglou, who has a degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA in entrepreneurship, oversees the numbers.

However, Minoglou is no stranger to the industry. After World War II, his grandfather produced the first rubber boots for farmers, then expanded into the wholesale sale of affordable athletic shoes.

This year, the brand celebrated its 10th anniversary and debuted in two new categories: bags and, inspired by a year at home, homewares like ouzo carafe stoppers and bread baskets.

SOURCE: The Australian

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