I had the opportunity to sit down with Maria Aristidou, the Greek fashion designer. Her answers to my questions about her 'inspiration' were most interesting. Essentially, her inspiration is drawn from living life and especially from new experiences. She translates these experiences into mental images, a kind of 'learning process.' This learning process forms the basis of her inspiration. She then translates this inspiration into palpable designs.
How did you get into fashion design?
When I was 16-17 years old, I had an uncle that owned a clothing production plant. He happened to see my sketches one day and he mentioned that I should pursue fashion design. It was the first confirmation from someone that I might have talent and that I should endeavor to develop it. Unfortunately, since in high-school I was an economics major, I did not have the prerequisites to enter a fashion design school, thus, I followed studies in Business Commerce. However, that did not stop me. Throughout my University years I kept sketching non-stop, making small costumes for a dancer friend in Toronto.
Did you want to become a fashion designer when you were young?
I was playing with Barbies till I was 12-13 years old, choosing and making outfits for them. Back then we did not have access to technology like children have nowadays. Things were more simple back then. But I have to say that one person that influenced me just because he had his personal tailor, shoe designer and always dressed to the T, was my grandfather as well as my grandmother's sister who was a seamstress. For a short period of time I wanted to be a journalist. That faded out, and I just started sketching women's clothes. So I guess fashion designing one way or another was trying to get out.