Spring time is here and sandals are the new must-have accessory, making an astonishing comeback. In ancient times sandals used to be a utilitarian type of shoe that would protect people’s feet while walking. However, throughout the centuries they became so much more, a sign of social status and fashion.
Even though sandals have become very common in modern times, they became immensely popular during the 60s. In 1968, Vogue printed a several-pages-long article, presenting Paco Rabanne’s sandal collection entitled “Laced All the Way.” Since then, sandals have not yet gone out of fashion, while they are reinvented every spring with different colors, designs and materials.
Pantelis Melissinos is a third generation sandalmaker based in downtown Athens. Celebrities such as The Beatles, Maria Callas, Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, Rudolf Nureyev, Kate Moss and Sophia Loren have all visited his shop to find the perfect summer shoes.
Melissinos’ shop first opened in 1920 by Giorgos Melissinos, Pantelis’ grandfather, who used to make leather boots and women’s shoes. Later, his father, Stavros, took over the family business and turned to manufacturing sandals in the early 60s, when a British choreographer asked him to make some sandals for an ancient Greek performance she was staging. A few months later, all the shops in downtown Athens filled their windows with all types of sandals in order to attract the eager customers.
Nowadays, Christina Martini also makes and sells her own collection of ancient Greek sandals. She started working at the famous fashion house Chloé, moved on to Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga, and in 2011 she was able to make her own line, Ancient Greek Sandals, and open a store in Corfu.
Martini’s sandals have become famous across the globe, while some of the greatest stars have stopped by her shop to buy a pair. Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson, Rihanna and Sarah Jessica Parker are just some of the celebrities that fell in love with her creations. The collection concept comprises of simple and yet highly successful designs, made with top quality leather.