The mind behind breathtakingly paradisiacal designs sold straight off the runways for thirty thousand dollars each. Mary Katrantzou never fails to impress her admirers and critics alike. Daughter of an interior designer mother and textile engineer father, Mary was born in Athens in 1983.
Katrantzou studied at the Rhode Island School of Design from where she completed her bachelors in Architecture and went on to study Central Saint Martins in London to complete her Masters in fashion design. After completing her Bachelors in 2005, Katrantzou started focusing on fashion prints instead of prints for interiors. In 2006, she collaborated with Sophia Kokosalaki to build up a portfolio for the Masters Fashion Textile course offered at Central Saint Martins which she managed to do beautifully. She opened the graduating show at Saint Martins with digitally printed trompe l’oeil dresses in 2008 for which she was nominated for the L’Oreal and Harrods Professional Award. Her first ready to wear collection for autumn/winter 2008 debuted on the runways of London Fashion Week in 2008 which raved positive reviews from admirers and critics alike. Her collection soon hit the racks of famous retail stores like Penelope, Browns and Joyce. Today her collections are sold internationally in over hundred specialty stores in 30 countries.
Katrantzou got lucky when she won the NEWGEN Sponsorship Program of the British Fashion Council for six seasons. Through this sponsorship program, she was able to present her outstanding creations for six seasons. In November 2010, Katrantzou won the prestigious Swiss Textile Award which has previously been won by Raf Simons, Alexander Wang and Marios Schwab. In May 2010, her collection was showcased at the Aurora Fashion Week. Later Katrantzou expanded her horizons by collaborating with Topshop and came up with three high street collections and designed a line of handbags in partnership with Long Champ, the luxury label. In June 2011, she teamed up with artist Pablo Bronstein and designed costumes in which his signature architectural creations were displayed at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art.
The print magician said in an interview with Vogue that she has no time to show pre-collections because her intricate designs take up to four days on an average to complete, which means her collection of forty days needs eight long months of hard work to complete. The designer is also determined to launch a menswear collection once she gets bored of designing women’s wear. The turning point in Katrantzou’s fashion career was in 2011 when she designed the revolutionary lamp shade skirts for her spring/summer collection. The designer managed to go from peak to peak in her career by winning Vogue’s Designer Fashion Fund Prize of 2012.
The queen of frocks may create designs for long legged models that walk the ramp but she hasn’t forgotten the plus sized women along the way. She has designed an online collection on display at Net-a-Porter which includes plus sizes especially for plus sized women for they feel much comfortable trying on clothes at homes. Year 2012 witnessed the debut of her capsule collection for Topshop which was packed with fun filled prints and designs. In March 2013, Mary launched a line on mywardrobe.com in collaboration with Current/Elliot. The collection includes everything from jeans to tops, shirts and shorts all inspired by Katrantzou’s spring-summer collection of 2013. Katrantzou is currently residing in London with her studio situated in Islington.