IOANNA KOURBELA designer’s profile
“The garment is the home of the body.” An essential truth combined with visual boldness, directs the future aesthetic into the eternal now. The silhouettes of Ioanna Kourbela define their own dimension of archetypal elegance.
Energy from classical and modern art, greek radiance, natural raw materials, vibrant polymorphic forms and lines that extend motion, create the ethereal but earthly world of Ioanna. The respect towards man and nature, the instinctive comprehension of traditional ideals and the quest for futuristic harmony, constitute her unique design and expression principles.
Having studied fashion design, costume design and stage design, compelled with a vision to change “the image seen, standing still, at a traffic light”, Ioanna Kourbella proposed for the first time in 2003 a subversive fashion concept, an amalgam of simplicity and refuge, thespianism and freedom.
In 2016 she won the Emerging Designer Award at the Pure London international exhibition.
Starting with different inspirations, she is currently presenting four prêt-a-porter collections, along with her abrupt haute couture bridal collection, while working in parallel designing costumes for major theater and art performances.
In every corner of the world people embrace Ioanna’s design work, “co-traveling” on an aesthetic journey of self-awareness and self liberation.
Natural raw materials, innovation, production exclusively made in Greece, high quality fabrics and stitching, respect for man and the environment are the concepts that have determined and continue to determine our course.
We preserve precious pieces of our tradition and heritage while evolving our know-how in order to take the timeless Greek aesthetics in every part of the world.
We participate and support the global sustainable fashion movement as a natural dimension of our corporate philosophy
In 1971, under the Acropolis rock, in the narrow streets of Plaka, the Kourbela family’s workshop opens with hand-knitted knitwear, quickly becoming a reference point for travelers from all over the world.
In the 1980s, the tradition of Greek handmade knitwear, takes life in a new visual innovation and development inspiring collections made of natural yarns, unique designs, exceptional weave and seam, which bring the second generation of the family and Kourbelas’ Knitwear to international markets.
When in 2003 Ioanna Kourbela takes over the creative direction of the company, she is at the forefront of a creative and business challenge. Incorporating the Greek element and the ethical production of garments of the family into her own global and transcendent perception of clothing, the designer proposes a very personal approach to fashion, which quickly finds “companions”.
Designs inspired by Greek geometry, as revealed in a universal aesthetics. Light travelling in a limitless time. Motion that follows the wishes. Quality, which changes the dimension of everyday life. The body is dressed in natural yarns and fabrics from the Greek earth, which embrace it gently, dictating a new freedom.
Today the company is based in Argyroupoli, Attica. The main group of its people, now up to 40, grows steadily, and is periodically supported by many specialized associates.
In Greece operates the brand’s production unit, three flagship stores Ioanna Kourbela in Plaka and the online shop Ioanna Kourbela. The company’s collections are located in more than 100 partner stores across the country.
Fashion provides the opportunity for everyone to express themselves with beauty while yielding quality to their daily life. By its own definition, fashion ought to be protective towards both the environment and the people.
We participate in the movement “Sustainability in Fashion” insisting on the need for resource sustainability, fair treatment of workers at every stage of production and consumer protection around the world.
Sustainable Development has been the main pillar in our business philosophy since day One. Today we take an active part in spreading the idea of sustainability in fashion in order to protect the environment, support our fellow human beings, keep alive the small workshops and preserve their tradition and craftsmanship.
We keenly participate in the Textiles Clothing Business Labs (T.C.B.L.), a pan-European project aimed to the remediation and renovation of the textile and clothing industry. TCBL’s goal is a percent of the total clothing production to return in Europe and be produced under certified procedures according to the principles of Sustainable Development.
In June 2017, as part of a T.C.B.L.’s pilot project, a special collection of Ioanna Kourbela “Basics” was presented in Athens. The collection was complaint with all the new EU standards and regulations for Sustainable Development. Our company was the first one to launch such a venture, with the aspiration to pave the way for a modern, humanistic, entrepreneurial and fashionable thinking in Europe.
The gift of nature. Cotton is the oldest and most widespread raw material for fabrics. Since 1979, we have chosen hypoallergenic cotton creations, which are an ideal choice for producing highly absorbent fabrics of high durability and light texture. In addition we use cotton that is produced and spun entirely in Greece. The cotton allows the skin to breathe effortlessly by protecting it, as well as maintaining the ideal body temperature. As the time passes it is becoming softer and it is creating a feeling of warmth as a garment.
Flax belongs to the plant genus of Linum. In particular, linen is produced from a crop with the most distinctive blue flower, and is the oldest known textile product with a main focus on Egypt. The processing of stalk fibers results in the manufacture of excellent quality hypoallergenic fabrics. The attractive creases, sloppy creases and creative lines produce visual effects on the surface of the linen. It is the ideal fabric to dress our summers.
One of the most precious textile fibers which is of animal origin, is a result of the impressive synergy between nature and human. The procedure to the final silk fabric is distinguished by many stages: sericulture, irrigation and spinning, dyeing, finish. Such a long process of maturation is followed by the silkworm, passing through the stages of silkworm, to a larval, chrysalis, to be transformed into a butterfly. In Soufli, in Northern Greece, is the only city in Greece and Europe that produces silk, from where we get our raw materials, thus offering a fine material that stands out for its noble qualities and its luxurious feel.
Artificial fiber of plant origin. Following the structure of cotton, viscose was the first technical textile fiber created in France in the late 18th century by the tree wood pulp. At the beginning of their genesis they called her “Artificial silk” as it displayed a remarkable gloss, smooth texture and appearance similar to the precious silk. The design creations that choose viscose, they follow the body’s features, have a sculpture, cast result, while giving a unique sense of coolness and comfort, a sense of refreshing freedom.
The way clothes envelope the unique energy flow of every human body is Ioanna Kourbela’s main source of inspiration along with the elements in nature, the hectic pace of life and cultural diversity of Athens, Greece. Her collections reveal the different aspects of a minimalist aesthetic embracing the simplicity and charm of classical harmony.