Digitaria is a fashion label designed by Eleftheria Arapoglou, a Greek, ground-shaking fashion designer. When finished studying Fashion Design at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design in London, she had already plans to run her own label. In 2004 she launched her first womenswear collection, under the name "Lacqne". In 2008, she launched Digitaria, a designer label creating contemporary clothing for men and women, bringing in together different creative partners, resulting in a dialogue that goes beyond fashion.
When did you decide to become a fashion designer?
My mind has always leaned towards its artistic side. However, in my early years I studied tourism and evolved professionally for a year. It was also my parents’ profession. Here in Greece it used to be quite common to follow your folks’ same profession. And still is. I knew I had to go away from the paperwork soon and had to follow my instincts. The next year found me in UCA in London, studying Fashion Design.
When you where a little child, were there any elements that triggered you to get involved with fashion?
As a child, there were no footings from the fashion world in my family. I was more interested in geometry, shapes, structures and the way these interacted with emotions, producing an intriguing effect that I found extremely powerful. What I was trying to do at the time was not to get involved with fashion, but to express myself through images and constructions. Later, it became a necessity and I had to include design into the profession that chose. Fashion’s many forms and dimensions keep me stimulated.
What inspires you?
For me creating is the result of an instantaneous motive power that stems either from an emotional situation of the moment, of a state that I’m going through at this time, or of a journey in real or in subconscious… When designing the first drafts for each collection, I try to simulate the concept and the research done around it, into forms.
You seem to mostly use basic colors; why is that?
I don’t work with trends; I am in a constant research for new materials and techniques. What I am looking for in any collection is new forms and lines that will gradually arise through different approaches for the development of each concept. Colour has an abstract role in the collections.
Which is you own favorite color?
Which is the must have item any man should have in his wardrobe?
A tailored made to measure suit.
And a woman?
A black statement coat/ jacket.
Your clothes seem to promote comfort. Is that correct?
Clothing is about the expression of personality and individuality, denotes respect towards others and towards oneself. Someone wearing Digitaria, should feel stronger having a feeling of pleasure as a result of the clothing he/she wears.
Your new collection for S/S 2014 is entitled "Never Odd Or Even" and can be read backwards. Tell us a bit more about this concept.
With the S/S14 collection, entitled Never Odd Or Even, Digitaria explores palindromic structures, where the meaning and interpretation are relative and are a function of one’s position and orientation; unstable and conditional constructs that are subject to change. Never Odd or Even' S/S 2014 collection shows androgynous silhouettes throughout a contrast between bespoke tailoring and loose fitting volumes. Garments with a minimalist approach, layering and accurate cuts, openings and unisex accessories in a basic palette made of black, white, blue and Veronese green with a baby pink hue paired with black.
In your opinion what is the best item of your S/S ’14 collection.
The SS14 women’s black jacket in Moroccan fabric, with cut-out straps at the pockets. It has a classic shape, it's light-weighted and it can be worn all day long. In men’s SS14 collection I pick out the black viscose trousers with the cut-out strap at the back. They have a great fit, they seem formal and sharp but they are very loose and comfortable.
I see you put emphasis on the way you are going to present your collections. They all have an artistic background. Do you think fashion is fully connected with art?
I am always willing to exchange ideas and interact with different creative partners. Digitaria label is identifiable for its collaborations with artists from different fields. As far as concerns the relation between contemporary art and fashion, the works of many artists have been a source of inspiration and certainly have an influence. Every form of creation is in need of inspiration, whether from everyday life, a work of art, one person, a landscape. The human body and the clothing’s structure around it, is what we have to explore in our work. When the designer manages to share an expression/emotion through creativity, then fashion can contribute to the creation of cultural and social trends and perhaps experience the timelessness of art.
Which one of all those collaborations you have done with artists for your collections was the most interesting?
I can’t single out any of them. They were all special. The greater the challenge is in a project, the more interesting the collaboration. With the Greek artist Hope we have collaborated more than once. That was because we both felt, that there was a lot more to come out from this synergy. The outcome was excellent! We have been invited to participate in the international exhibition Arrrgh! Monsters in Fashion along with very important designers such as Issey Miyake, Maison Martin Margiela, Henrik Vibskov, Walter Van Beirendonck among others. The exhibition is on show since May 2012 and was already presented at the Benaki Museum in Athens, La Gaite Lyrique in Paris & the Central Museum in Utrecht.
You seem to enjoy working with other people. Do you believe in teamwork?
I believe that, any collaboration is a passage for exchanging ideas, sometimes resulting in unexpected transitions and I find them crucial for the progress of my work. Lately, I’m excited with the idea of working with 3D designers, filmmakers and musicians. In February, we will present three new collaborations; launching new products and also introducing a flash limited collection for infants. We are really excited for these new upcoming projects.