Retail - Athens - Travel | Monocle


Me Then, Koukaki 

Since 2014, designer George Soumpasis has grown his label from a small range of graphic T-shirts and sweatshirts into a full ready-to-wear collection of pared-back basics, including short-sleeved striped shirts, unisex trousers and accessories. “I had no background in fashion, just a series of messages about Greece during the years of the crisis that I wanted to share and convey graphically,” he says. His slogans – “Epos” and “Are you happy?” – are already a hit with stockists from Stuttgart and Berlin to Tokyo. In Athens, the emerging label is housed in a converted garage and is slated to host a café and speciality roastery.

36 Odissea Androutsou, 117 41 
+30 694 7520 477

Paraphernalia, Omonoia

Former music producer George Karras and art historian Angela Koutroulaki present a forever-changing collection of furniture, lighting, jewellery, accessories, plants and homeware – some new and others upcycled. Everything in this shop is for sale – including the antique furniture on which smaller pieces are displayed – from the woodcarving counter to the mug rack. Every piece that’s sold is replaced with something entirely different. “We sell one-off items sourced from small producers and craftsmen so you are unlikely to find the same thing twice,” says Koutroulaki.

15 Ioannou Paparrigopoulou, 105 61 
+30 213 0343 663

Little Tree Books & Coffee, Makrigianni 

It is said that too many cooks spoil the broth but, despite being managed by eight owners, Little Tree Books & Coffee is a wonderfully calm space near the buzzing Acropolis Museum. The titles are mostly Greek (often in their English translation) but there are a few French and Italian classics too. The shop’s sofa and smooth-jazz soundtrack – and perhaps one of the café’s signature rum-and-walnut brownies – tempt many in for a long read. Come summer, however, Little Tree’s finest asset is its shaded garden: make a beeline for one of the outdoor tables with a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other. 

2 Kavalloti, 117 42 
+30 210 9243 762

Apivita, Kolonaki 

The four-floor Apivita “experience store” is the best place to browse the full range of the Greek skincare brand’s natural cosmetics. Every product is made from various combinations of extracts from the 5,500 different Greek plant species: think olive-and-lavender cleansing foam; body moisturiser with Greek thyme honey and beeswax; and hand-wash with grapefruit and propolis. The elegant olive tree on the ground floor is the work of sculptor Constantinos Valaes. And don’t forget to visit the Juicy Bee juice bar or to book in advance for a treat at the Beehive spa on the top floor.

6 Solonos, 106 73 
+30 210 3640 560

Orfanidis, Syntagma

Since 2001, Kostas Orfanidis has offered a carefully chosen selection of international brands in this stand-alone shop. “The common link here is a cool and laid-back style,” he says. “These are clothes that people feel comfortable in.” Orfanidis currently stocks about 15 designers, from German menswear brands Hannes Roether and Thom Krom to Paris-based Manuelle Guibal and Dutch womenswear label Humanoid. A number of these are available exclusively to Orfanidis in the Greek market.

27 Kolokotroni, 105 62 
+30 210 3235 643

Images: Marco Arguello

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