Another year, another adventure for French fashion designer Christian Louboutin, who invites his customers to take a journey to the Mediterranean with his new ‘Greekaba’ collection.
Created in collaboration with Louboutin’s close friend, Greek artist and illustrator Konstantin Kakanias, the collection of footwear and handbags was created to celebrate the designer’s great love of travel.
Meet the Greekaba
For the collection, Kakanias has cleverly created rich artwork that pays tribute to the cultural heritage and craftsmanship of the Mediterranean and places Greece’s rich cultural heritage firmly in the spotlight.
One of several ‘seasonal cabas’ launched annually, each exclusive piece of the ‘Greekaba’ collection depicts Christian as he embarks on a modern-day odyssey around Athens and the Greek islands accompanied by fictional characters Mrs Tependris and her faithful poodle Pepe.
Take a journey to the Mediterranean
On one piece, Christian offers his host Mrs Tependris a pair of custom Christian Louboutin shoes, while on another the pair raise their glasses to toast Louboutin’s arrival.
There is a new 'Loubi Odyssey' print that depicts Louboutin and Miss Tependris sailing through the Mediterranean Sea and exploring the Cycladic islands and the many wonders that they hold.
Other patterns in the collection incorporate the new and vivid 'Loubieye' print which is Kakanias’ take on the traditional Greek ‘mati’, believed to protect the owner against curses and negativity.
Inspired by the Aegean Sea, the limited edition styles of the Greekaba also play out in a variety of sizes and silhouettes.
The seasonal collection features the 'Greekaba' handbag which is available in a range of sizes including a smaller bucket style and a new ‘Loubiphore’ silhouette inspired by the tall narrow proportions of Ancient Greek amphoras.
Put your best foot forward
The brand also calls upon all gentlemen to put their best foot forward, extending the Grecian-inspired collection to include several men’s styles. Footwear styles range from flats and sandals, to a pair of boots.
Louboutin’s “dear friend”, Greek artist and illustrator Konstantin Kakanias
Described by Christian Louboutin as a “dear friend”, Konstantin Kakanias is a contemporary Greek painter and multimedia artist who has created drawings, paintings, sculptures, performances, ceramics and books throughout his illustrious career.
Born in Athens in 1961 Kakanias currently lives and works in both Los Angeles and Greece.
After studying textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and fashion and art at Studio Bercot in Paris, under the guidance of well-known artist and set designer Lila de Nobili, Kakanias started his career at 22, working as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines such as French Vogue and Vogue Italia.
He has created textile designs for Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Lacroix.
Kakanias’s great love for Egyptian civilisation propelled his move to Luxor, Egypt in 1984 for one year to study Ancient Egyptian art. His art has since been influenced by this experience with admirers of his works observing echoes of pharaohs and hieroglyphs in many of Kakanias' drawings today.
When Kakanias moved back to New York City in 1988 he collaborated with Tiffany and Barneys New York and his drawings were published by The New York Times and Vanity Fair.
In 1996, Kakanias introduced his fictional heroine Mrs.Tependris to his audience for the first time in a New York Times Magazine illustrated article.
Kakanias' "alter-ego" Mrs Tependris, is a caricature of an art collector, a cosmopolitan, high society doyenne, supporter of the Parthenon sculptures and marriage equality.
Used by Kakanias as "a metaphor for the state of contemporary art and its superficial reception by the public", Mrs Tependris has become a cult figure in the art community.
In 1997 he created his first book based on her adventures called ‘Freedom or Death’, and in 2002 Kakanias published ‘Mrs. Tependris: the Contemporary Years.’
In 2004 Kakanias was commissioned by the Greek Ministry of Culture to create a book for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Kakanias has exhibited around the world in museums and galleries, notably "Time Goes By So Slowly" at the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art in 2006 and "A Tribute to Antonis Benakis" at the Benaki Museum in 2004-5.
“As I grow older, I feel that I miss more and more the immediacy of the Greeks.” - Konstantin Kakanias
“As I grow older, I feel that I miss more and more the immediacy of the Greeks. For example: I go to the supermarket and I can chat with the cashier and tell her the story of my life and listen hers too. If I dare to do this in America, the marketeer will sue me for violating a personal data law and jail me,” Kakanias once said in an interview with Kathimerini newspaper.
Another year, another adventure for Christian Louboutin
Christian Louboutin is one of the world's most well-known shoe designers, selling over one million pairs of shoes a year.
The red soles of his high heel shoes have become his signature and synonymous with luxury and celebrity.
“I spontaneously grabbed my assistant's red nail polish and painted the sole. I instantly knew that this would be a success.” – Christian Louboutin
"My sketches were not reproduced exactly as I had designed them and I couldn't figure out why. The two dimensional sketch was so powerful on paper, but when turned into a three-dimensional object, it was somehow lacking energy.
“Frustrated after having tried different things to liven up the design, I spontaneously grabbed my assistant's red nail polish and painted the sole. I instantly knew that this would be a success!" says Christian, explaining how his trademark red soles were first created in 1993.
Greekaba Proceeds to Protect Children
The Greekaba collection is one of many “seasonal cabas” launched annually to celebrate Louboutin’s love of travel.
As with every previous cabas, a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to an association.
This year, the contribution will go to ‘Together for Children’ (TFC), a Greek non-profit association comprised of nine member organisations all working to provide immediate and effective support to children, young adults with disabilities and their families in need.
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