Sotiris Trechas, the Dreamer, is one of the most talented, multi-tasking people I have ever met. I am sure everybody that knows his work, is also pretty much familiar with this truth. But what I was fascinated to realize, is that the guy is pretty much self taught, a disciplined observer that lets everything he sees and lives influence him and teach him the way to take his art a step further. What you also might not know about the Dreamer, is that he is working on a million projects all at once, and at the same time owns a pretty cool collection of strange socks and fashion magazines – both of which I was tempted to take home with me. So, in other words, let me have the pleasure of introducing a talented young man, a creative mind and, well, the new generation of this town’s gems.
I know it’s a typical question, but I have to know. How did you come up with the name ‘Dreamer’?
I am studying Business Administration in Athens and, as you know, being a student here in Greece means you have a lot of time to spare. So I started playing around with Photoshop, see what I could get out of it and do with it. I went through some old pictures of mine and tested my knowledge on the software. That’s when I came across this picture of me as a kid. I think ’s the only one with me in it that I really like. Anyways, I was looking at my eyes and thought to myself: ‘wow, they’re filled with dreams’. So then I started playing around with the word dreamer and the picture. A couple of years later, on a forgotten folder on my hard drive, I came across this picture again and decided this should be my logo. People got used to it and started calling me the dreamer instead of Sotiris.
And what is it that really got you into photography?
I did my Erasmus in Paris, a couple of years ago. So, we were asked to do a project for school and I had the idea of organizing a photo exhibition on Eiffel tower’s second floor. You should have seen that room. It was high enough to have Paris at your feet, but not high enough to make you feel uncomfortable. The exhibition was about different cities’ street culture and it went great. I got many good comments and lots of viral publicity thorugh my fellow students and participants at the exhibition, because they were from all over the world.
And which city had the best street culture?
South Korea. Those guys have the right balance between tradition and innovation. I mean, it’s not China, that is really ‘heavy’ you know with all their background. But it’s not Japan either, full of gadgets and sci-fi stuff.
Did you take part in that exhibition?
Yes. Yes, I did.
What did you show?
I had taken this picture when I was on the deck of a ferry , in Peiraius, waiting to depart to some island for holidays. So the picture showed the ship’s rails and my feet and the sea.
What would you show now as Athens’ street culture?
Our city’s rooftops.
Lately, you’ve been working as a street style photographer and also cover many fashion events. Is it easy to approach people and take a picture of their outfits?
I don’t approach everyone. The street style column is women only, so I only shoot the ladies. It used to be hard, I got strange looks and puzzled faces a lot. But now everyone’s more relaxed and open to showing their personal style online.
Has the city’s urban style evolved at all lately?
Yes, it has. The internet and our need to impress are to blame.
But do you see a movement? A common direction, between the people or the designers?
I think the latest trend, and tendency for that matter, is really baggy clothes and really dark colors. Lots of greys and blacks and browns.
Speaking of designers, you have a collaboration coming up with the dynamic duo Akira Mushi!
Yes, we are doing the project Λ+Λ=Μ, which is like a ‘circle’ project. I take a picture, the girls design the t-shirt, we print it and then we collect some money to do another project together. So, it s a constant roll of creativity between the Dreamer and Akira Mushi.
Let’s get back to the word Dreamer. If Athens had any dreams what would those be? And what would her nightmares look like?
I think her dream would be to keep on existing! And for all of us to stop being so self centered. Athens’ nightmare would be for her, and all of us of course, to become a puppet of someone else and to have others controlling ourselves.
Ok, I’ve been meaning to ask about all these amazing magazines I see on your coffee table. Are you a collector?
Yes, I am. But mostly I will fall for magazines that are numbered or limited. If I see a number on the cover, I have to have it! But apart from that, I love magazines, because they have taught me how to be a photographer and how to perceive images and prints. I don’t believe in paying a big amount of money at a photography school and learning how to click and use your camera in manual. I believe in beautiful things being your teachers and guides to where you want to get with your art. So I have spent hours looking at each magazine, studying every little detail. The way the model’s posing, the light, the letters, the fonts used, the way everything ’s arranged on paper. But I also do that in stores. My favorite case study was the Diesel store in Paris. I used to go there every day and inspect everything. In the end they gave me a bag as a gift, since they knew me!
Which magazines would you recommend?
USED from the UK, ANOTHER MAN, WAD which is more about street culture, PONNYSTEP and VERITIES.
Apart from the T-shirts that you print, and the Dreamer specs and your art, you also are part of the group Plastic Dreams, playing music and organizing parties.
Yes, Plastic Dreams is a combination of two teams: Wrapped in Plastic, who play more dark electro music and me, the Dreamer – I play lighter tunes. So we had our first Plastic Dreams party at Six d.o.g.s. a couple of months ago and we are having one this month as well. It went very well. People had fun, we had fun, it was good to combine our music tastes and backgrounds and we all had a good time in the end. So, we are thinking of doing that every other month or so. We’ll see.
A few comments on the things pictured and said above:
Sotiris has a huge collection of pins. 500 huge. You don’t want to get your hands in the box he keeps them. / He would love it if clothes were a bit brighter, and more colorful. / The worst thing, according to the Dreamer, a girl could wear is a white pair of heels. The only thing white on anybody should be sneakers and underwear. / If he wasn’t living in Athens, he would probably be living in Paris. Sans the chauvinism. / He believes in creativity. He believes everybody is creative. But not everybody has the strength and courage to actually deliver their ideas onto reality. / His socks are from Lazy Oaf and Topman. / Most of the furniture in his house were given to him as a gift.