When I first met Xeni Kouveli, I told her to sit still so I could observe her outfit. She had it all, super nice necklaces and bracelets and layers and pattern and it was all mastered in the most effortless way. And now that I have seen how she pulls her looks, I know it’s all a matter of five minutes tops. Xeni is the type of gal that will wear her pyjamas and go out for cocktails and you would think it’s the most elegant and luxurious thing you have ever seen, yet at the same time she is most likely to take the most funny picture in the party and won’t mind putting her head between her legs just to pose for you. She is the girl who will wear super amazing heels at her wedding, only to replace them with custom made all stars that will keep her dancing like a true grunge soul till the early morning hours. But then again, she is the girl who will take pictures with the love of her life and turn them into the most amazing clutches I have laid my hands on in quite a while. She is miss Style Love and miss Thalatta Concept and she is taking fashion into a whole new level.
Tell me how it all began. You, the blog, the bags.
I started out with the blog back in 2009. I’m a web designer and I have always been doing research on other websites, mostly fashion related. I shop a lot online, so I was always discovering new e-shops. Back then blogging was the new thing in Greece and I thought to myself: why not try it out? So I know how it works and what to expect, in order to use it in my professional life as well.
And you dove into fashion blogging?
No, at first I was commenting on e-shops and online shopping in general, because that was a field I was experienced in. I would write about the shop, if your order was delivered on time etc. Then, my blog became a bit more personal and I was stuck in the middle not really knowing where it was going. One post was in Greek, the other in English, you know, whatever.
But now you’ve gone English.
Yes, the past 1.5 year it’s in English.
Most of your readers come from Greece?
Yes, but I have a fair amount coming from other countries as well. Still though, most come from Greece.
But you go for English.
I prefer English. When I think of some lines in Greece, they sound kind of stupid. But in English it may sound funny, or more right you know? I mean, how can you say wow in Greek without sounding weird?
When did fashion step into your blog?
As I said, I started out my blog in 2009. And it was more like a hobby to me. About a year later Victor and I moved in together, so I focused more on our house. I was reading decoration related blogs and spent most of my money on the apartment, rather than clothes. Plus I was too shy to post outfits and myself. But then in 2011 I sat down and thought about it. I love fashion and I want to do stuff in the fashion business, so I stopped being shy and blogged constantly ever since.
What is it that you want to do in the fashion industry?
I am running my own accessories brand, Thalatta Concept. I though a fashion blog is a good start to make your work known through your readers.
I thought you would say you wanted to become a pro in fashion web sites or something.
No, not at all. The truth is I am not really into web design lately. I started as a graphic designer in Greece and then moved to the UK to study web design. That time, web design was the most popular thing to do and you were guaranteed to find a job. While I was in the UK I was so close to giving it up and enrolling into a fashion design school, but since I started my web design course, I thought it would be wise to finish it. When I came back to Greece, before I even had the time to think what it is I want to do, I found a job as a web designer and the years went by and I am still doing the same job.
Let’s talk about Thalatta concept a bit. You run it with your husband, right? How hard was it to start your own business?
Yes, Victor and I have been running it together. Lately he’s been very busy with work, so I am taking over, but I am hoping this coming winter he will have some time to help me out with paperwork and errands. Starting my own business was hard, because you had to go to every Public Service to get an authorization and the paperwork to be able to sell from home and make your apartment the headquarters of your business. It’s not expensive at all, you just need to have patience and a strong stomach to deal with all the bureaucracy. Plus it was hard finding a guy who does digital prints on cotton. People were telling me to stop using 100% cotton on my clutches, but I thought Thalatta is all about Greece and the sea and nature and no other material would do.
The pictures on your clutches were chosen by you?
They were shot by me and my husband. We have an archive of photos mostly from Spetses, where we often go. So we chose pictures that show something meaningful to us, something that has a story behind it.
Should we be expecting a new collection this winter?
Yes! We will have the kiss as a guide and main element in all our bags. I will continue using the pictures, but I will change fabrics and the collection won’t be so blue.
What made you think of the kiss as your logo?
It’s like this: from Greece, with a kiss kiss. Simple and fresh.
Back to your blog. Who is taking all the pictures?
Victor most of the times. I also have a friend, Loula, who is a photographer. I am trying to convince her to do more collaborations together, because she is fearless and she knows how to hold a camera. Victor just want to take the picture as fast as possible.
A lot of your pictures on your blog are shot with a mobile phone.
Yes, I use my i-phone a lot. It depends on where I am. Many times I am just about to jump out of the apartment to go for drinks and I take a few shots of whatever it is I am wearing.
I love that your pictures are so fast and simple and every day. They have a freshness to them. How would you describe your style?
I guess it’s mix and match. Whatever seems nice to me, I wear it.
What are you most likely to buy for fall?
An oversized coat.
Do you think Miley Cirus should have worn a different outfit at the VMAs?
No, I think what she wore was fine. If she were to change something, maybe it should have been the attitude. But still, whatever she wears is who she is. There is so much fuzz about her, but still it’s making her more and more famous, so I guess she is wearing the right stuff.
What has changed in your everyday life since you started your blog?
I use my phone a lot. A lot a lot. But, I try to maintain the number of things I am posting. I have some followers on my social media accounts, but you can’t be a pain in the ass to those who follow you, by posting every single minute.
Have you ever said you’re bored with blogging?
Sometimes. When I am tired from work and I have to spend the night preparing my post. But that’s because I am doing two jobs every day, the web design and the blogging / Thalatta concept.
Is there room for guys on your blog?
I tried it once or twice in the past, but no. I don’t think there is. I wear a lot of stuff from the menswear department, but that’s as far as it goes.
A few comments on the things pictured and said above:
Xeni and Victor are a very artsy couple. Most of the paintings and sketches on their apartment’s walls are drawn by them. / The black shirt she is wearing in the black outfit is a real pajama. I know. I am jealous too. / Her clutches have been sold in Greece and Australia. / The pictures taken at her building’s garden were like a safari in the city. She warned me, but I had no idea a mosquito can bite a moving person. / Xeni is really clumsy. She can trip and fall even when she is just sitting on the sofa or wearing flats. And then she smiles about it and it’s all in the past.