Interview with Elli Lyraraki

Elli and I met a few years ago and she is a person I am always happy to work with and when we are given the opportunity to spend time together.

Ellie, describe yourself to me in 5 words

This is a very difficult question. I am like every human being many things. In general I would say that I am a person, Positive, Spontaneous, Carefree and Honest.

In one word, however, I would say that I am an Artist and that this entails... I like to work, create, develop, learn, be excited and take care of my family and friends.

Alagonia, is the name you chose for your collection, inspired by the Minoan culture. I would like you to share with us how this journey of creation began.

Alagonia in ancient times was a Nymph, the daughter of Zeus and Europa, but at the same time it is also the name of the small village in Crete where I come from.

Alagonia is the place where the first European civilization starts and this is a very interesting moment for me. My background gave me not only the inspiration but the great drive and courage to create this collection. I used traditional techniques and artisans of my place. I honored, respected and tried to highlight the culture of my origin.

The Minoan culture is so rich, and my childhood experiences are so strongly influenced by it, that I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to express myself through it! Also the fact that I chose to live in Crete gives me another dynamic and energy. It helps me see the world, life, creation, people with another eye.

If I were to tell you to pick one memory from your journey so far, what would it be?

The most important memory from my career is the moment of the Finale of my first Fashion Show in Paris.

I'm backstage, the models are done, and an incredible audience of 700 people from all over the world is yelling for me to come out and walk and bow like they do on these occasions. And the moment I come out and all this colorful people applaud me, Melina Merkouri's song is heard saying Je suis Gregue!! I am Greek! I come from a small place. I fight for what I believe in and I am here in front of you representing something very big!

I always get very emotional when I see the video or when I think about this moment!

After designing jewelry and shoes, what is your second great love?

Painting. I have always loved to draw. But in recent years, painting has become a different kind of need for me. Through it I feel very strongly the need to express myself, to relax, to expose myself, to experiment and I am no longer afraid to show this side of my artistic self that many people did not know I had.

Are you aiming for a career abroad?

Yes, and of course I aim. All artists seek extroversion. Especially since I have received so much acceptance abroad. I have collaborations with many foreign boutiques in different countries and continents and always receive very flattering comments.

This year when I opened my first boutique in Chania I had the opportunity to feel up close the positive response of foreign visitors who visited my store and came to meet me and see my work.

What are your plans and dreams for the future?

I have many plans and dreams for Odysseyten. After all, fashion has no limits! But I like to take steps steadily and consistently. I don't want this whole journey to be a fleeting success, but a long-lasting and lasting relationship with the customers who choose my products.