Tassos Sofroniou is a multi-talented fashion professional who was kind enough to grant me this mini interview. I won't say more, it's all here. Read on.
Although you have been professionally active in fashion for many years now, most people came to know you through the Greek Next Top Model television show. What are the important things about your education and career we're still ignoring?
There's a long list of things that I've done so far. Studied graphic design, photography and history of art. I have been a national champion in swimming while going to school and I have been working in fashion from a very young age. I have been PA to the godmother of british style Isabella Blow, worked with Alexander McQueen, Julian McDonald, Jeremy Scott. Was a freelance fashion editor in Interview, Surface, Scene, Sunday Times style magazines.
Regarding my profession as a designer, stylist, photographer and TV persona throughout the years I am always in a constant search for excitement. I design, produce, style and photograph my collection for Conquistador. All these years of hard work in various different but similar aspects of fashion that I was involved, worth every minute I spent learning and practicing about it.
A brand's online presence is crucial these days. You have a blog for your brand as well as the official site conquistador.gr which is on its way, plus your own online presence that consists of your personal blog, facebook and twitter account. Still, when one googles "Tassos Sofroniou" the first result to come up is the now derelict MySpace where your user name is "tassaros". Do you worry about controlling your online presence? How come there's not an official portfolio page of yours with an "about" or "bio" page, so people professionally interested in you can know more about who you are and what you have accomplished?
I am trying to balance all my previous work activities with the latest, as the owner and designer of my menswear label Conquistador. I have been privileged enough to have personal contact with the people I am interested to collaborate and so far "tassaros" has not caused me any troubles.
Soon the official site conquistador.gr will be launched and all the relevant info about me and the label will be clear for people to discover. The world of web is an exciting one, but all my dynamics at this moment are focused on the design, the presentation and the quality of my products. Soon all will fall into place when you search Tassos Sofroniou.
In one of the episodes of the 2nd cycle of Greek Next Top Model you proclaim to the girls competing that the winner of the test gets to win a Conquistador sweatshirt that is worth €500. This statement caused a wave of baffled, ironic or even mean tweets and comments on why could/should a sweatshirt cost that much, especially in this economy. Do you really design sweatshirts that cost that much? If yes, why do they?
I was very precise when I stated that the winner of the task would win a collector's Conquistador top worth €500. I was very precise on my speech. Some people heard what they wanted to hear. The retail prices of my tops vary from 180 to 395 euros. My collection, whether it is a top, trousers, a leather bag or leather accessories, come in limited numbers per style.
The tops are cotton combined with real natural leather in parts. They are stocked in shops among designers like Ann Demeulemeester, Miu-Miu, Rick Owens and Raf Simons. Therefore, as a new company with limited backing and resources, I believe I am true to my customer as far as value-for-money is concerned, and of course I know that the product I make is not accessible to everybody, not so much for the price per se, but because it takes a brave man to understand my concept. My tops are not sweatshirts. You don't wear them to to the gym. They are not American Apparel.
Big thanks to Mr Sofroniou who kindly answered all of my questions and to Mary Kitsopanou who brought us in touch.
Conquistador AW 2011/12 collection pics and portrait on top of this post are all property of Tassos Sofroniou and were published here with his permission.