2plus1equals2 founders: Stella Panagopoulou & Valisia Gotsi
Do you both have a favourite designer?
We both really love Thom Browne as he is a true innovator, he knows what he wants to do and he has a really clear vision without compromising. Also the quality of his garments are just impeccable. We also greatly admire Ann Demeulemeester, for her great cuts and patterns and her unique use of black and white.
As business partners, how would you describe the creative process that you share? Do you both have separate roles in the business?
Our fundamental roles and quotidian responsibilities in our business are pretty much the same. We both design the collections, make the patterns, style the photoshoots etc. However, somehow we have managed to divide the complementary tasks, not based on the fact that someone is better at something than the other but simply on what we like to do more. In general, no matter where we have to go we go together and they always remember us as “The 2 Tall Girls”.
Where did you meet each other, and what made you launch a brand together?
We met at Fashion Design School in 2010 and from day one we clicked. We admired each other's aesthetic and design skills and we made a pact that after gaining some professional experience we would launch our own brand, and that's what we did! We also decided on the name while we were together on a trip to Paris.
You’re based in Athens. Would you say your location influences your designs?
Yes we are based in Athens but we do not constrain ourselves to it. We both love travelling, discovering and exploring new cultures so from the very start (even from Fashion School) we were determined that the concept behind 2WO+1NE=2 would be based on nomadism. Each collection is inspired by a different city around the world, taking inspiration from its art scene, architecture, music, cinema and of course the people. Each garment is named based on a gimmick or characteristic of each city. For example, in Copenhagen each item was named after a piece of homewear, in Saint-Petersburg after a piece of Shostakovich, in Los Angeles after a femme fatale, starring in our favourite Film Noirs.
How would you describe the 2WO+1NE=2 customer?
The 2WO+1NE=2 customer is first and foremost a traveler, both in body and soul. It's the person who is restless, loves to visit new places and who is in a constant search for new experiences and knowledge. The person who respects the environment and herself and pays great attention to detail, to the clothes that she chooses to wear and the fabrics she dresses her body with.
Do you have any mentors?
We cannot say that we have specific mentors, but we are lucky enough to be surrounded by several individuals from different areas of the art scene and the science field, that are really talented and gifted in what they do that are always eager to help us or share a piece of their wisdom. One of the most important parts of every season is our collaborations and we are happy to be able to do that with the aforementioned.
We know 2WO+1NE=2 uses natural fibres such as wool and linen. Is using sustainable resources important to your brand? Where do you see the future of fashion going in regard to sustainable and environmentally friendly design and production?
Sustainability is one of the factors that matters most to us. As you've mentioned we only use natural fibres and we are always in search of new materials, for example for the S/S '20 collection, Shanghai, we worked with Banana Silk in addition to our staple choices.
We believe that the future of fashion grows bright since more and more young designers are aware of the environmental problems and they are trying their best to keep a sustainable philosophy. We only wished bigger and more influential brands would follow their example.
What are your personal style philosophies?
For both of us our primary choice is black. Our difference is that the one dresses with comfort in mind while the other elevates every outfit with her make-up choices. All the garments we design can be worn by both of us in her own way.
What are your essentials when designing?
We always design by hand so we can't do without our sketchbooks and pencils.
What’s next for 2WO+1NE=2?
Our collaboration with Fashion Boundary is a really important step for us as our goal is to expand in as many different countries and cultures as we can. We want to show people everywhere that they can dress smart with edgy and unique details in their everyday life.
Shop the collection