We came across the greek brand ME THEN because we loved the aesthetics of their design and their Instagram feed.
Their website methenathens.com is opening this month and they will have an e-shop. All products are proudly made in Greece and prices in Europe are 75€ for sweaters, 40€ for tshirts, 110€ for pants and 10€ for their socks.
Highsnobiety rated them as one of the 10 brands to keep under the radar last April 2017.
We have made a nice talk with George Soumpasis, Owner and Creative Director of the brand.
AA: “Hey George, could why explain the origins of ME THEN?”
GS: The inspiration is the Greek number Zero. In Greek it sounds like Me Then.
This sound plays and its connotations summarized the concept behind the brand.
Musical references, fragments of modern culture, ghosts of a past self; this past self is not necessarily a mellow or melancholic one, it’s more of a nostalgic one.
AA: “When was the company founded and where are you based?”
GS: It all began in 2014 and we are based in Athens, Greece.
AA: “Who owns it and designs the products?”
GS: Let us introduce ourselves. My name’s George Soumpasis and I’m the proud owner of ME THEN.
For the design part, three minds work together, me, our head designer Stefanie Biggel and our art director/designer Stavros Bilionis. I should also mention the help of our parther and photographer Chris Kontos.
AA: ” Where does your inspiration come from?”
GS: We like to think the brand as a reflection and product of the city life. Not Athens in particular, but of a European heritage. Of a modernist tradition based on craft and quality materials. Inspiration comes from Contemporary culture, architectural forms, the illusive scenes of a film, the swinging notes of a song, the Athenian sunrises.
AA: “How would you describe your brand with just three words?”
GS: love, quality, approachable
AA: “How many people are currently employed?”
GS: The brand is formed by a group of people, that communicate in their unique way. I wouldn’t like to use the world employees, but partners. So, the team consists of 4 people.
AA: “Are you happy with the results you’ve had so far?”
GS: As a matter of fact, our brand tagline is “are you happy?”. Our top selling t-shirt bears the tagline “are you happy?”.
So, we’re wondering ourselves, are we happy ? is anyone happy? Does the contemporary human condition allows being happy ? For the moment, we are content and thoughtful.
AA: “What’s your business model looking now today? own stores, wholesale, ecommerce (managed by whom?)”
GS: We have a showroom in a great hood in the city centre of Athens, Koukaki and we do work with wholesale accounts in Greece and in Europe. We try to communicate as much as possible in order to reach all the shops we want to see ME THEN in.
AA: “How many wholesale account are now buying your products?”
AA: “What are the most important markets for you right now?”
GS: Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen, Tokyo, New York, Milan.
AA: “What is your approach in regards to social media platforms? Do you use any to promote your business?”
GS: Certainly we use it to promote our business but we use it mostly to curate our brand. To share with our friends, the inspiration behind our collections, the things we like, the people we meet.
AA: “How would you describe your strategy in regards to “communication”? do you invest in print magazines ? do you prefer to go thru a digital communication approach?”
GS: Communication today is mostly digital. The easiest platforms to reach an audience are the social media. Contemporary culture holds them dear and so do we. Nevertheless we love print, the materiality of it, the smell, the touch. Today people tend only to see. Life is vision, touch, smell, sound. In terms of “communication strategies” therefore, we have invested in a holistic approach. We do it in digital platforms, in print but we also invite people to pop by our showroom for a warm cup of coffee, lovely tunes and some conversation.
AA: “What is your approach when it comes to Influencers/Ambassadors?”
AA: “Where do you manufacture your products? Has it been difficult to find the right production companies?”
GS: We try to support the greek production, so everything is made here, in Athens. It was a really difficult task to find them, especially beacause most of the companies dealing with the clothing insdustry, closed after 2012. But yes, I consider ourselves lucky since we work with the same production line since 2015.
AA: “Where do you see your company/brand in three years?”
GS: We are dreamers. We dream big. We’d like to see our clothes walking down Hackney Road, Boulevard Beaumarchais, Oranienstrasse and others. We’d like to collaborate with more creators. To tell more stories. To grow older. Gracefuly.
AA: “What’s the biggest mistake you have done lately?”
GS: There are no mistakes, just occasions to learn and grow.
AA: “What are you mostly proud of?”
GS: We are proud to have survived this long. Four years since we started. In this liquid society, where nothing is solid and everything melts, we have taken our time to solidify.
AA: “Which other products or brands you like to see next to yours?”
GS: We love the aesthetics of Our Legacy, the japenese perfection of Nanamica and Visvim, as also the elegance of Marni.
AA: “What’s your 3 favorite specialty stores in the world (where you would like to possibly sell your products to)”
GS: Voo Store in Berlin, Dover Street Market in London, New York and wherever it exists and Tres Bien Shop in Sweden, are 3 of our favorite stores around the world at the moment.