The government debt crisis officially began nearly a decade ago, although we all know that the decades before that was the catalyst as successive corrupt governments massively overspent. Tax evasions was almost a hobby – in a way it still is – and the economic boom of the early 2000s seems a long time ago.
While the vast majority suffered, it was youth unemployment that really felt the force with up to nearly half out of work. Yet there have been a few success stories. One that springs to mind is that of Taxibeat, co-founded in 2011 by Nikos Drandakis, which was snapped up last year by the German group Daimler-Benz.
That same year, Dimitra Kolotoura and Mareva Grabowski founded their luxury lifestyle label, Zeus + Dione. 'I still remember those terrible headlines saying that Greek people consume and don’t produce, which simply wasn’t true,' said Kolotoura in a recent interview with Wallpaper*. Determined to turn this negative perception into a positive one, the two friends decided to start a brand that would showcase their native country’s rich cultural heritage. 'It was a romantic notion – we would create fine, sustainable clothes and accessories that would be designed and made in Greece.'
After coming across a large silk production factory in the city of Soufli, the company has since grown considerably and the factory now produces up to six kilometres of Soufli silk for every Zeus + Dione collection. The partners are now firmly focused on the future and expanding the company.
The success of Zeus + Dione is one that shows how a combination of determination, commitment and creativity can prevail over a dire financial climate.