As posted at https://www.thenationalherald.com/ November 12, 2019
The Elysians launches a new online platform with a creative pop-up event in SOHO December 6-8. Photo: Courtesy of The Elysians
NEW YORK – Co-founders Vicki Vasilopoulos and Athina Vosinaki joined forces to form The Elysians Project, which is a Gateway to the U.S. market for Hellenic creative individuals. In recent years, many young, well-educated and inspired Greek designers and entrepreneurs started to ”think outside the box,” trying to expand their business in new markets. These young cutting-edge designers and entrepreneurs with their unique designs and ideas are unveiling the New Hellenic Story.
Vasilopoulos and Vosinaki are actively seeking exceptional, hand-made, inspired designs crafted in pure materials. They genuinely want to foster an increased demand for Hellenic design products, and in doing so, bring forth a refreshing new image and creativity. They both declare that they want to deliver authentic “pieces of art” that customers will be eager to spread the word about!
TheElysians.com has launched a new multimedia platform for the U.S. market featuring exclusive, hand-made, artisanal fashion pieces, jewelry, and accessories from rising Greek designers. Starting with creative and conceptual pop-up showcase events across the USA and Canada, TheElysians.com will eventually evolve into a curated eCommerce site and international promotional platform for Hellenic creative individuals.
The Elysians first-ever creative pop-up event will be held at the COCO-MAT store at 40 Mercer Street from Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8. Pop-up store hours are Friday and Saturday, 11 AM-7 PM, and Sunday, 12 noon-6 PM.
Vosinaki and Vasilopoulos are both documentary filmmakers specializing in arts and culture and are committed to seeking exceptional, inspired, handmade designs in pure and sustainable materials. While Vosinaki is based in Athens, Vasilopoulos is based in New York City — and was a former mens’s fashion editor at DNR (now part of Women’s Wear Daily).
Vasilopoulos said, “When we started meeting with these creators, we absorbed their optimism, positive vibes and joy. It enhanced our belief that all that passion and creativity needs a path for expression and connection with like-minded souls — even in the midst of an economic crisis!”
Vosinaki added, “For us, the ultimate style is knowing that the hands which made these pieces of art are joyful hands, and that’s why we will continually feature the stories behind the labels!”
Under the auspices of the Consulate General of Greece in New York, The Elysians will host a private holiday preview party at COCO-MAT on Thursday, December 5 from 6-8 PM for press and invitation-only guests. Additionally, as part of its social responsibility mission, The Elysians will be donating 10% of its net profits to support the Greek America Foundation’s #ChildrenOfGreece campaign.
Guests are invited to connect on Instagram and Facebook and to join the mailing list at www.theelysians.com to receive special offers and updates about this upcoming pop-up in Soho – and to come meet the Greek Designers who are taking their creative business to the next level.
Vasilopoulos spoke to The National Herald about The Elysians. When asked how long the platform took to put together, she told TNH, “We have been actively working on designing the platform and honing the concept, sourcing our distinctive designer resources in Greece, and planning our pop-up launch in New York City since the summer of 2018. But it’s been an individual dream of ours for many, many years before we joined forces as partners. We feel privileged to be able to support and promote these emerging designers and entrepreneurs and to give them valuable exposure in America.”
About the most surprising aspect of working on The Elysians, Vasilopoulos said, “The most surprising aspect for us has been the level of enthusiasm with which our project was welcomed by Greek designers. Once you meet them, you instantly realize that passion and creativity need a path for expression. There are no borders in creativity and we are sincerely honored by their trust and willingness to participate in this inspired project!
“On the other hand, the most challenging aspect of this endeavor has been handling the logistics: shipping and export requirements, and all the paperwork! That part of the business involves a lot of research and attention to detail.”
When asked what is next, Vasilopoulos told TNH, “The core part of our marketing efforts is to build high-profile awareness campaigns during important events in the U.S. — like film festivals and roadshows — as well as online advertising and link-building.
“Regarding the pop-ups, after our New York City launch, we will continue to spread the word about The Elysians — and build a community around our brand through events in other major cities in North America, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Toronto.
“These events will be seasonal and even more creative in concept and execution. We strongly believe in the benefit of pop-up stores because they are an immersive and fun offline shopping experience which allows us to talk about our platform’s promise to our members and friends face-to-face, through an exciting and engaging physical environment. By communicating the story behind the designer labels, we can inspire customer loyalty and positive engagement.
“Our goal is to build a sustainable business over the long-term – and to give professional and consistent exposure to as many Greek designers/creators/artists, as we can!
“In stage two of the business, we will launch a full eCommerce shop with local fulfillment of online orders through our Shopify site. So follow us and stay tuned! There are a lot more creative surprises