We recently caught up with fashion consultant and creative director to some of the biggest designers in the world, Dimitrios Lemonas. Here is what he had to say about fashion and some of his inspirations growing up:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how you first got into this field of fashion:
My name is Dimitrios Lemonas. Since I was a kid I was drawn into the world of fashion. Both my mother and my grandmother were dressmakers so I was always surrounded by beautiful fabrics and women that wanted things to fit right and flatter their figures. I studied fashion merchandising and management at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC where I was able to see the fashion industry from many perspectives. Interning for showrooms such as 212 showroom NYC and Gianfranco Ferre, I found a great interest in the showroom business and working with designers by helping them achieve their goals.
Who or what were some of your influences growing up?
My grandmother had a talent for detail when it came to dress making. She was always searching for classy but unique fabrics. When she saw a fabric she immediately knew what she would make with it and what kind of woman should wear it. My mother got her talent for detail when it came to dress making and her love for beautiful fabrics. Of course the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Growing up, watching them work, I developed a passion and a good eye for good quality fabrics, color and pattern combinations.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
My initial formal training was in college at the fashion Institute of Technology in NYC where I got a degree for fashion merchandising and management. I chose that major because it covered many aspects of the industry. From merchandising and managing to styling, design, history of fashion and many more. What I love most about being a student there was that it was not all academic. You had to work for various projects every week as if you actually had a job in the industry. That was very helpful.
What has been your favorite project to work on so far?
Being the creative director and head of the design department at “aslanishome” which is a home goods company in Greece that carries the name of one of the most prestigious Greek designers of all times was an experience that I will always be most grateful. Seeing your work taking life and being put on shelves and then people responding to it with the most positive way is life changing. But working as a fashion consultant alongside designers, helping them achieve their goals, doing all the research and everything else that comes in that job description is something that gives a good kick in my energy levels. I could do that job all day everyday. So I would say working with designers would be my favorite kind of project.
What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?
Each job is different and has a success story in its own way. If I look back into my career I would say being able to start as an intern and then been offered a full time position at Gianfranco Ferre was my first achievement. But after that I got to work with great names and designers mostly in Greece that sometimes I had to pinch myself to see if it’s real. Michalis Aslanis was my biggest achievement in Greece without a doubt. He trusted me with his collection numerous times and then by assigning me creative director at aslanishome, gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.
If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?
There are many designers I admire but I have always admired Jean Paul Gaultier the most. I think working with him would be life fulfilling.
What have you learned most about this business?
That things change within seconds and you have to keep up but you have to be persistent focused and dedicated to your work. If you manage that it wont leave you, it will reward you.
What projects do you have coming up?
About ten years ago I worked with a Greek designer (Christoforos Kotentos) and had a successful collaboration with him. Now this designer is continuing his career in NYC and I am working with him to help him with his designs to approach the American market. I helped him sign with 212 showroom which is where I got all of my field training. While still consulting this designer I am in discussions with 212 showroom to sign with other designers within them as well.
What is your best piece of advice for aspiring artists?
Well I am artistic but not an artist, so I guess I would give the same advice I would give to anyone. Be persistent, listen and watch experienced people in their field but don’t copy. Gather as much information as you can and then filter them and alter them to your needs and situations. But no matter what, never give up on your dreams.