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In Greek mythology, Nisos, the King of Megara, commanded the women of Greece to dress in a style reminiscent of his late wife Abrota. For Smaragda Navridis and Gregory Hatsatourian, the wife and husband duo behind the menswear label Nisos 1948, the art of dressing strong men is as luxurious as it is natural.
Nisos 1948 was created with the notion that the purest luxuries are uncompromising. Rooted in tradition and inspired by the couple’s respective backgrounds, the brand’s cardigans and pullover jumpers are 100% chemical free and dyed exclusively with natural materials: Indian woods, Ash tree, and herbs such as Juniper and Indigofera. Dying garments with nature’s finest materials was an incredibly expensive process in Ancient Greece through the height of its popularity during the 18th century, as it is today. However subtle, the dyes are most alluring for their richness and the way colors shift and brighten as they weather.
Navridis’s grandfather, an Anatolian refugee, was one of the first businessmen to import men’s clothing in 1920s Greece and he eventually established one of the largest fine textile enterprises. During the late 1940s, Hatsatourian’s grandmother, then a young girl of little means, created a highly successful knitwear line that garnered attention from the kings and queens of her time. By combining their unique family heritage, Navridis and Hatsatourian are trying their hand at changing the way men dress, and perhaps preserving the environment, one knit at a time.
We recently spoke with Hatsatourian via the phone.
DESIGNER: Smaragda Navridis
BASED IN: Greece
ORIGIN STORY: I’m third generation in the textile industry and Smaragda, too, comes from a long line of clothing manufacturers. Starting the collection was more about intuition, and resurrecting and preserving the dyeing tradition, introducing it in a luxury setting. We debuted this year at Pitti Uomo in Florence Italy. A lot of our production is done right outside of Milan, so everything is of the highest quality.
AU NATUREL: For us, the collection is really about strength and simplicity. But most importantly, our fibers—all the cashmere and all the dyes—are natural. It’s not “organic,” which is a nice way for people to get away with using “less chemicals.” No. Our line is natural, from nature.
GOTTA HAVE FAITH: We didn’t do any market research. We are certain we will find the [customers].
TRADEMARKS: Many of our styles have Greek names, including our best seller, Nonakris, which is a nice weight cashmere cardigan jacket with two different knitting techniques, lined with woven cashmere pinstripes. I leave the design to Smaragda, she’s the brains behind the design.
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