Mary Katrantzou was born in Athens in 1983. Having developed an appreciation of applied design from an early age, she moved to America to study for a BA in Architecture at the Rhode Island school of design, before transferring to Central Saint Martins to complete her BA degree in textile design. Graduating from her BA in 2005, Katrantzou shifted her direction from textile design to womenswear with a focus on print. When studying at Central Saint Martin’s, she became interested in the way that printed textiles can change the shape of a woman’s body .
Katrantzou’s graduating show in 2008 mapped out her signature style. It was themed around trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery featured on jersey-bonded dresses. These pieces created the illusion of wearing giant neckpieces that would be too heavy in reality. She also designed real pieces of jewellery made out of wood and metal that were exact replicas of the prints.
From the beginning her work has been about perception and perspective, and channelling that through a visual language that is used to design desirable clothes that are flattering. Her first ready-to-wear collection debuted at London Fashion Week in Spring Summer 2009, with the support of the BFC and the New Gen Scheme. From there, Katrantzou picked up 15 prestigious stockists including Browns, Joyce and Colette. She now boasts over 250 stockists ranging from Joyce and Colette to Selfridges and Barneys. Mary achieved show status the following season, in Autumn Winter 2009.
Mary Katrantzou’s thematic collections revolve around an icon of luxury, looking for the filtered beauty within it; an object from art or design that a woman would not be able to wear if it were real.