In search of the perfect summer sandal, I first saw Ancient Greek Sandals in a store in Johannesburg years ago. I was struck by the cute wings on the side, the detailed buckle in the shape of wings and the unique and sexy designs. I saw some again last year holidaying in Crete and then a few months ago in the Parisian go-to concept store, Colette on Rue St Honore. Little did I know the these global shoes, praised by the New York Times, Vogue, Elle and the Financial Times, have a history born out of, you guessed it, ancient Greece. I am a huge fan and not the only one, as the sandals have been seen on the pedicured paws of Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Rihanna, SJP and many others.
I don’t remember much about the stories of Ancient Greece. I’m certain I was supposed to have learnt them as part of my 4th Grade curriculum but (and perhaps sadly) what I know about these ancient gods and Goddesses is from a more modern pop culture to which it seems they have had a profound influence; the House of Hermes, the movie Poseidon, Pandora jewellery, Olympus cameras, Ajax household cleaner, Amazon.com and of course we’re aware of the Goddess Nike for obvious reasons.
The brand story of Ancient Greek Sandals (AGS) also uses myth from Greek history and starts like this, “According to an Ancient Greek myth, the gods and goddesses had their sandals made on the beautiful island of Crete by a gifted sandal maker who enriched each pair with magical powers. Famous for having made the flying sandals for Hermes, the sandal maker also embellished them with his personal signature… a “golden wing” buckle.”
The founders and creators of the shoe brand are talented duo, Christina Martini and Nikolas Minoglou, who both have a strong affiliation with Greece. Christina previously worked as a shoe designer for Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Iris srl, but after giving birth to her first child she moved with her family to the Island of Corfu in Greece. Nikolas was born in London, raised in Greece and after graduating in the US he moved back to Athens to take the reigns of his family’s well established footwear brand. With their perfectly matched skills, their love of Ancient Greece and their shared heritage they created this much-loved collection inspired by ancient Greek Gods and myths, pottery, jewellery and sculpture.
The shoes are designed with femininity in mind, I love the details as well as their unique designs influenced by ancient practice with a modern twist. They are handmade out of chemical -free tan leather in Greece by skilled craftsmen using traditional techniques.
Available in 180 stores and in 40 different countries, there are a many styles and colours, the choice is endless, from the simplest slip-ons to intricate ones that even Lady gaga would slip into – finally my summer sandal search is over!
Shop the collection at ancientgreeksandals.com