By Meri Charitonidi
Filippos Georgios Tsintavis is the founder, creative director and lead designer of FGTONSILK. Graduate of Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where he specialized in visual arts, his artistic education led him to fashion; a natural career continuum. He is mainly dressed by his own tailor made designs and is considered one of the strongest Athenian advocates of style. His art-defined by wood engraving and paper carving pieces as well as small installations, abstract object creations and paintings has now passed onto his fashionable silk imprinted scarves.
For the past years, Filippos has spent most of his time between Athens and Milan, travelling further to take part in group and solo exhibitions in various galleries and private collector's events. In the meantime a limited illustrated collection of his poems was published in 2011 right before his brand was founded, est.2017.
FGTONSILK is a brand of high-end products, meticulous design and accurate craftsmanship, sustainability, ethicality and transparent policy. The brand’s scarves are made of 100% pure greek silk from Soufli in Northern Greece, which is internationally recognized as one of the world’s finest due to its premium quality.
Simple, monochromatic and deeply significant FGTONSILK scarves enclose an opposing balance of finesse and poeticness. In December 2019 the company completed its two years of stable and successful existence, aiming to a greater appeal towards an international audience. For those who know Filippos, FGTONSILK is the reconstruction of his artistic identity in fashion and vice versa. For those who don’t, trust that this article will give you an insight on how to incorporate art in style.
FU: What is the most important thing to you concerning the brand?
FGT: Today, probably more than ever, it is crucial to support and reinforce the Greek production - at least in my opinion. In FGTONSIK, all stages of production, from the initial creation until the completion of the product, are carried out in the country. The modern units we collaborate with, combine their years of expertise and traditional know-how with the latest technologies. Despite the higher production costs, we also choose to have our packaging made in Greece (specifically in Athens). High quality and timeless design are what make our silk scarves unique in their kind. Our scarves have a strong artistic background with a strong conceptual approach that creates a unique character and a dynamic brand identity, proving that there is nothing to envy from related imported products.
FU: What do you see in fashion?
FGT: In a garment, in a suit, I recognize a harmonious coexistence of all the arts! Design, painting, sculpture, movement, theatricality, and even sound; these are some of the elements that consist of a garment - in this case a scarf. I remember that ever since I was young, I would study and experiment with volumes, textures and colors, both of my own clothing and the people around me. I believe that my love for fashion design grew and developed at the same time as my artistic identity did.
FU: Silk to you means...
FGT: There is no greater luxury than the feeling of silk on bare skin. To me, silk is valuable, mainly as it becomes a means of expression.
FU: The initial inspiration & the story behind the brand, uncover.
FGT: I started the brand with the aim of expanding my art audience. Contemporary art is addressed to a very limited audience with specific knowledge and access to it. My silk scarves are for everyone, regardless of their artistic education and cultural background. It is very special and moving to see people use your art in their daily lives! To have a scarf in their jacket’s pocket, for example, featuring symbols and artistic references from my broader work. This same scarf pattern could be part of a painting exposed in an art gallery or in some private collection, etc. I think it is necessary to live surrounded by art. I believe that my original goal has been achieved and this gives me incredible satisfaction.
FU: Your visual concepts and what you want to communicate through them.
FGT: Our visual campaigns intend to communicate the virtues and elements that have gone missing in today’s world. Elegance, brilliance, class, dynamism, authenticity, intense artistry, mystery and more; with the ultimate aim of creating highly aesthetic scenes! My most frequent influences come from Greek mythology, the international art scene, urban lifestyle and more. The photographs are often reminiscences of paintings. In every picture I look for poetry.
FU: On art - shades and texture / where do these abstract geometries come from?
FGT: All FGTONSILK collections are linked to the themes of my artwork. Most of my scarf designs bear elements of my original artwork as they are firstly depicted on paintings, engravings, sculptures and even installations. For instance, the "Cotton Paper Simplicity" collection featuring asymmetrical cotton paper compositions, derives from interactive sculptures made of wood and glass, one of which is a prayer / pilgrimage furniture with a window-top full of such cut paper. The viewer is called upon to kneel to the minimum, to nothing. Conceptually, this particular collection signifies the spectacular unity invoked by simplicity, with a strong poetic mood as approaching the time of creation after annihilation.
FGT: Our silk scarves are made entirely in Northern Greece and specifically in the city of Soufli. There, the silkworm is cultivated and processed for the purpose of weaving yarn. After weaving and preparing the fabric we move on to printing the designs. This process is done digitally on modern printing machines. When the designs are printed, the fabric goes through a color stabilization process. When the process is completed, the fabric is cut to the size we want and then has to be sewed accordingly. The process of sewing silk scarves requires high skills and knowledge. 15% of the work, which is the final sewing of the scarves edges, is hand-made by a collective of Pomaki women in the greater Soufli area, who collaborate with the main manufacturer. Certainly the relatively small and conscious production ensures absolute quality!
FU: Any future goals about potential products/accessories?
FGT: There will definitely be a new silk scarf collection in the spring and I am preparing some new products such as belts and bags, which I will try to make in Greece and have something of silk -from Soufli- on them.
FU: Tell me a secret.
FGT: Some of my clients know about the Soufli silk, as they or their ancestors used it on special occasions or important moments of their lives. Some of them told me that their wedding dresses and the finest outfits -which they still have- were made of the same Greek silk, which makes me very happy both for my choice of material but also for the acknowledgement of the scarves quality.
L I N K S
Website : www.fgtonsilk.com
Instagram : www.instagram.com/f.g.t.onsilk/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/fgtonsilk/