June 6, 2009

aptform—Where Greece Meets Japan

Whenever I reflect back on my sojourns in Thessaloniki, I immediately think of the city’s crowning jewel and symbol, the White Tower, elegantly positioned on the city's waterfront, which rises up into a natural Greek amphitheatre.

The second largest city in Greece—next only to Athens—a modern commercial port, and already a major trade hub by the ancient Roman period, Thessaloniki boasts a history of over 3,000 years. The city was founded by King Cassander of Macedon in 315 BC, naming it after his wife, Thessalonike, sister of Alexander the Great!

Thessaloniki is a vivacious city with an exciting nightlife. As a thriving cultural center, the city has given Greece some of the most talented artists, musicians, and designers, one of whom is Michail Gkinis.

Born 1973 in Thessaloniki, Michail studied fashion design and technology at the London College of Fashion and, after graduation in 2004, pursued an internship at the menswear design studio of Issey Miyake in Tokyo.

Enchanted with Japanese textiles and traditions, Michail moved to Japan in 2006 and launched his menswear line last year, aptform, which stylishly combines the softness of Greece’s nature with the hardness of industrial Japan.

Influenced by the Western art movement, Bauhaus, Michail adheres to the concept that form should follow function. Intrigued by the Japanese notion of silence, Michail utilizes fashion as a means of communicating values with fellow human beings.

Photo by MaurusNR, Public domain at Wikipedia.
Slide show 2009 a/w collection Copyright


  1. Thessaloniki was also the second city of the Greek Byzantine Empire, and contains some beautiful Byzantine architecture/churches. The Byzantine Empire was the continuation of the Roman Empire after it collapsed and the capital was moved to and founded by Constantine the Great in the 4th century ad. My mom was born in Thessaloniki, and my yaya was born in Constantinople before the expatriation in 1923

  2. My name is Joseph Nikolaou, and I live in San Francisco. I am a European men's fashion examiner, and I am interested in doing a article on you, Michail, for viwers her on the west coast. I am interested in promoting and educating people over here to intellectual fashion designers who are promoting more than just crass commercialism.Joel Nikolaou
    SF European Men's Style Examiner