superchat athens: dimitris papadopoulos

© scott schuman - dimitris papadopoulos

it was while studying architecture and working in fashion that comme des garçons first caught the attention of athens-based retailer dimitris papadopoulos. his love and admiration for the japanese brand's aesthetics and innovation has since then grown from strength to strength. by opening two comme des garçons guerilla stores in athens, and now managing the stylishly minimalist number 3 boutique, he single-handedly added comme des garçons to the fashion vocabulary of the city's hipster community. superfuture was in town earlier this year and dropped by for a little chat.

how did you get involved with comme des garçons and its guerilla stores? i had always always admired rei kawakubo and comme des garçons for various reasons: the creativity, the freedom of thinking, the business approach and the overall approach of innovation and new ideas. it al started years ago after reading an article by cathy horyn in the new york times. it was called a store made for right now and elaborately described comme des garçons' guerilla store project. i thought the whole thing was revolutionary and it intrigued me so much that i wanted to run a guerilla shop of my own.

after doing two guerilla store editions here in athens you launched number 3, a permanent retail space. was that the logical next step or was there a strategy behind it? no, there wasn't any strategy behind it. it all evolved very naturally.

why did you decide to set up number 3 in the kolonaki area? kolonaki is athens' fashion district. i had the idea to create a store here that would somehow be different from all other shops and what the people that shop in this area are used to. so, despite the fact that number 3 is located on one of kolonaki's main thoroughfares, it's very much hidden in an inconspicuous building. the store has no windows, just a door, a door bell and a name sign.

how does the current economic situation in greece affect retail in general and shopping for fashion in particular? pretty much everyone is affected by the economic situation. as for myself, i'm currently working on a new project which has everything to do with the future of retail but i can't reveal the details just yet! but in situations as these one has to be innovative, creative and make an even bigger effort, whether it's in athens, elsewhere in greece or abroad.

what's the shopping scene like here in athens, and what is the general taste of athenians? the city's shopping scene has evolved quite drastically these past six years. we've seen a number of greek companies establishing new luxury monobrand stores, such as the lanvin boutique, and this has greatly influenced the taste level...in a good way!

where do you shop yourself and which stores would you recommend? when it comes to fashion, i only shop at number 3 because i mostly wear comme des garçons. for music i download everything from itunes store because i don't have much time to go out and about and extensively search for what i'm after. for design, we've got quite a few good stores, such as deloudis and riche in the kifissia area.

is there an underground scene of any kind here in athens that's comparable to those in cities like berlin, london and new york? there used to be one. maybe there still is, but i no longer see traces of it. but then again, you can't compare athens to berlin, london or new york because each city has its own character and people and scenes are different everywhere.

do you have fav bars, restaurants or other spots where you like to hang out? i'll let you in on some of my fav places...but they're not fashionable hotspots though! i've got this fav bar near the fabulous acropolis museum in the plaka area called eris. the vibe there is as such that you'd think you're in a small greek village instead of downtown athens. there's also a small tavern in the thissios area where i love to go for dinner. it's called hlias and they serve meats of amazing quality, as is everything else by the way. all dishes are prepared by hand and even the fried potatoes are hand-sliced!

© number 3 - number 3's discreet entrance