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CALLIOPE – Queen of Light

She has travelled the world, photographed the most influential international figures, and made her mark in aesthetics and fashion while working for the world’s leading magazines. Calliope, one of the most eminent Greek photographers with an important international career, has returned to her roots; she makes books about Greece and creates style with the clothes she designs.

When was the first time you got hold of a camera? I was about 8 years old. I used to borrow my dad’s camera and dress my friends with my mum’s super chic clothes. I spruced them up, did their makeup and took photographs. At the beginning it was just a game, but, even when I was only a kid, fine aesthetics, elegance, fashion, and beauty enticed me and I cherished beautiful things. I grew up among beautiful things.

When did you have your first professional shoot? When I was very young I was welcomed as an exceptional talent to work for the Italian Vogue. The chief editor of the Italian Vogue took me under her protection; she kept assigning projects to me and materialized my ideas. I remember when she sent me off to some mountain in Colorado for three weeks and I did the styling and the shooting for a 60-page winter issue. The moments I’ve lived as a photographer are unforgettable!

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What makes you want to create books about your country? I’m deeply attached to my roots. I’ve lived abroad for a long time and I’ve missed my homeland. I love my country and I want to give back to it. My country has been through a lot and it is small in size, so I want to share my deep knowledge and valuable experience with my fellow countrymen. If each and every one of us does his or her bit, miracles will happen. I want to see such miracles happen. I want us to help our land rise to prominence. That’s why I did this book with Skira, an international publishing house, so that it travels abroad and people can see it everywhere. It is a kind of advertising for Greece and the beauty of our country. In spring and summer I will be presenting the book in several places like London, Paris, New York. Our goal is to present the book to people abroad and promote it. Of course, I always start from Greece and so the book’s debut took place in the Acropolis museum. First and foremost I wanted to thank the people who appear in the book, to honour them and share this book with my friends in Greece and only then to present it abroad.

Fashion and fine aesthetics are also the key to “The world of Queen Calliope”, the shop where we can find the clothes and accessories you design… Along with photography and my book, I wanted to make something equally creative because my passion for fashion goes a long way. After all, I’ve been a fashion photographer all my life. I made the shop in Kolonaki and the website where you can find clothes, caftans, accessories, things I personally like. I named it “The World of Queen Calliope” because this is how I feel like a queen and because every woman wearing these clothes feels like a queen.

The materials for your creations come from India… That’s right. This is where I get the materials I need for the clothes and accessories I design. India inspires me in many ways and suits me perfectly both spiritually as well as aesthetically. That’s why I travel there every year. When I first visited the country I was 20 years old and I fell in love with the place. I’ve been around the world and no place has ever impressed me as much as India, because India has a rich culture going back thousands of years.

What do you appreciate more in your life? I appreciate every passing second; the fact that I am alive, and I have people I love and feel loved by; the fact that I do the things I like, I have fought for everything I have achieved and nothing ever came as a gift, I’ve won my combats in life.

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