Photography: Joseph Alexiadis
Editor: Katerina Theocharis
“Bespoke Athens”: A place where expertise meets idealization. A Sartorial Fashion House in Athens where you are going to meet one of the most educated and passionate, yet romantic lover of handmade garments, Vassilis Bourtsalas, who is the owner of the atelier.
Being absolutely conversant with haute couture for gentlemen, while providing choices of quality and elegance, he is going to take you on a journey through the sartorial world and help you create a perfect unique garment made exclusively for you.
His vision when he created Bespoke Athens was to establish a sartorial destination in Athens, where well-dressed gentlemen from all over the world would travel in order to get their clothes tailored. Secondarily, he envisioned to regenerate haute – couture for gentlemen in Greece and introduce the younger generation to sartorial philosophy.
There is a really big story behind Vassilis Bourtsalas and Bespoke Athens. To cut a long story short, Mr. Bourtsalas’ family owned one of the first multi floor stores in Athens, a successful business for over 50 years. A fact that molded his personal aesthetic quality, while teaching him how a clothing store should be managed.
With studies in business in the United States and a quite successful career as a business executive in many large corporations in US and Greece, Mr. Bourtsalas realized that men’s clothing was something that he absolutely had to be occupied with as it was something that he had always loved and admired.
After a visit to Pitti Uomo 15 years ago, he decided to launch the house of Bespoke Athens in 2014, offering unique accessories and artisanal garments from all over the world, representing every style or “School of Tailoring” – Italian, English, German and French.
Wanting to broaden his knowledge about men’s clothing, Mr. Bourtsalas apprenticed under a gifted and talented tailor in Greece, Thomas Lionis, or as the Italian tailors named him “Thomaso”. As a result, he became a very sophisticated fitter allowing him to develop a new bespoke model, where he works from a long distance with tailors from abroad.
One day, the Owner of Charvet asked him something that changed his whole point of view: “Are you planning to make orthopedic bespoke or fashion bespoke? You don’t know yet, you will find out through your clients”. This question inspired him to create clothes that have their own personality, style and fashion.
‘Personality’ for Vassilis Bourtsalas is related with the art of tailoring and he had a tough job making a case for why a garment should be handmade. Handwork is used for styling purpose as well as for functionality and quality. Besides excellent fit and craftsmanship, the Bespoke garment must have style and character. Bespoke Athens has its own unique aesthetic quality, originated by Vassilis Bourtsalas’ lifestyle inspired by Old Classic Hollywood actors. He loves curves versus straight lines and admires anything innovative within ‘classic’.
Bespoke Athens offers three kinds of service for Jackets-Trousers, Overcoats and Formalwear: Made-to-Order (M2O), Made-to-Measure (M2M) (working with St. Andrews and a New York Based manufacturer) and Bespoke. For bespoke garments they cooperate with Sciamat and Gennaro Annunziata from Italy and a tailor from France; Tailors that entirely adapt to Vassilis Bourtsalas’ philosophy and meet his standards. In fact, he may use different pieces from different tailors in order to compose the outfit that totally reflects the client’s personality and style. In-house they produce also bespoke trousers and vests… The Bespoke Athens way!
The same services (M2O, M2M, and Bespoke totally hand made) are offered for shirts. All the shirts are produced in-house from his boutique atelier, which he is very proud of, as it was developed during the difficult financial environment in Greece. He is very thankful for his young employees which share his passion and love for artisanal making of shirts. All his fitting and tailoring knowledge is reflected in these shirts which he developed with the help of his Italian tailors. The Bespoke Athens shirt with its unique style, will soon be launched under its own brand name.
And as Vassilis Bourtsalas, said: “Τhe world needs style. Join us!”