Have that one friend who can’t stop spilling about their magical trip to Mykonos this summer? Or the sister who has a picture of Santorini’s cliffs on their vision board next to their travel fund jar? It’s not surprising that Greece is currently one the world’s hottest destinations. It’s been named the world’s safest destination, best beach, and overall best destination by various global authorities in 2019 alone.
In addition to its breathtaking landscape, part of the destination’s allure are the modern products popping up in hip boutiques in the local “agora”, crafted by incredible artisans. From the fashion scene to one-of-a-kind treasures to take home, Hellenic brands are making their mark.
Left: Hope Kauffman Photography, Right: Ames Bags
Ames, meaning “labyrinth” in ancient Minoan dialect, is the passion project of rising Athens-based designer Lia Manjorou. Much like some of the world’s most iconic signature patterned bags, Ames by Lia Manjorou has reinvented a classic Greek symbol into beautiful and high-quality fabrics in her cutting-edge line of accessories. With this unique Hellenic pattern translated into a chic textile, take a subtle piece of Greece everywhere you go. Each gorgeous bag is a designer piece to add to your collection. We’re especially fond of the Deos, the perfect bag for our travels.
How to wear it: With an airy blouse and denim shorts while boarding the ferry to an island, shopping the boutiques in Naoussa, Paros, or strolling chic Ermou Street in downtown Athens.
2. Sea You Soon beach towel
Photos: Sea You Soon
Greece is synonymous with stretches of pure sand and turquoise waters. For the sun-worshipper who can’t get enough of Vitamin Sea, look no further than Sea You Soon’s premium beach towels – created by two Greek brothers and inspired by cosmopolitan travelers and boho beach-goers. With natural textiles woven in Greece and Turkey, the bold-patterned towels double as a sand-resistant beach mat, sarong, or cover-up. Sea You Soon’s cool designs echo a Mediterranean aesthetic, a must-have accessory for those hot summers of island-hopping. We love the multi-functionality of the towels and their stylish design which are so on-point with the Greek aesthetic.
Where to take it: To the hip beach bars of Mykonos like Kahlua, Scorpion, or Ammos. Or, be adventures and bare it all on a private rocky beach on a remote island like Sifnos or Serifos.
3. Helessence soy candle
Have you ever wondered what Greece smells like? Helessence Candles handcrafts candles with soy wax, essential oils, and fragrance inspired by the timeless beauty of the Greek natural landscape and influenced by scents of the Mediterranean. Forget overpowering flowery and musky perfumes – Helessence is all about unique blends with local scents that evoke emotion. We love the minimal elegance and sophistication of the Graecia Fuga, named for some of its hidden gems. Our personal favorite is Naxos, inspired by the island’s “wild landscapes, imposing waterfalls, magnificent sandy beaches, lush forests and famous Venetian monuments.” This is a fresh, seaweed candle with top notes of grapefruit and melon, a heart of hyacinth and figs sipping on a base of vetiver and musk. Yes please!
Where to Burn it: Did you know that smell may be the scent most closely linked to memory? This candle is perfect for the office when you’re scrolling through your pics of the vacation of a lifetime and reliving the memories. Inhale the aroma and it will take you right back!
4. Saristi tea
When to Sip it: We can’t think of anything better than cozying up with a great novel, a freshly-brewed mug of Relax Gold Edition tea, and of course a Helessence candle burning. Why not try Nicholas Gage’s Eleni or his daughter, Eleni Gage’s incredible account.
5. DockATot sleeping mask
Photo: Hope Kauffman photography
Swedish founder of globally-renowned brand DockATot, Lisa Furuland Kotsianis, has made the Athenian Riviera her forever home, and we can’t blame her. The creative designer behind the world’s leading baby lounger (which has amassed an international following) has recently launched her newest creative endeavor – Aristot, luxury furniture of elevated versatility that double as bassinets. DockATot has created a fashionable and useful sleeping mask, perfect for the weary or jet lagged traveler. When Kotsianis isn’t dreaming up new frontiers in the juvenile market, you can find her in her favorite getaway destination, Spetses. Needless to say, the country offers her endless inspiration, and we totally see why.
When to Wear it: If you’re hoping to arrive in Athens fresh and rested, the DockATot sleeping mask will help you get shut eye and land ready to enjoy the kefi. Opa!
6. Apivita face mask
Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, Hippocrates of Kos – the “Father of Medicine” – began to discover ways of improving one’s health. Wellness has long been a cornerstone of life for Greeks. Before the healthy benefits of honey and royal jelly were widely known as they are today, two pharmacists in Greece turned their passion for honeybees and herb extracts into a line of natural cosmetics. In 1972, the founders of Apivita, Nikos and Niki Koutsianas, were inspired by Hippocrates’ holistic approach to health, beauty and well-being, and knew they could bring incredible products from beekeepers to fruition. With an immense respect for the unique biodiversity of Greek nature, and especially the bee, they crafted a company to embody their values. They even named it in honor of the bee; derived from the Latin words Apis (bee) and Vita (life).
Many Greeks consider Apivita an essential beauty brand, and a best-kept secret. But the secret is out and the brand is growing its international reach as more and more people are experiencing it, from hair to skin products. We love this incredible face mask that restores and rejuvenates with all-natural ingredients.
When to Use it: Whenever you’re needing that fresh Greek glow!