MELISSINOS THE POET SANDAL MAKER OF ATHENS was established, in 1920, by an outstanding and much loved member of the Athenian society: Georgios Melissinos, who was succeeded, in 1954, by his son, Stavros (The Poet), who passed it on to his son Pantelis Melissinos (The Poet and Artist), in 2004.
Since 1920, the Melissinos -The Poet Sandal Maker’s Workshop has been featured in countless magazines , newspapers and TV networks, the world over, and now on the internet as well. The workshop has always been visited by members of old Greek families that keep their old values and cultural identity alive, along with European Royalty and international celebrities like: Sophia Loren, Jackie Onassis, Rudolf Nureyev, The Beatles, Melina Mercoury, Maria Callas, Barbra Streisand, Jeremy Irons, Kate Moss, Leonard Cohen, Queen Sophia of Spain and countless others, who seek something unique and not mass produced.
When, the now renowned poet, Stavros Melissinos made his first hand made sandals that were inspired by their Ancient Greek counterparts, he was laughed at by some of the Monastiraki District wise guys and shop owners, till Sophia Loren walked into his store, sometime in the early Fifties. Then (and overnight) every hardware, or rug, or secondhand-items merchant followed suit and started selling (to gullible tourists or Greeks) mass production imitations of our original sandal designs.
The handmade ancient Greek sandals that Stavros Melissinos created, in the Fifties, dominate the international fashion scene until now. The “Melissinos Art -The Poet Sandal Maker” establishment has been featured or described by journalists, writers and foreign visitors as a Historic Athenian (and sort of Parthenon-like) landmark.
Today, visitors from around the world come for the tailor-made sandals, as well as for the art and poetry, offered by the Third Generation, namely: Pantelis Melissinos, whose approach is often more artistic, since he has graduated from New York City’s Parsons School of Design (BFA /Illustration –MFA /Painting) and has worked for many years as a painter, writer, poet, set and costume designer, as well as Artistic Director of The Greek Cultural Center of New York.