Monday, March 06, 2017

An interview with Alexia Panakos, creator of GHOST GiRL GOODS.

Alexia Panakos, a George Brown College graduate in Fashion Design and Techniques, is now enrolled in two other programs, here at GBC (Fashion Business Industry and Fashion Management). Proud owner and creator of GHOST GiRL GOODS, a brand with a fusion of Hip Hop and Pop styles, that combine sounds of music, energy of dance, and Alexia’s love for Japanese fashion and culture, is how Alexia describes best her brand, where she introduces unique style clothes with bright, bold colours and fun designs, produced and mainly manufactured in Canada, by herself.

Since Alexia is a Canadian-based designer and entrepreneur with a very individualistic mindset and unique designs, I ask her what she could bring to the Canadian fashion scene, to which she simply reply to it by saying that, she just wants to show people how fun fashion can be! Through her designs, she wants people to think they’re strange and cool, unique and different. Also, all the many possibilities with clothing and our imaginations can make anyone go wild! “I want to bring these fun wild designs to people here in Canada and hope to expand even further throughout the world.” Although, here in Canada, “I see people are starting to become a little more comfortable with some more unique design. However, most people are still too fixated on following these mainstream trends that are everywhere on social media. I feel like too many people want to look the same and there are not enough people who want to express themselves more because maybe they fear judgment.”, since Alexia is an “outside of the box” designer, the concept of Canadians identifying themselves more with the generic, cookie cutter, designs, and brands that everyone knows, is something that doesn’t “sit to well” with the designer, making her believe that Canada might not have a big enough platform in the fashion industry, to accommodate her uniqueness and freshness, to which she also defines Canadian fashion as, “boring, black and white, “minimalistic”, copies, same as the USA, influenced by social media and celebrities, people want to be different yet they are the same.”
            Since, she is such a unique designer, as I previously mentioned, I wondered where her inspiration comes from, where she replies saying she doesn’t follow any current trends, she usually creates designs based on photos from Japanese fashion blogs or just everyday life. For example, her most recent collection “Bubble Tees”, where she mixes different flavors of bubble tea with mermaids.
            Everyone has fashion icons, and Alexia is no exception, although she doesn’t have a Canadian fashion icon, she has an international fashion icon, a Japanese designer, and creator of the brand 6% DOKI DOKI, Sebastian Masuda. He also helped create the Harajuku fashion movement, something that the designer is quite fond of, because of the of the bright colors and funky designs, “I really admire his vision and his design because it is so fun and unique.”  
            From a more local perspective, Toronto is the place to be. Right now, Alexia has an e-commerce, and that’s how she makes her business, and like every businesswoman, she would also like to open a brick and mortar one day, however when I asked her, where she would locate herself, she said that in “Toronto, mostly on Queen Street, that shops tend to rotate sometimes. Shops open and close and new shops come in their place. I feel like that’s because Toronto is growing and becoming more expensive, therefore small businesses may not be making enough money to keep up with rent and expenses, therefore closing their shop. I feel like I would love to open my own shop someday, but I fear that the pricing may not be worth my risk. It may be easier for me to operate mainly online, especially since I have such a niche target market.”, for now to find GHOST GiRL GOODS products, only through the website
            And lastly, Panakos, as designer/entrepreneur is always trying to find different thinks to bring to her collections and business, new things, as tech couture, where Alexia, has quite the opinion about it, “Tech couture is a pretty interesting topic because it is creating new ways to make clothing. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a problem because it can have a lot of great impact on the world, such as less pollution. Even things such as 3D body scanning are quite useful for those who are creating the clothes. I feel like people would probably be able to easily adapt to the change if it were to be made, but at the same time it could be difficult for some.” And green fashion, seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind right now, and a lot of designers, are trying to contribute to a better fashion footprint, and of course, Alexia would love to also contribute, if she ever has the opportunity to do so.

            Alexia Panakos, is a great inspiration, and after interview her, it made me realise that she is the true definition of Canadian fashion, and showcase of true Torontonian multicultural society, bringing the Japanese culture in to Canadian fashion.

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