Located in Athens’s oldest quarter Plaka, Mouki Mou brings home Maria Lemos’ aesthetics in an energetic mix of old and new. Following its opening on Chiltern Street back in 2013, Mouki Mou intends to be much more than a usual concept store. Aiming to be a gathering place for an evolving collection of under-the-radar brands sourced from around the world, the store features understated but exquisitely made clothes, jewelry, and objects designed to improve with age and last forever.
Mouki Mou is housed in a 1970s building, with a discreet entrance hidden on a peaceful lane, while the main showroom overlooks the lively souvenir shops of Adrianou, the busiest street in Plaka. Designed by Leda Athanasopoulou – Studio Pale, spaces are unified by the restored terrazzo floor, while clothing rails are placed on a lightweight aluminum structure in the central stage. Glass vessels, ceramics, and linens are displayed on low MDF consoles and brushed aluminum shelving. For subtle texture, walls are painted in natural limewash with a hint of loulaki blue and desert grey. A wall of mirrors doubles as a room divider, concealing the changing room. The large metal table was designed for the space by Greek ceramicist Eleni Vernadaki, whose ceramic lace panels hang on the walls.
The selection of wares is informed by their integrity, wearability, and timeless quality. Hand-knit cashmere by Wommelsdorff Berlin, Peruvian alpaca sweaters by Knitbrary, Italian cotton smocks and crumpled dresses by Daniela Gregis are some of the independent labels represented in Athens for the first time. Hand-made jewellery by artists: Prounis, Alice Waese, Ted Muehling, Ten Thousand Things, Anaconda, and Judy Geib, as well as one-off pieces by local designers Ileana Makri and Fanourakis, are displayed in a three-meter vertical cabinet. Vogel Studio’s sculptural glass contrasts with Alexander Kirkenby’s flowery sensibility. Ceramics from Danish father and son KH Würtz sit alongside linens by Chiarastella Cattana. The pebble spoons by Thalia Maria Georgoulis, the ceramic pomegranates of Manousos Chalkiadakis, and The Eye Ring bring a touch of Greece. During summer, the shop is filled with the botanical essence of Aoiro’s Hakudo Rain, whilst in winter the darker days call for the lighting of the Pagostas candle, created exclusively for the Patmian guesthouse by Lynn Harris, of Perfumer H. The enclosed patio is adjacent to the oldest Ottoman building in Athens, the Venizelos Mansion. Upstairs, the cement roof has been resurfaced and transformed into a planted roof terrace by landscape architect Helli Pangalou.
“The idea is to invite people to meet the makers and introduce them to an Athenian audience. We will host events, bringing together designers working across different disciplines,” says Maria Lemos.
“This is more than just a shop. We want this to be a place where things happen, and new ideas and collaborations take shape”.