PCP Clothing has stemmed from Pella Christina Papachristou’s (Co-founder & Creative Director) family’s trade of manufacturing jackets through the company Jeremy Boy, which was founded by her grandfather in 1959. Pella quickly took on the challenge of making clothing that could appeal to every woman, for every occasion and thus, PCP Clothing was born.
Joined by her brother Petros, Operations Manager, they are a dynamic duo that will stop at nothing to bring #glitteranarchy to the world, but more importantly, do their part in making it a better place for everyone. Along with their team which is comprised of 70% women, they aim to contribute to their culture and society with pride, and of course, style.
How and why did you start PCP?
PCP started in 2012. My grandfather started working the male jacket, named “Jeremy Boy” in 1959. Since I was 15 years old, I remember myself in the fashion industry. I always loved the production process. I studied Fashion and Fabric Design and started working as a TV stylist in the advertising section in Athens. Back then I created for the first time some leggings for a “Hellas online” ad with a theme inspired by the 80’s. The shootings used to start at 3 o’clock a.m. and I had to iron all the clothes, get them ready, so that within an hour, the actors would be able to start dressing in the first light of the day. Sometimes shootings used to last 2 days in a row.
I co-founded a cycling clothes company because I was a cycling racer myself. I returned to Thessaloniki and started working in our family business. I took our company’s keys so I could stay late and work on my own project. I started making bags and then sewing leggings for friends.
After a stylist asked me to give her my leggings for a photoshoot, the first wholesale store called me.
In October 2012 I received my first order – 30 leggings of 15 colors.
Until 2014 I cut, sewed, packaged and delivered all the orders in Thessaloniki by bike. In 2015, the “boom” happened and my brother joined me after finishing his MA in Business Administration.
How did you experience this “boom”?
I wasn’t expecting it at all. In the beginning everyone was fooling me around, like this is not going to be a success. This made me dig my heels in. I strongly believed in the product from day one.
When I saw that the world actually responded positively on it, it gave me the impetus to go further. I am very happy to see good reviews. We recently received a review of a girl saying that she has purchased her first legging 4 years ago and today, after all these years, the service is just as good and friendly as back then.
What I am constantly saying is that I want to serve people, the way I want to be served. I like to share the joy, this is what the brand is all about.
How did you get interested in style?
My dad used to take me and my brother to all the fashion shows abroad. He is an absolute perfectionist as it concerns his work. Even if the shade of a button’s color was not the right one, he would absolutely return it back. Every trip abroad starts from the moment we arrive at the airport, not from the moment a fashion show starts. Our eyes are always open enough to grab the possibilities.
What do people wear? How do they behave? What do they shop? We live by this mindset since ever.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Everything. This is the most tricky part. You may be creative, but that doesn’t mean creativity is ever-present. Last year, I wasn’t feeling creative until the last minute. It was late August and I hadn’t designed, nor even thought of the designs of the upcoming winter collection, which should have been released already.
One day I had a flash of inspiration. Many things that you see everyday, stay in your mind, and then all you have to do is to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I was designing the whole collection for 3 days in a row and we’ve got it ready in late September. People loved it. They trusted it. It just worked.
I’m totally against fast fashion. Fast production brings pollution. We only release 2 collections each year.
I do it because I love it, not to sell it. Nothing should be forced. You define it.
In a stuffed market with different brands, how can a Greek brand differentiate?
It depends on how many kicks your stomach can take. The longer you can hold, the longer you’ll stay in the business. It also depends on how much loyal you are to your client. Every brand has its own audience. Our audience is more aware of what they are buying. They know that there is always a good service. If a client’s legging is burned by a cigarette, I’ll take it back and convert it to a short one. I don’t like to throw away anything. Good service means everything.
Give us 3 words that describe the brand.
Does your brand encourage people to really wear their clothes and get the most out of them?
I’m a sports enthusiast and by that I don’t mean going to the gym. I love outdoor activities and extreme sports. I want to feel comfortable in anything I do. I wanted to pass the philosophy of transitional clothing, that can be worn from day to night. This is the success of the brand. It takes up so little space in your luggage, you can even swim with it, it works as a thermal legging for the mountains, it has so many uses.
Our swimwear is made from recycling yarns. We are collaborating with a company that takes plastics from the ocean and transforms them into fiber.
We are trying to become a zero-waste company. We use all the leftover fabric from leggings to make scrunchies or fill pillows.
It’s definitely not easy to run your own business. Is it still fun doing it every single day?
Fortunately I have my brother. I’m so happy and glad that he has taken over the operational part, because he has great communication skills. He is actually my team.
I don’t feel like working. I love it so much that I don’t mind working for hours and hours.
What’s the history of this space?
Our family business used to be housed in a century-old preserved building in Komninon str., where HM is now housed, and I remember me and my brother “fighting” with the fabric webs. We moved here about 10 years ago. Retail, accounting, labs, offices, warehouse and production – everything is housed in this building.
80% of our products is sewn in Greece, except the sportswear collection which is very difficult to be sewn, so its the only one that is sewn in Spain.
We have been sewing all our products here in Greece the last 8 years as PCP Clothing. Our third-generation family business is one of the few remained in the country sewing all the products here in collaboration with local crafters.
Everything is here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Would you advise young, fashion inspired people to start their own thing?
If you believe it, never let it go.
As long as you believe it and go for it, it will follow you.
Faith, Vision and Will.
What do you hope for the future?
We are very pleased to have reached this level. My dream is PCP to reach Europe.
Interview: Christina Dimitriou
Images © Aris Rammos Studio