Tzamalas

Traditional Greek Costume

Tzamalas specializes in traditional Greek costumes and accessories.  The shop sells both original pieces from the 19th century and museum copies.  The original pieces come from villages throughout Greece and many of the replicas come from Epirus, a region in northern Greece specializing in traditional Greek costume production.

Traditional Greek Costume for Women

Theodore Tzamalas opened Tzamalas in 1975 after some 35 years working in the industry.  He came to Athens from the Peloponnese in 1940.  At the tender age of 10, he began work with his adopted-father in the production and selling of traditional Greek costumes and accessories. In later years, he would run the shop during the day and attend school at night.

 

Currently, he is the only shop-owner in central Athens that specializes in traditional Greek costumes and accessories.

We recently spoke to Tzamalas’ daughter, Christina, who, after 22 years of working in the private sector, now helps her father run the shop.

PSM:  Who is the largest buyer of traditional Greek costumes and accessories?

Christina:  Among the local population, Greek folklore dance groups and theater companies are our largest buyers.  Among tourists, our largest buyers are tourists with Greek heritage.  For these Greeks living abroad, these costumes and such help them keep the Greek tradition alive where they are.

PSM:  Tell us about your experience working at the shop.

Christina:  I enjoy working down in Plaka.  You get an opportunity to meet many interesting people from far and wide.  Recently, I came across a group of Greek folklore dancers who had no Greek heritage at all.  It’s nice to know that people of various backgrounds and cultures have taken an interest in Greek dancing and are helping to share it with their local communities.

Evzoniki

PSM:  Tell us an interesting experience you have had with a customer.

Christina:  Three years ago, French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier came by the shop and bought some of our pieces.  He used them for inspiration for his spring 2009 collection and even showed some of the pieces he bought here on the runway.

Shop Tzamalas online or stop by in person at Eolou 9.

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