Fashion Fashion designer Sophia Kokosalaki dies aged 47
Known for her elegant drapery, the Greek-born designer created gowns for the red carpet, costumes for the Greek Olympics and chic wedding dresses
Sophia Kokosalaki, the London-based Greek designer, has died at the age of 47. Kokosalaki was known for her talent for drapery and clothes that had a female-friendly glamour. They were worn on the red carpet by Chloë Sevigny, Kirsten Dunst and Jennifer Connelly.
The fashion world took to social media to express their grief about the news. Journalist Melanie Rickey, writing on her @fashioneditoratlarge Instagram account, called Kokosalaki: “a brilliant and hugely talented designer who reinvented drape and Greek craft into exquisite high fashion.” Fashion critic Sarah Mower posted a picture of the designer bowing at the end of a catwalk with the caption: “Mourning the loss of dear Sophia Kokosalaki, a great talent, sister pioneer of the London fashion new wave of the 2000s, Greek fashion heroine.”
Kokosalaki introduced her label at London fashion week in 1999, and was part of a generation of fashion talent in the capital in the early noughties. A graduate of the respected Central Saint Martins MA in fashion, she soon established her aesthetic with draped dresses that felt elegant but also easy to wear. She once said of her clothes: “I like to design functional apparel that also allows you to look interesting.” She brought this look to the costumes for the opening ceremony of the Greek Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
Her brand was bought by Only the Brave – the conglomerate ran by Diesel’s Renzo Rosso – in 2007, only for her to buy it back two years later. Kokosalaki also designed the high-end Diesel Black Gold for three years, from 2009 to 2012, created collections for Topshop and worked on the relaunch of Vionnet, the French heritage house. She introduced Kore, a cheaper line, in 2012, which was sold through Asos.
In recent years, Kokosalaki had retreated from the show circuit. She launched her first bridal collection in 2012, telling The Guardian: “I thought there wasn’t much on offer for the contemporary bride. By this I mean a modern woman that doesn’t want to feel overwhelmed by her dress and has a very chic approach to how she would like to be dressed for the day.” She continued to create wedding dresses, with her final collection on her website, from 2017, comprising 32 designs.
Kokosalaki is survived by her husband and daughter.
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