On the 30th of July 2022 Branding Heritage presented at the Heraklion Chamber of Commerce the project ”The weavers of Crete” which showcases the textile heritage of Crete through the recording of weaving artisans, their techniques and artworks as well as their connection with Greek and foreign designers.
Weavers from all regions of the island attended the presantation of the multidimensional project entitled “The Weavers of Greece” implemented by the non-profit cultural organization Branding Heritage (BH), with the support and under the auspices of Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The starting point of the project was Crete as the art of weaving has an uninterrupted presence on the island. In Crete, the project was implemented also with the support of the REGION OF CRETE, in collaboration with the Development Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Crete and Social Entreprise knowl for education and lifelong learning.
Photo 1 WEAVERS Antonia Koutantou- Irini Migomi- Antonia Stathakis – Irini Karli- Evdoxia Epitropaki- Zoi Papadaki- Eleni Koukoulaki- Maria Skoula- Pelagia Sparti- Despina Somaki
The project highlights the weaving art and strengthens the perspective of the development of the weaver’s profession with an emphasis on the sustainability of the art in a modern economic, social and cultural environment. In addition, the project aims at the extroversion and highlighting of the country’s cultural wealth, the collaboration of tradition with modern business, the interconnection with networks in Greece and abroad, the highlighting of the interculturality of weaving as well as the professions connected to art, the products, customs and practices. In addition to recording people, highlighting their precious handicrafts, the patterns and materials they use, an important aim of the project is to connect artisans with modern brands for the exchange of know-how and the development of synergies.
Photo 2 WEAVERS Irini Tsirakou-Elene Kouidis-Vasiliki Messaritaki-Maria Zacharioudaki-Katerina Amarianitaki-Nitsa Haireti-Elene Voulgaraki-Aristea Xylouris-Efi Ilias-Sofia Vassiliadou
At the event held in co-organization with the Region of Crete, the Deputy Minister of Culture & Sports Nikolas Giatromanolakis, who explained the Ministry’s plan for the support of handicrafts, addressed the greetings, the Emeritus Researcher, ex-Director of the Research Center of Greek Folklore of the Academy of Athens Aikaterini Kamilaki, while the Region of Crete was represented by Kostis Fasoulakis. The opening of the event was made by the President of the Development Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Crete, Maria Pitsikaki, while the presentation of the project was made by the Founder of Branding Heritage, Journalist Katerina Frantzou. This was followed by the presentation by Journalist, Fashion Features Director Vogue Greece Elis Kiss on the topic of how culture inspires contemporary creation.
Photo 3 WEAVERS Tenia Kerouli-Katerina Giannadaki-Alexandra Theochari-Ermioni Kalomiris-Maria Korasani-Eva Vambouka-Aggeliki Yenitsaridou-Patra Rousaki-Katerina Manouseli-Manolis Kuratoras
Nikolas Giatromanolakis, Deputy Minister of Culture
The founder of Branding Heritage, journalist Katerina Frentzou presented the program of recording the weavers that started in Crete
Journalist Elis Kiss explained how big names in fashion are inspired by Greek Culture.
The implementation of the project is supported by: Militos Consulting S.A., G. & B. Karelia Foundation, G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation, Bluegr Hotels and Resorts, Amalthea Athens, Minoan Lines S.A.
The event was coordinated by Olga Stavropoulou, BH & Knowl Ambassador.
An open discussion followed about the challenges that the weavers are facing as well as questions to the Deputy Minister related to the support needs of Cretan handicrafts and the protection of their art.
At the end of the event, a synergy was also presented – the connection of an Athenian brand with a Cretan weaver. The founder of the Amaltheia Athens brand Elli Sfika collaborated with Eleni Koukoulaki and created a limited edition collection of handmade accessories.
The purpose of BH is to create many more synergies and connections of Cretan textile artisans with modern brands and designers from Greece and abroad.
The results of the project (the presentations of the weavers, accompanied by photographic and video material, contact details) will be freely accessible online with all material available in Greek and English for optimal promotion at local, national, European and international level in project page.
More info here: www.brandingheritage.org/projects/weavers-of-greece/crete
After Crete, Peloponnese is next, with Messinia as the first stop, in collaboration with the Lykeion Ellinidon Kalamatas and the support of the G.& B. Karelia Foundation, and Laconia (Geraki) with the support of the Ministry of Culture.
The ultimate goal is to be implemented in various regions of the country with a tradition in weaving, to strengthen the traditional profession of weavers and to turn it into a development tool.
Branding Heritage team Olga Stavropoulou, Elli Sfika, Elis Kiss and Katerina Frentzou with the team of the Development Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Crete Maria Pitsikaki, Evelyn Bakinda and Patty Fanouraki.
Maria Pitsikaki, President of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Crete and the journalist Katerina Frentzou, founder of Branding Heritage, with the weavers of the “Agnytha” association from Asterousia, Eleni Voulgaraki, Evdoxia Epitropaki and Patra Rousaki.