Mary Katrantzou was born in Athens in 1983, to an interior designer mother and an entrepreneur father. She moved to America for a BA in Architecture at the Rhode Island school of design, before transferring to Central Saint Martins to complete her BA degree in textile design. Graduating from her BA in 2005, Katrantzou shifted her direction from textile design to womenswear with a focus on print. She then went on to graduate in MA fashion from Central Saint Martins with distinction.
Katrantzou's graduating show in 2008 mapped out her signature style. It was themed around trompe l'oeil prints of oversized jewellery featured on jersey-bonded dresses. Mary Katrantzou's first ready-to-wear collection debuted at London Fashion Week in spring/summer 2009, with the support of the BFC and the NEWGEN Scheme. Despite only having a small collection of nine dresses, Katrantzou picked up 15 prestigious stockists including Browns, Joyce and Colette. The designer achieved show status the following season, for A/W 2009. She now boasts over 250 stockists in 60 countries including from Saks, Joyce, Colette, Selfridges, Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, Matchesfashion.com and Net-a-Porter.com.
Mary’s earlier collections revolved around an icon of luxury, an object from art or design that a woman would not be able to wear if it were real. These seasons saw collections inspired by vintage perfume bottles, the interiors of old issues of Architechtural Digest, objects of art, postage stamps all while keeping the printed image central to her aesthetic. As her aesthetic has developed and her brand, grown, recent seasons have redefined her signature, focusing more on surface design and textiles, expanding her range beyond digital print while still keeping a theme central to her ideas. Resort 2014 marked Katrantzou’s first Resort offering. Pre Fall 2015 was Mary’s first Pre fall collection which marked a turning point for her, in that such literal imagery was unapparent, instead inverting the idea and turning it on it’s head.
Autumn/Winter 2014 prompted a real shift in direction and was her first step away from print, taking her experiments with fabric development and textile innovation to a more refined level, incorporating colour and pattern into her designs through other mediums including embroidery and fabric construction. Frequently described in the press as one of London Fashion Week’s brightest stars, each Katrantzou show is one of the most eagerly anticipated of the show calender.
In November 2013, Mary Katrantzou launched her website. A multi-faceted digital space, marykatrantzou.com gives her consumers a direct way to engage with her world. Beyond the commercial aspirations of the site, Katrantzou wanted to create a platform to build brand awareness and allow users to feel like they’re part of her community.
Notable awards and collaborations include:
British Fashion Awards 2015 – New Establishment
Harpers Bazaar Women of the Year Awards 2015 – Breakthrough Designer Award
Elle Style Awards 2015 – Red Carpet Award
Glamour Awards 2015 – Designer of the Year
Winner of the 2015 / 16 BFC / Vogue Designer Fashion Fund
Elle Style Awards 2012 – Young Designer of the Year
British Fashion Awards 2012 - Nominated for Designer of the Year alongside Stella MacCartney and Christopher Kane
British Fashion Awards 2011 – Emerging Talent: Womenswear
Swiss Textiles Awards 2010
BFC NEWGEN Award – six consecutive seasons from Sept 2009 to February 2012
Two collections for Topshop
Two collections with Adidas Originals
Bespoke jewellery collection with Atelier Swarovski
Lesage, AW12 and SS14 collections
Longchomp capsule collection, February 2012
Current Elliot denim range
Moncler ski and outerwear capsule
Mary has longstanding partnerships with the Swarovski Collective and Italian shoe designer, Gianvito Rossi.
Projects have included a partnership with the New York City Ballet in September 2014 which saw her creating custom made costumes for their Gala performances, alongside Carolina Herrera, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Thom Browne.
July 2016 saw Katrantzou create costumes with choreographer Justin Peck and director Benjamin Millepied at the Opera de Paris.