For German-Greek fashion editor and stylist Isabelle Kountoure, a sense of style is a conceptual as much as an aesthetic matter. From collecting editions of American and French Vogue as a child, to working for magazines like Interview, Pop, and Vogue Italia, Isabelle spent the last seven years as Fashion Director for Wallpaper* Magazine and was recently appointed to Style Director for Financial Times HowToSpendIt Magazine. Isabelle’s unique fashion acumen has propelled her to the top of her profession: her latest advertising work spans from Paul Smith to Dior campaigns, and even our very own Zeus+Dione. Underpinned by a less-is-more ethos, and drawing from the fields of architecture, art and design, Isabelle frames fashion in terms of identity and self-expression rather than trends. Despite her reluctance of being in front of the lens, her own minimalist, chic look of effortless sophistication hasn’t gone unnoticed by street style photographers – the downside perhaps of constantly traveling around the world for fashion shows, meetings and photoshoots. We recently caught up with Isabelle to get to know her a little better.
Photo: Isabelle Kountoure by street style photographer Adam Katz Sinding.
How would you define yourself in three words?
Creative, Passionate, Maniac…Complicated
A project/initiative you’re most proud of?
I started working 7 years ago with artist/photographer Brigitte Niedermair and together we created our very own visual language and approach to showing fashion. We did many projects for Wallpaper* Magazine together. This got us the attention of Dior’s Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri who entrusted us to shoot her main campaign for fall/winter 2019. We’ve been working with Maria Grazia ever since, and our latest campaign with Jennifer Lawrence just came out this last week.
Which colours are you currently enamoured of?
Even though I mainly wear black I have always been obsessed with green: emerald green and that special green hue of the marble of Tinos. And then, there is nothing like the dark blue of the deepest part of the Aegean Sea.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
I’d definitely have to say my black blazers: same item in several variations!
The beauty product you can’t live without?
Anazoe Jojoba Face Oil (but you have to call Costa Navarino Anazoe Spa to order as it sadly isn’t available online yet).
Favourite destination and hotel?
Tinos. I know it’s known as the windiest Greek island but there is something about the wind… a bit of Wuthering Heights in Greece I guess :) I love the people, the food, and the beaches, plus I’ve made incredible friends there.
What do you miss most when travelling?
My own bed.
Which city would you chose to live in if you had to move?
Athens. My dad is Greek and even though I was born and raised in Germany and now live in London, I feel most at home in Athens. It has always had that special something… the light, the people, friends from a lifetime, family memories. In a way, it’s my very own promised land/city.
Your latest discovery?
Meditation – not sure why it took me so long to try it. Best thing to pause your mind for workaholics like myself.
Tate Modern in London. It’s probably what I would miss the most when I move away, plus the diversity of restaurant and cuisine offerings.
What is on your bookshelf?
Mainly photography and art books. I haven’t had much time to read with the insanely complicated life I have been leading but this lockdown has rekindled my love for reading – at the moment I’m reading Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada.
What quote do you live by?
Τὰ πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει. eng. translation: ''Everything flows''
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Can Ι just say…”
What is your guilty pleasure?
Chick flicks movies… I love happy endings. My boyfriend hates them and laughs at me for it. Also, a glass of Monkey 47 gin on the rocks with a slice of grapefruit.
Your idea of happiness?
To be grateful and in peace with oneself and to have all my loved ones close by.