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The women of Pomakohoria

19 DEC 2020

Of all the Greek craftspeople who Zeus + Dione collaborates with, none are as elusive as the women of Pomakohoria. Home to indigenous Turko-Slavic speaking Muslims, whose ethnic identity is a matter of debate even among themselves, the cluster of picturesque mountain villages in the north of Thrace is imbued with unspoilt bucolic charm not least because of its relative geographical and cultural isolation.

Besides raising sheep and growing tobacco, local women have traditionally been occupied with weaving, especially during the cold winter months when they spend most of their time indoors. From sheep shearing, to spinning wool, to weaving rugs and bed throws on their loom, they have been passing their expertise down from mother to daughter for generations.

What makes the women of Pomakohoria stand out from other traditional weavers around the country is their macramé skills, a time-consuming technique that involves knotting lengths of silk in intricate patterns which they have been practicing long before it gained popularity in the bohemian 1970s.

Not accustomed to working with outsiders, the 40 or so women who still practice this traditional craft have nevertheless been collaborating with Zeus + Dione since 2015, a creative collaboration that allows the brand to embellish its collections with their immaculate handiwork, while providing the women with financial independence as they set their own prices. What's more, the partnership also functions as an incentive for a younger generation to learn the craft and thus ensures its preservation - this, after all, is one of the brand’s core missions.

Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Zeus+Dione - Fall-Winter '20-'21, ''Nymphe'' Collection. Photo credits: Yiannis Bournias
Zeus+Dione - Fall-Winter '20-'21, ''Nymphe'' Collection. Photo credits: Yiannis Bournias
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Photo credits: Yiorgos Kaplanidis