Born and raised in Thessaloniki, industrial designer Jiannis Vlachopoulos is responsible for dozens of metallic objects and installations in countless interior spaces, be it hotels, resorts, boutiques, bars or restaurants in Greece (Sani Resort, Costa Navarino, Electra Palace, Daios Hotel, Pioneer Boutiques, Dandelion, Vildiridis boutiques, etc.). Not to mention quite a few private summer houses on the islands of Crete and Mykonos.
Those who have worked close with him, describe a calm gentleman of very few words who knows exactly what he wants and can’t wait to see it come to life. He works with metals, be it copper, bronze, inox or else what to create unique installations and interior design objects that manage to actually transform any space. From a staircase to a lamp or a table, a couch to a bar, or an industrial kitchen, every object is created closely with the collaborating architects, always following the most basic of all rules: it has to serve a certain purpose and at the same time, it has to add to the aesthetics surrounding it.
A lover of minimalism, the holy trinity (quality-aesthetics-functionality)  and the Bauhaus movement’s law of form following function, Yiannis Vlahopoulos has been working with all major architects and interior designers in Greece for the last 35 years, following his studies in Marketing and Advertising.
Since time is the ultimate luxury, the highest currency available, it was about time to meet him – and ask him everything I have always wanted to. Equally important was also the occasion though: the opening of the 718, a bar-restaurant in the Panorama district of Thessaloniki, that had just opened its doors. Another space where all metallic installations carry his signature.
Just like my favourite bar downtown, Dandelion. It’s got his name written all over. Absolutely no coincidence. It’s a matter of taste.

PERSONAL

 

 

What perfume do you wear? 

Acqua di Parma.

 

Which are your favorite colors? 

All shades of blue.

 

Name the one piece of clothing or accessory you simply could not imagine life without.

My watches. I love being punctual, even ahead of time, if possible.

 

Which fabric describes you best?

Classic blue jeans.

 

Favorite dish.

Spaghetti with fresh shrimps.

 

Favorite drink.

Wine or vodka. Depends on the time and day.

 

Favorite material to work with.

Bronze and inox metal.

 

The one material you’d prefer to never use.

I cannot imagine there would be one. Love every new challenge.

 

Favorite artist.

Nick Cave.

 

Name the man you have looked up to, while growing up. Who inspired you to be the man you have become?

That would be my father. Self-taught, always fair, always wise. A good husband, father and businessman, tender yet strong and decisive. He fell one too many times in his life, but he would always get back upon his feet again – on his own, each time stronger. Miss him terribly, can’t stop thinking of him lately.

 

What is the first thing you would teach your own daughter, in things style? 

I have already taught her that elegance lies in simplicity. And must always be accompanied by a smile. I cannot stand women who wear too much make up and never smile.

 

Name the most stylish man (dead or alive).

Bryan Ferry.

 

A designer (industrial) you look up to.

Charles Eames. Absolutely unique.

 

Describe yourself using three words.

Realist, honest, meticulous.

 

What is the ultimate luxury for you.

Time for yourself and those you love the most. Without any second thoughts, regrets or worries. A very stylish place (home or an office). A cozy, huge, intelligent and sophisticated kitchen to cook for those I want.

 

 

 

ON WORK

 

What inspires you the most for each new object you create?

The work of all my favorite architects and industrial designers from the past.

 

Describe what (industrial and interior) design is for you in three words.

My favorite triplete: aesthetics – quality – functionality.

 

If you were an object of your making, what would it be?

There is a certain desk lamp I have designed and created, minimal, raw, simple, with beautiful curves coming from an era from the past, made entirely out of metal, that I adore. If I absolutely had to be a creation of my own, then this would be it.

 

The most important lesson you were taught while at work.

Everything must be made of the highest quality materials. And I would have to love everything about it.

 

Name the work you have done that you are mostly proud of.

A summer house in Sani (Chalkidiki), in cooperation with Kyriakos Krokos – an unforgettable, immensely important architect.

 

When did you know that this is what you wanted to do? Can you describe the exact moment?

The very first time I stumbled upon a certain Italian interior design magazine.

 

How important are the materials used? What really constitutes luxury, when it comes to design?

It’s important to create objects or installations from the highest quality materials, that those who will later live with them, can actually feel good with.

 

Who is the client that you would ideally create an object for? 

Anyone who can appreciate quality, aesthetics and functionality.

 

Name the architect (dead or alive) that you would love to work with.

Charles Eams.

 

Where do you imagine yourself to be ideally in –say- ten years from now? 

On a personal level, I would love to travel around the world with my wife.

 

Imagine you were to host a private dinner party, just for very few.  Who would you ideally invite, serve and dine with? 

The eccentric Salvador Dali would definitely be one. Also Manos Hatzidakis, an artist I look up to and have always admired for his beautiful mind and elegant ways.