PHOTOGRAPHY BY JUNICHI ITO
Nothing says “I just came back from Greece” more than an evil-eye key chain or magnet. Greeks have carried these amulets, called mati, since at least the 6th century B.C. to protect against curses and bring good luck.
Designer Vasso Kalogeropoulou began wearing a mati at age 2, and she recently created a unique spin on the classic charms for her accessories and jewelry brand, Pink Powder (which will soon be rebranded as Artisun to match the name of her brick-and-mortar store). Vasso opened her shop last year on the island of Paros, about 25 miles southwest of Mykonos, and there she offers a wide range of high-fashion items featuring her embroidered evil-eye design, including colorful pouches and raffia beach totes. “It has the sunburst inside to reflect the light of Greece, which always inspires me,” she says of the logo. “The eye is the way we see the world.”
Perhaps the most interesting items in her collection she offers are tassel neck – laces, which feature ethically sourced semiprecious stones and are inspired by komboloi, or worry beads.) It’s a mission that befits Paros, an island that is intent on eliminating plastic waste.
“We have to promote artisanal work and sustainability,” Vasso says. “We’re in Greece—people are coming to find something original. These are pieces you wear every day, but they have a twist.” A wink, if you will. Pineapple minaudières, $345; pineapple cross-body bags, $385; pinkpowder.com