Greek designer Sophia Kokosalaki has passed away at the age of 47. The cause of death has not been disclosed. She is survived by her husband and daughter.
Kokosalaki originally launched her label in 1999 at London Fashion Week. A Central Saint Martins Alum (she studied under the famed professor Louise Wilson, who also mentored Kanye West), Kokosalaki went on to major success. She began a long-running collaboration with Topshop in 2001, and was hired to design the costumes and uniforms for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. She also served as the creative director for the relaunch of the storied French fashion house Vionnet in 2006 and 2007.
Kokosalaki, like Madame Vionnet herself, was known for her draping. “I like to design functional apparel that also allows you to look interesting,” she once said. After selling her brand in 2007 to Only the Brave, the Italian conglomerate that owns the likes of Diesel and Maison Margiela, Kokosalaki was able to buy it back just two years later. She also designed the high-end Diesel collection, Black Gold, from 2009 to 2012, and sold a lower-priced contemporary version of her own brand, Kore, on Asos.
Kokosalaki also launched a bridal collection in 2012, telling The Guardian that “I thought there wasn’t much on offer for the contemporary bride. By this I mean a modern woman that doesn’t want to feel overwhelmed by her dress and has a very chic approach to how she would like to be dressed for the day.” She continued to design bridal collections through 2017.
Vogue’s chief fashion critic Sarah Mower posted a heartfelt tribute to Kokosalaki on Instagram today. “Mourning the loss of dear Sophia Kokosalaki, a great talent, sister pioneer of the London fashion new wave of the 2000s, Greek fashion heroine, alumna of Professor Louise Wilson’s CSM MA crucible 1998, and such an amazing mother to her daughter Stelli,” Mower wrote. “Heartbroken for her family and all her friends who loved and admired her.”