Alex Kotoulas spent his childhood immersed in the family’s fur workshop in Kastoria, a city in Northern Greece. There, he first explored his creativity, surrounded by sewing machines and luscious soft materials.
After his Engineering studies, he was accepted at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven, where he re-discovered a passion for leather. A childhood indulgence, but this time in a contemporary environment rooted in design. Alex completed his training at the leather goods department of Maison Louis Vuitton in Paris, a unique environment with a rich heritage in accessory-making. He observed first-hand the quality and value the artisans’ manual work contributed to the final products.
In 2013 Alex founded ALEXQUISITE, a creative brand of quality, handmade leather goods. The designs echoed Alexandros’ contemporary aesthetic and attention to detail. Determined to support artisans in Greece, he collaborated with a couple of traditional leather workshops in order to produce his line.
Drawn to other materials besides leather, Alex envisioned a concept-driven design studio that would collaborate with different workshops all over Greece. ‘HAK’ is an ode for Handcrafted by Alex Kotoulas. ‘STUDIOS’ stands for plurality in creative expression and the different disciplines Alex embraces. HAK STUDIOS wishes to expand dialogues around contemporary design and greek craftsmanship introducing a dynamic structure that puts emphasis on art, design and sustainability.
At the core of HAK STUDIOS lies a passion for creativity and fine craftsmanship. Inspired by the long-held traditions and expertise of manual workmanship, HAK STUDIOS collaborates with several Greek workshops to create impactful collections of lasting value.
HAK STUDIOS makes a conscious effort to reduce waste and incorporate sustainable practices in design-making, aware of the environmental challenges facing the fashion and interior industry today. Thus, every item of the collection is handmade in Athens following a genuine and ethical process by a carefully selected network of artisans.
HAK STUDIOS’ leather line is the culmination of Alex’s family heritage and professional expertise. Waving goodbye to seasonal collections, the HAK STUDIOS approach to accessory making is based on the concepts of responsible consumption and sustainable production.
Each item is hand-crafted in Athens translating age-old techniques into contemporary pieces. The Leather line makes an eclectic use of the material, highlighted by the brand’s juxtaposing approach to design.
The aspiration behind the ceramic series was to create sculptural pieces that echo the brand’s strong focus on form and functionality. All of HAK STUDIOS ceramics are the result of a meticulous design process in collaboration with traditional ceramic studios in Athens.
Where the designer challenged material limitations, the artisan provided practical skills and knowledge. Each piece is entirely hand-crafted from locally sourced materials, a product of quality workmanship.
Intrigued by the use of textiles in space, HAK STUDIOS collaborated with a skilful artisan to create textiles that are decorative and functional in equal parts. The textile series is made from quality natural fabrics, stretching the rules of the craft to respond to contemporary needs and tastes.
Following a slow production method, each piece is beautifully different, featuring the charming irregularities that come with the creative nature of the process.