The Mantility brand name is a play-on-words between the Greek word mantili (meaning “scarf”) and the word mentality


Raw material: Silk and talent

Text: Angelos N. Vassos || Photographs: @ Mantility

What does it take for a business initiative to succeed? For starters, just a good idea. It also needs a raw material that can guarantee its viability and, most certainly, a dynamic and talented team determined to support this idea until it can stand on its own. This is what a young woman from Κavala, Vassiliki-Zafiria Ypsilanti, envisioned and brought her idea to formation.

Her mission was to create Mantility, an online gallery selling to the four corners of the world fine quality silk scarves, all made with the traditional techniques of silk producers in Soufli. Ypsilanti, who has worked for a great number of years as a business architect with renowned designers, graphic artists and architects, has first-hand experience of how an abundance of talent can often be squandered under a prosaic routine. This knowledge, combined with her love for silk textiles, prompted her to create a platform that transforms silk into a work of art, connecting clients with designers.

Ypsilanti chose silk of the highest quality as her raw material, investing in almost two years of testing as to its feel, product dimensions, color differentiations and manufacturing methods, even packaging and branding. She was no less attentive to Mantility’s creative team, comprising designers and artists from varied disciplines of art and design, such as painters, architects, graphic artists, ceramists, stage designers, graffiti artists, who provide the gallery with their creations to be reproduced on a silk canvas. Mantility then prints them digitally on scarves of various dimensions, all of which are produced in Soufli.

Presently, Mantility collaborates with thirteen artists, each of whom has his/her own “shelf” at the firm’s e-shop, featuring the artist’s biography and work. Among the artists already working with the firm are acclaimed photographer Stratos Kalafatis, ceramist Kostas Karakitsos and the Athens-based G-Design Studio, as well as talented emerging designers such as Greg Papagrigoriou and Chris Tzaferos’ Blaqk team, Konstantinos Fidanos, Eleni Koukkidou and others.

«We at Mantility view our scarves as being a noble messenger of silk and as canvasses for artists to narrate stories and emotions, to create unique fashion artefacts, providing pleasure to the wearer, » stated Ypsilanti, who has dubbed her business initiative as the «Mantility Movement», summarizing the idealist approach that brought together so many creative individuals under a single idea.

«That’s the innovation of Mantility which differentiates us from other businesses and enterprises in the silk industry: our mission is to represent a great number of artists and designers from Greece. We want to be featured in cultural organizations and museums, we’re not interested in the retail store sector.»

Every design of the Mantility scarves is produced in a limited series of 200 pieces, with each scarf being numbered and signed by the artist. When a given print becomes sold out, it gives its place to new prints and other artists, who are then given the opportunity to feature their work on the Mantility scarf gallery. The aim of the firm is to create a client base of scarf collectors who will be supporters of this initiative and ambassadors of the collective creativity ideal.

«The Mantility brand name is in essence a play-on-words between the Greek word mantili (meaning “scarf”) and the word mentality, ensuring international recognition. » Ypsilanti points out. «Our mission is to render the Mantility gallery into a meeting point, a new place of authenticity, a multi-dimensional collective of the arts. We want Mantility to become the silk thread uniting the flora and fauna with humans, art and artistry.»

Early this Fall, Mantility created its own website and e-shop at www.mantility.com, while the firm’s first silk-filled orders are already being packaged and shipped to destinations all over the world.