SEEN met up with fashion expert and Bravo star Christos Garkinos, who’s bringing his trunk show to Detroit this September. Read about his Detroit roots and new fashion venture.
By Rachel Schostak
Photography by Viviana Pernot
I recently sat down with luxury fashion and retail extraordinaire, Christos Garkinos. From his experience in marketing, owning a famous vintage store and starring in a reality show on Bravo, he’s a good one to chat fashion with. We met in Eastern Market, where his parents ran a restaurant, to discuss his love for Detroit, fashion and his newest venture — a traveling trunk show co-hosted by SEEN called Covet by Christos that’s stopping in Detroit at The Foundation Hotel Sept. 27-29.
1. Tell us about your professional background? After graduating from the University of Michigan, I embarked on a marketing career with stints at Clorox, Disney retail and Virgin Megastores. My passion has always been fashion, and for 18 years I owned an internationally famous vintage store documented in the Bravo TV series “The Dukes of Melrose.” Recently, I launched Covet by Christos, where I sell pre-loved luxury on the road via trunk shows.
2. What are you most proud of in your career? Any special moments that stick out in your mind? I’ve been blessed with so many great moments in my career — opening 45 Disney stores across Europe, working directly for Richard Branson for seven years at Virgin, having my own reality show on Bravo and dressing over 13,000 women in my retail career. But for me, it was taking that first phone call on HSN for my clothing line launch of Eureka by Christos Garkinos — it was a lifelong dream.
3. Did you always think you would go into fashion? I always knew I would land in fashion. From a young child, I would set up my sister’s Barbies in a store and “sell’ to her. My dad was my fashion hero.
4. We are excited to co-host your Covet by Christos September pop-up at The Foundation Hotel in Detroit Sept. 27-30. Can you tell our readers more about the pop-up? Where else will you be popping up? I will be bringing my biggest selection of merchandise — great fall and winter pieces! I will be in Chicago, Cabo, Florida, Texas, New York City and hopefully Paris this fall and winter! (Make sure to RSVP here for the Detroit pop-up.)
5. You’re a guru when it comes to vintage/luxury fashion — what is one item you would suggest splurging on that is timeless? Splurge on a vintage Chanel bag. Every gal should have one!
6. Did you enjoy being on TV for your reality show “Dukes of Melrose?” Would you do it again? I enjoy being on TV! I do guest gigs on Access Hollywood, and there are some new concepts swirling about. But I think the future is digital and I love the Instagram long form story. (Editor’s Note: You can follow Christos at @covetbychristos)
7. Who inspires you within the industry? Tom Ford is a huge inspiration to me. I love what he did at Gucci and YSL and how he successfully launched his own brand after leaving Gucci. And he ain’t bad to look at 🙂
Your Local Love List…
8. What do you love most about our community? I was born in Detroit and raised on Dickerson on the East Side until I was 9 when we moved to Grosse Pointe. My parents had a restaurant (duh, we are Greek!) in the Eastern Market for almost 30 years — Meat Town Inn. I love so many things about Detroit — the food, the architecture and of course the people. I am thinking of buying a place here again.
9. Your current go-to spot for dinner? Answer honestly — it can even be your mom’s kitchen! I love The Apparatus Room at The Foundation Hotel for dinner. Oh, it is so very yummy!
10. Where is your favorite spot to get a good cocktail? I just visited the Candy Bar at the Siren Hotel — I loved the interiors.
11. One place or thing you would recommend doing if only have 24 hours in Detroit? I would take a walking tour of downtown if I had 24 hours. I love architecture, and I think Detroit is the Paris of the U.S.
Now on to style…
12. Head-to-toe outfit details of the outfit you’re wearing? My look for the shoot was an A.P.C logo sweater, Moncler vest (Shop Similar), my vintage jeans (Shop Similar) and YSL blue suede high tops.
13. What are you currently coveting? I am coveting every piece in the spring-summer Louis Vuitton men’s collection by Virgil Abloh.
15. Three words to describe your personal style? Thoughtful. Timeless. Clean.
16. One item you can’t leave home without? Tom Ford Black Orchid cologne.
17. You’re never full dressed without… a smile.
19.Where do you enjoy shopping? Anywhere in Detroit or Metro Detroit? I enjoy shopping in Paris — I love the mixture of vintage and new. In Detroit, I love shopping vintage in Royal Oak.
20. Favorite quote or words to live by? “Eventually all the pieces fall into place…until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason.” — Carrie Bradshaw