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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Christina Martini Of Ancient Greek Sandals

It’s likely you already own a pair of Ancient Greek Sandals, the eponymous footwear label is a staple for globe-trotting women worldwide.

Born and raised in Greece, founder Christina Martini has previously worked as a shoe designer for Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton. Her own brand began with the desire to offer high-quality sandals that are handmade, locally, by skilled craftsmen using traditional techniques. Christina’s love for Ancient Greece and its history inspires every collection and theme; designs and names are drawn from ancient Greek Gods, myths, pottery, jewellery and sculpture.

Here she tells us about her love for travel, the designers she’d like to sit next to on a flight, and what her ideal day-off looks like.

What is the first trip you remember taking?

Taking a flight to Lesvos island with my whole family. I was only three years old but I remember that we went to find my ancestors house: my great-grandparents moved there in 1922 after the evacuation of Minor Asia by the Greeks during the Greco-Turkish war. I also remember the huge swimming pool at the hotel we were staying in. 

What’s been your most memorable trip and why?

Tokyo. I’ve been there three times for work and every time the city amazes me. I fondly admire Japanese culture, their attention to detail, their kindness and their style. 

Where or what is your escape?

On a boat, in a beautiful deserted bay, somewhere in the Ionian Sea.



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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels? 

Be flexible – don’t get disappointed if things don’t go the way you planned or imagined. Also to be open and hang out with locals.  

If I could go anywhere tomorrow I’d go to:

We just had an Easter break with lots of food so I would like to go somewhere for a detox retreat. 

How would you spend your ideal afternoon in your home city?

I’m from Athens but I live in Corfu. My favourite time of the day to swim is in the afternoon so I would go to the beach and swim during sunset. I usually prefer quiet beaches but sometimes a cocktail during that time is heaven so, if it’s the beginning or end of the summer (when there aren’t many people), I would go to Barbati Beach and the Piedra de Mal beach bar. Both have wonderful cocktails. 



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What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

An extra-long holiday. For me time is a luxury so I would love to take a really long holiday to comfortably explore and relax, without stressing that I have to see everything quickly. A fantastic hotel and great food is part of the luxury too. 

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

Mostly talking to friends that have already taken an inspirational trip. I feel safer when I visit places that have been recommended by people who I trust. 

If you could sit next to anyone on a flight – dead or alive – who would it be? 

I would like to sit next to Miuccia Prada who would also then be sitting next to Donatella Versace – so I could overhear their conversation. 

How do you recover from jet lag?

I usually try to prevent jet lag by sleeping or not sleeping during the flight depending on the time of the country that I will be arriving in. Otherwise, if I wake up in the middle of the night I try not to touch my mobile phone. 

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time? 

Style-watch at the airport and buy local magazines. 

Favourite hotel? 

Parco dei Principi in Sorrento because it has been designed by Gio Ponti whose work I love so much. 



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Favourite airline? Why?

I will have to say Aegean Airlines for Greece and Europe because it feels safe. It’s mostly punctual and the crew are very helpful and kind. Also, the lounge has great food and drinks. Beyond Europe, I prefer Emirates.  

What’s on your travel playlist?

Amadou * Mariam, JJ Cale and the Big Little Lies soundtrack.

What are your must-have travel picks? 

Caravana fringed sarong which can be worn at the beach over swimwear, or in the evening as a dress. I always buy MAAN swimsuits, a Greek brand that fits me perfectly and the one piece suits work as a top in the summer. I also always wear my eye necklace by fellow Greek jewellery designer, Lito. Zeus+Dione short-sleeved caftan, and printed shorts by a favourite Greek brand of mine called Kimalé. The straw hat from our upcoming collaboration with Lucy Williams in blue/ochre. Ancient Greek Sandals: Arachne natural Raffia slides for the beach as well as our Artistea flatforms, which have an extra-spongy construction with a memory foam insole but thin straps, so you have a sandal which is  comfortable but feminine. 



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Where next?

I would like to take my daughter on a horse riding holiday on the outskirts of Florence.


Hand-luggage essential? Neck pillow.

Packing: roll or fold? Fold.

Inflight book or inflight film? Both.

Music or podcasts? Podcasts.

Time killer on a long haul flight? Sleep.

Holiday tipple of choice? Cucumber Gin.

Bucket list top destination? Mexico or Colombia.

Best shopping gem found abroad? A colourful kilim in Morocco. 

Beach or City? Beach.

Ultimate holiday treat? An extra day…

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