had a completely different opinion about Athens since as tourists had
mainly been informed to visit the old town of Plaka near Acropolis make
some souvenirs shopping in Monastiraki near by after their short visit
from the airport of Glyfada, then much closer to the center by the one
today, E. Venizelos. That was their stop before the islands. Up to these
years the rest of Athens had managed to be compared to Monte-Carlo as
far as I was remembering the status of living of many families in really
reach areas like Kolonaki, in the North suburbs of Palaio Psihiko,
Filothei, Ecali and Vouliagmeni, Lagonissi near the sea in the South
part of Attika. Even before my years I see pictures of the center of
Athens with all men dressed in black tie and a hat. People were mostly
conservative, social and friendly and the entertainment was up to the
morning hours all days of week.
Then the other invasion came to
Greece, political this time, called PASOK under its leader A. Papandreou
which was one of the serious reasons for the beginning of downfall of
Greece. Having this special feeling those were the years I left Greece
as well. Later on his son G. Papandreou continued what his father had
started to completely this family be the main reason of Greece
destruction and for the economical depression which followed for some
years later on. People I speak with believe that Greece even during
dictatorship years, under G. Papadopoulos, was under better development,
more successful industrially and finally could stand then in its own
feet. They also felt more proud with glamorous and distinctive
personalities who had a lot of guts and glorified Greece like A.
Onassis, M. Callas, King Konstantinos, K. Karamanlis and many other
recent to name here, but many other greeks are unfortunately attracted
by misery in our days. For sure it would not be the same mentality
during the glorious years of Alexander the Great when Greece was
expanded from today position of Europe up to India on the East.
According to me greek people are very naive to understand what is going
on, or they really do not want to be involved seriously and again as a
joke I have said that they should not all vote because they are not
So today, isolate these strange creatures, and they will extinguish by
themselves, the ones who declare pseudo-ideas-believers that their only real project is
to delay the progression and develop of Greece to become even more
important that was always famous for.
I will never forget the
conversation I had with the witty Vassilis Tsilichristos about this
psychological part. Vassilis was the owner of the clubs under the name
Mercedes even more than 2,000 people capacity the biggest ones in the
summer time by the beach. He really liked me and this was obvious since I
had never payed for a drink there. I liked him too, we became friends
and I was a very frequent visitor those years. I had helped him also
when he started with the small Mercedes in Glyfada confusing him dimming
the lights. One day he said to me, Dimitri I want to ask you something.
He knew how picky I was. He said to me every night the club is full but
on that end -he walked me there- behind the bar is the spot that all
freaks wearing black with strange hair are gathered all together and
except giving a bad impression I personally don't like that at all. Can
you advise me about a solution how to clear this spot? I said how can I
know, maybe by changing it to dining area? No, he said I don't want
food. Sometime later I asked him how is with his problem there and he
answered me like: Oh, there is no problem any more I placed a huge white
light there and they disappeared like cockroaches. He was always smart,
he realised that these particular kind of dark people and underground
music fans the only thing they would hate it would be the light, simple
as that. That was him that all of his stuff would try to, unsuccessfully
of coarse, open later similar clubs.
Regardless to say that I am
not from another planet, I know that there are very serious problems in
life, but someone has to face those as a problem as well and solve them
in order to be really happy and content.
Strikes were taking
place with the main scope a piece of bread today, not ideas, not on
future bases. Others for securing for lifetime public positions and be
paid by the country in a few words from the taxes of the ones who were
really working. Happened one day to leave my dentist near the area they
were gathered and I believe they were right to shout and complain
because looking to them from closer these people in the streets it would
be very difficult for a serious businessman to employ them in his
private company. The good thing would be all of them to try to be in a
spirit that all the country to forward in front and not only think of
today. It was the years under turkish occupancy that comparing to greek
level they could be easily considered as barbarians and kept the
development of our civilization, at that time, back especially those years when the rest of Europe was reborn through Renaissance.
nothing special against greek people I can speak the same way for all
human races but I cannot excuse the ones that between our two main neighbours, the one on the west and the one on the east, are flirting with the wrong side. Italy on the west and Turkey on the east to name the countries. Instead of these people to get something from the civilization, the humour and the good taste from Italy they look at the barbarians and at the same time the ones who showing us their teeth and their bad feelings. Personally I prefer to pay a double ticket price than using turkish airlines and stop to Istanbul that was greek and I believe one day will be greek again. What is missing from greeks is to acquire more national pride similar to jewish because they deserve it even more than them, since they are more open minded. I am just perfectionist with the meaning of I just try to
avoid doing mistakes by my only weapon the hundred times of thinking
something in my mind before doing it. Some people accuse that I am slow
in my actions. Maybe yes but this makes me happier. I am not even close
to perfection though like nobody of us. It is funny how everyone is
strong in some talents and at the same time so ridiculous in something
else that even a child could do. You don't have to read famous as they
have called them writers or listen to the news. All these are offered to
you to make easier to be controlled. People should be more sceptical
and full of doubts listening to media, political ideas, even
advertising. If you play the proposed game you will never be able to
win. They will always change the rules against you. You must be careful
because everything is advertised in secret ways. Everything is inside
you for you to make the correct decisions in life. You have all the
supplies. You know what is fair and does not bother the person next to
you, you also know what is creative and not destructive, you can do the
correct choices if you use your mind, you know what is healthy and not
sick, you know what is polite and beautiful, what is closer to
friendship and interest for someone. They are enough to start building
earlier than those years cousins Soulis, like brothers, but with
completely opposite characters each other, and that was the key of the
success undertaking one the sales the other the technical section, for
the famous later Soulis SA or Soulis AE in greek business terminology, were the founders. Their names were
Anastasios D. Soulis and Anastasios G. Soulis, sons of Dimitri and
George brothers. The company started producing heating elements such as
radiators and boilers together with all central heating services and
within a few years adding the activity of Aluminium extruded profiles in
80s once reached the top 3 of greek industries together with
Petzetakis Plastics, Motor Oil and Peiraiki Patraiki textiles regarding
turnover. It reached the point of 2,000 employees most of them in three
swifts per day in the 3 plants of modern and heavy industries in Lamia,
200 kilometers north of Athens. Three huge presses for extrusion, one
unit for anodizing, another for automatic production of radiators and
burners together with boilers and other smaller products in Athens factory, in Rouf industrial area of Attica.
father was telling me I hate coffee places. You passed by and you hear
them saying, lying in one chair and smoking: If I had money you know
what could I do? submeaning that ideas are good but someone has to work
as well. The true was that I had rarely seen my father after the age of
5, he was working till late every night. I have the feeling that I
recently am on the same track as him on that. He was one of these boys
of fourteen without shoes during the war selling cigarettes but he had
never smoked one.
During 60s and 90s everybody knew us or almost
all since half of their hot water boilers for shower were ours and the
other half from our competitor Elco, who later on was accused for
murdering his secretary with whom he had a love affair and the
competition was not that tough after that.
Even the ones there were
not one of the two they were still been produced by us with different
stickers and more expensive prices, same units, ordered by competitors
such as AEG. They were produced in our factory too.
remember the story with the first extrusion press, the size of a small
house. They were all tailor made in Farrel co, Rochester, USA, not far
from New York and for that particular one was a term in the contract
that someone from our company when everything was ready to be shipped
had to visit and check a few simple things and sign for shipping. So my
father sent me when I was 16 years old to do that with a polite
hospitality from the foreign company of 15 days staying in New York
Hilton for free. I remember the song Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci all in
fashion that time and me as the song mentions about the greater dancer
in Studio 54 and my connections to be there. Later on I asked from my
father an additional 15 days. He was lucky that my visa was running out
at that time.
The factory was very near Niagara waterfalls I
had to visit with a person from the company who became a tourist guide
for me and I was really impressed by the tones of water falling down not
far from our boat. I also was impressed from New York, first time by
myself the high-rises and the taxi driving speed that's why I have these
pictures I took then together with something else. I will never forget
something was like a mystery for me. I started my trip from Greece just
before the sun would rise and that sunrise never ended during all the
way of travelling from Europe to USA. I had to watch a romantic sunrise
almost for 7 hours by myself so I had to take at least one picture.
The next time I was impressed so much by natural phenomena was in
Reykjavik, Iceland twice. The fact that they really live six months
almost at night and six months almost at day time and the hot geysers
useful for therme just there in the snow. I know they are many other
areas with both of them, but the first time is always more impressive,
same with the colours and heat of impressive for me tropics.
father was one of the main reasons my life was interesting since we were
always fighting in everything but recently I realised that in the end
he was always letting me win. I remembered that also from the times we were
pretending fighting each other, he was doing the same giving me some
confidence since he had never congratulated me for anything, but he was
the one who has learned me a lot of things like swimming, driving,
fighting, hunting, filming in 8mm camera, sketching, flying a kite,
saving and many other serious supplies called advises for success many
difficult to explain and more difficult to follow and some principals
that I believe I haven't betrayed.
would checked me fighting for something, in the end he would always
covering me especially if that had to do with money, same as all members
of the family. He never wanted us to have these kind of problems. He
had never let anyone down regarding his protection. Finally he was
always in front. We had some really bad times as well that I have never
forgot like what I heard when a small ball I was playing hit him in the
eye when I was about 8 years old. He was a boxer when he was younger and
one time he used this qualification on me with a sadden hit that I
still have a small mark in my upper lip, when he heard the voice of
Ilias Psinakis ringing the bell waiting for me downstairs. He didn't like him as a friend of mine. That time I was 19 and the times I had a
small fight with Alexia who also didn't like each other then we were
going out with his group of people. I was very surprised later on when
both of my parents admiring Ilias watching him in the television and
telling me how clever he was in his humour which I found all this
provocative. They were always some contradictions anyway.
In middle 80s I
became the export manager of this family industry the era when the
control of the company was still under the two Anastasios, one of them
who was my father. Here I want to mention the necessity of the help of
the country in two ways if this is possible. The first is the export
benefit from the country that can make the goods competitive to other
markets, as it was happening those years and at the same time
establishing high import taxes in goods we already have in Greece and
want to protect our production by making this import inappropriate. We
were exporting more than 1500 tones aluminium profile in bars every
month, raw or anodised. This was the factory in Lamia.
I used to drive my father some Tuesdays there. One time while we were five minutes away of it he asked me to stop the car there. He turned and looked back to the factory admiring it. I didn't know what to say, then he turned to me and told me see these trees around the factory, when we planted them were like toothsticks, see how strong and green are now. After all the stress of the day he left happy because of it.
My uncle was driving me for a month time every year during summer school holidays, from Kineta to the Athens factory, in order me to work there and learn something. In his car in this one hour drive we were only listening Hatzis songs. When we were approaching to the gate he was telling me smiling and softly let's close it now because they will make fun of us. That was him. He only wanted as a personnel manager, as well he was, to show his strict part of him. He was not like that. They say don't be afraid of a barking dog.
were the years when the banks were helping us completing even some of
the export documents in the contrary of their today attitude. Yes, they
were acting like our secretaries. Today banks are looking which is the
best way to get your money. We exported almost everywhere near, including
Austria, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, UK, Holland, Malta,
Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen even USA. We were exporting aluminium though
something we were not as much known in Greece where we were famous in
heating. There, in export department, were staring Gianna Randou the
sister of the well known actress married Vassilis Papakonstantinou the
famous pop singer, my schoolmate Theodore Zaros today famous for his
Zarossa Limited Import co from China, together with Helen from
Australia, difficult to remember her last name, Stella and many others.
Later on in the exports came Danai the daughter of the other owner, my
cousin, that together with Natasha took over the exports when me and my
father left the company and her father passed away, so together with my
brother took over the whole company around the year 2000.
would write a book later on for her own father, under the name To
Schisimo (The Tearing) where she will explain in her own way how much
strict her own father was to her eyes. Additionally I am very sure she
been hurt a lot due to the fact that her father left her and her mother
Kyra for another younger woman regardless how tough personality he was.
Both owners who change between presidency and vice presidency every now
and then for typical reasons were strong personalities, capable enough
to lead the company the critical years of expanding, difficult years and
under a lot of stress. The one with serious heart problems, the reason
he also died from and the reason he changed his philosophy of life the
last of his years knowing that, regarding extreme socializing and
entertaining, and the other with stomach serious problems, he finally
died in the age of 89. I was surprised first when I found out that
during almost 10 to 13 years, the peak ones, 5 managers passed away in
young ages between thirties and fifties including accounting manager
lady, cost evaluation manager, client solvent secret services manager,
factory personnel responsible and another in my mind came the pressure
of work. It looked like a passion everyone had for work. Every morning
at the same time my father entering the offices choosing the long way
through all offices of sales department, accounting, cashier,
management, export and import department with a big smile in his face
saying good morning to everyone before going to his office in the first
floor. One day he took me with him when I was in school and ask me to do
the same advising me that this was the only way that you can succeed. I
was so shy. My father was saying five good mornings and I was mumbling
one hiding behind his back. Even later on I could never say more than
four five good mornings to the people around me I believed the rest were
for the people who created this company. Almost all employees used to
love their work, the company, the growth. They were many who met there
and got married.
I remember our first factory ever, was not a big one in Kassandras
street, where many clubs are located today, near the train and Iera odos,
where is really impossible for me to go today there in the area and
have fun. It is still there and always the smell in my nose of steel and
the dark grease, the one I was watching on the gloves and the faces of our
workers when they warmly speaking to me, been happy, showing their nice emotions towards me, when I was a very young boy.
There was the place I was export manager for 5
successful years of my life and that was the place I was spending one
month every summer of my school holidays to even learn how to fix cables
in the water heaters and other similar work when I was a boy to learn
Some people together with my mother said that the
years I was in Soulis SA were the most fertile and successful years for
the company which I still don't know if it was a compliment, true or
I should, for sure, refer to this company because I
feel is the one that grew me up, educated me as well and helped me to be
in a big degree what I am today.
continue what it was not allowed to have in parallel with my other job
by my father who asked me to choose although my plan was different to
have both. So I became the manager of my own company in 1985 a model
agency on the first floor of the famous for fashion activities,
specially those years, Kolonaki Square in the number 21 right above the
square. The name of the model agency was Crayon and was one of the six
agencies that consisting S.A.M.E the official union of all greek model
agencies these years together with Unique, Model's One, Pro, Elena's and
The years were full of magazine shootings for editorials and covers, tv commercials and fashion shows all very well paid.
fashion industry was very strong then and all models around the world were
eager to come and have some tearsheets in their portfolios by
photographers of our market in order to help them in their career. That
time I had three big rent apartments and plenty of hotel rooms
especially for the new comers on regular bases.
The only problem with such a job is that models are human beings not
boxes that can wait for you to negotiate. Some of them are not patient
at all they need money today, others want only sophisticated and
prestigious works, others complain that you promote another model more
than them, others just want to be with their boyfriends. Nothing can be
sure as well till the job is done. They are professionals as much as
they can but not sealed boxes.
We used to
represent models mainly through our cooperation with the best model
agencies around the world, the most famous european and international
model agencies from countries such as Italy, France, Spain, UK, Austria,
Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, South Africa and even Australia and
USA especially the time I was ready to represent Elite models. An
unforgettable within many others event of our company, and having to do
with Elite, was when together with fashion designer Sylia Chritharioti
had brought Iman the famous model direct from LA for their fashion show
just a few days before she got married with David Bowie with whom stayed
together until the last day of his life. Next to that was Marpessa
(picture on the top right, in Sylia's show) I had very good models that
I was exclusively worked with by contracts. Between them Sarah
Muthwill, Elena Casanellas and many others. Women that sometimes I even
didn't know were approaching me asking from where is Sarah (picture on
top on the left for La Repubblica) They couldn't believe that a woman
with such a beauty could exist down to earth -and I can add also with
all meaning of the sentence as well- I always knew what beauty means,
not only in Greece but all over, that is why I have been to Italy at
least 4 times to be sure she will come and I was more than right .
since then up today I am taking pictures in more serious way. At first was to
promote our models by having their zcards and portfolios and later on in
more creative and artistic way than just a promotion.
Published works of Crayon models you can see in the section Crayon of this site.
Opening Crayon agency a lot of new faces should start with at least a few new pictures. That time were a lot of specialised in model portfolios photographers around from Greece and from a lot of other countries who used to offer to work but not in a budget way. This was the time I even got more experience since as an agency we were offering these first pictures for free till we decide about a model and then deduct the cost from the the ones we decided to cooperate with. For the rest we had to say thank you and sometimes giving them a picture for present. We had frequent evenings per week scheduled for these sessions. The first need was basically portraits thats why I had mainly focused and here you can see the results in my first professional portfolio as a photographer which is full of portraits and specialisation to that through various methods. Most evenings makeup artists and hairdressers were visiting the agency.
I was very interested to know myself if this model was good for the work to the point that some times people were surprised by that. The truth was I was working from the morning till the night. Many were the times that also something was missing from the models that were coming from another country for their portfolio, for example swimming suits by the sea.
The following pictures are the ones which were composing my first professional portfolio as a photographer -the one I had to show to models to get their approval on doing pictures- for their own portfolios mainly based and aimed to portraits, beauty and some swimming suits.
I had to make that, the same way they had their own portfolios, same way make-up artist and other photographers were carrying their portfolios here and there, from agency to agency and the surrounding places.
From here you can have an idea for the way I was trying to help as well and here are some pages from my personal first compulsory professional portfolio including my first published picture to Max magazine for our models promotion they were doing for a few issues regarding all greek model agencies presenting one model from each one of them every time. This first portfolio was all made by our models, the ones from Crayon, aiming future ones of the agency.