AFA jury member Stavros Karelis

Stavros Karelis © Taka Norio

AFA jury member Stavros Karelis

Stavros Karelis is one of this year´s jury members for the AFA – Austrian Fashion Awards. He is founder and buying director of London based concept store MACHINE-A and buying director of the SHOWstudio online store.

Stavros is also a member of the NEWGEN women´s wear committee, member of the jury panel of International Fashion Showcase (IFS) & the London College of Fashion MA selection. Voted by GQ in the list of the 35 most successful men under 38 and Highsnobiety’s list of 15 biggest stylish influencers, Stavros’ dedication to emerging talent has been such, that he constantly discovers, promotes and consults for a great number of emerging designers and helps them to get established with successful careers in the fashion industry.

Besides, he took his time to answer some of our questions. Thank you for that, Stavros!


What requirements do labels have to fulfill to be ordered by you for Machine-A?

At MACHINE-A we are working with a great number of emerging brands as well as established brands. The criteria are quite different between those two categories. With emerging brands of course talent and unique vision is the most important aspect, however we are looking for designers that have the potential and ability to produce collections in reasonable prices, too. This is an extremely important aspect for the longevity of these brands and their future success. For the established brands, we are grateful to be working with brands & designers that are leaders like Raf Simons, who have shaped and shifted the fashion world and constantly create worldwide trends for all the rest to follow.

Do you know any Austrian fashion labels? Which ones? Is there such thing as a „special Austrian touch“ to them?

As I am a member of the committee of IFS-International Fashion Showcase of British Fashion Council we see many countries and their designers who participate every year. One of these countries is Austria and every year I have seen great participants and entries such as Dimitrije Gojkovic, Flora Miranda, Isabel Helf, Pia Bauernberger, Roshi Porkar. I think that fashion today is so universal with designers referencing many ideas that are not necessarily representative of their place of origin. Having said that, I have noticed that Austrian brands & designers give great attention to craftsmanship which is something very important!

Have you ever thought of Vienna as a „fashion city“?

Vienna, is of course a worldwide known cultural city and where is culture there is fashion! For that reason I cannot wait to see more designers and brands coming out of the city, establishing it as one of the leading destinations for discovering emerging brands.

What excites you most about fashion? Does fashion ever bore you?

Through my work with MACHINE-A & SHOWstudio as well as my active involvement as a member of the committees for NEWGEN MEN & NEWGEN WOMEN, my involvement with Central Saint Martins, Royal College of Art & London College of Fashion, as well as IFS my main focus is always discovering and supporting emerging designers and help them to become established brands. When this is happening it is the most exciting feeling! There is only one thing that bores me in fashion and that is laziness.

What do you personally express with the clothes you are wearing?

To be myself, my mood, is a statement of mind, something that makes me feel good, at ease and protected.

Your latest fashion discovery?

There are many emerging designers that I am happy to be working with. Cottweiler, ALYX, Hyein Seo, Marta Jakubowski, DELADA and most lately Julia Mannisto who created an exclusive collection for us and got nominated for the LVMH award are some of the designers that I got involved since the beginning and I am happy to see them grow and prosper, gaining a great amount of international recognition and stockists.

Stephanie Rugel