In a colourful Athenian shop, tucked away near Monastiraki station, at 2 Aghias Theklas Street, and opposite Monastiraki-Square you will find one of the most legendary sandal makers of Athens, Melissinos Family.
Since 1920 this family of expert sandal makers have been providing stylish made-to-fit leather sandals for celebrities and those in the know. Squeeze into the tiny cluttered shop, choose from the menu of styles and let Pantelis fit them to your feet. This shop has a long tradition of Rich and Famous customers who have worn the sandals of Melissinos family. Celebrities like: Jackie Onassis, Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Garry Cooper, Rudolf Nureyev, the Beatles, Barbra Streisand have all worn the celebrated Melissinos footwear. And they keep coming; the Queen of Spain paid a visit in 2005, Lily Tomlin, in the summer of 2006 -and Sarah Jessica Parker.
In 2006 the German ladies magazine “PETRA” named Pantelis Melissinos as one of the best traditional shoemakers in Europe and so did the Italian “PANORAMA” and the French “GLAMOUR” magazines. Pantelis, after his father’s retirement in 2004, took it upon himself to keep his family’s sandal making tradition alive. It all started in 1920 when his grandfather Georgios Melissinos started his shoe business in the Monastiraki area, in Athens; the rest is history.
In the cramped store you will find the walls are hung with hand made leather sandals, bags, books of his father’s poetry and copies of his own plays and art works. What’s more, framed letters from famous people like the Prince of Wales and Glenda Jackson together with letters from universities and libraries congratulate him on his latest play Bacchus. The walls are also covered with framed newspaper clippings from around the world that exalt the famous Melissinos sandals.
There are about 28 different sandal styles to choose from and if you don’t find a pair in your size or style Pantelis will make it on the spot. And oh yes, there are sandals named after the celebrities who acquired them, so you could be wearing a Jeremy Irons or a “Jackie O” pair. The great thing is you don’t have to be a celebrity to afford his sandals.
2, Agias Theklas Street, Psirri, 10554 Athens, Greece
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