Modus Vivendi has always had a really interesting design sense. They have always said they were influenced by their Greek Heritage. We wanted to ask them some questions about some of the more iconic lines they have released over the years.
Interview with Christos Bibitsos
Tell me something about how your Greek heritage has influenced your designs over the last few years?
The truth is that we are very much in touch with our ancient culture, as Greeks. That has been true since the company began. Ancient Greek culture prized the male body highly. You can see it in sculpture, ancient athleticism and Greek art. It’s one of the main guides in every project we do.
Which of the many Modus Vivendi lines has been most memorable for you, most creative. ‘The Fisherman’, maybe?
There are many interesting designs, really. The most special, the most idiosyncratic? In our Original Collection, I think. But all our projects are all unique. That is what distinguishes us from other brands.
The photographic work seems styled to each collection. Is that a result of collaboration with the photographer on each individual campaign? Or do you allow the photographers freedom to achieve their own creative vision?
First of all, I think it’s wonderful that photographers across the globe have been inspired by our intentions and have given so much of their talent, taking each shoot in a definite direction, while still respecting the basic idea, the basic feel that inspired the design of the line. Every photographer needs his freedom, and this adds to the diversity of our campaigns to date.
Of all the photoshoots, which has been your favourite?
Ah, every one is special, for its own reasons. One particular campaign that represented Modus Vivendi’s style especially well was the retrospective of traditional Greek occupations, ‘Retro Greece’. Winegrower, woodcutter, innkeeper, stable hand, those gave us some great images.
Which are some of the most memorable pieces of underwear from your collections. The leather jock with the chains for example… any others?
I’ve said it many times, but each item in a collection has its own story, an inspiration a moment. But if I had to mention one, the Sumo Brief, or maybe the Converter Boxer. They are so unique. They can be transformed, changed, and this is perhaps a unique aspect of Modus Vivendi.
Some of the latest collections have a more mainstream design aesthetic. Are we going to see more designs that could be considered more ‘fashion’, like The Fisherman?
Your favourite Fisherman is one of my favourites too. Sometimes a look like that can be the basis of an entire collection, as it was for the Leather Look collection. Modus Vivendi is a fashion forward brand and probably always will be. It’s about diversity, and its addressed to people who appreciate that, whether or not they’re on the same wavelength. Over time, our customers have become more insistent about our adding some more mainstream lines to our collections. This way we can address men’s everyday needs in quality underwear. First and foremost, we are a Greek brand. We manufacture exclusively in Greece, using predominantly Greek raw materials. We have some of the best cotton in the world here. If we use it well, we can create some of the best classic cotton underwear there is.