The Metaverse and NFT offer innumerable opportunities for innovation but barely any seem to garner attention other than major brands navigating this newly-minted space. But there are a few designers that have grabbed this opportunity by the horns and are creating pieces that not only have the fashion world watching but also taking furious notes. Constantinos Panayiotou the creator of Pet Liger has the fashion enthusiasts in a chokehold with his accessories that take inspiration from 90s manga images.
In an exclusive chat with ELLE India, founder Constantinos Panayiotou chats about his Metaverse journey, and much more.
ELLE : Considering Pet Liger may be the forerunner of the digital revolution, could you please share with us your approach to the brand’s visual language?
Constantinos Panayiotou : My approach is to make my virtual works appear as realistic as possible. I want them to be indistinguishable from the real world. To be hyper real. That’s the starting point and then from there I simply experiment and build upon previous learnings and discoveries in an iterative way. I am trying to see how much I can push a single silhouette, almost like a scientist or an alchemist working with the elements. I am allowing the silhouette to transform itself into its ultimate potential, to teach me its limits. This takes time, patience and discipline but ultimately it’s a fun journey of exploration. This also applies to my choice of colours and materials. The spirit of the silhouette itself is guiding me all the time, over the course of days, weeks, months or years.
ELLE : How do you integrate your futuristic and conceptual craftsmanship into your creations?
CP : I try to think in a very grounded and practical way when doing a concept, then I add an element of the otherworldly. I see familiarity as a gateway that lets the observer/participant through to somewhere that may end up being a little novel and different to them. It is definitely a balancing act.
ELLE : Can you share with us about your vision and concept behind the launch of recent loafers and Lovecore heels concept?
CP : I’ve had this gift my entire life of knowing what’s in the ether, of knowing trends etc. I’m not entirely sure where it comes from but I just embrace it. The first daily to feature the heart motif. “Vertex Love” went insanely viral with over 120k likes on IG. Since then I’ve ended up creating a whole series based on LOVECORE.
ELLE : How do you continue breaking style conventions and maintaining your skills over the years?
CP : I am incredibly competitive, I see myself almost like an athlete training and practicing everyday. I want to be the only one that can do what I do and so I am constantly learning and allowing myself to embrace new ways to do things and new ways to challenge myself so as to keep motivated and passionate.
ELLE : Your contributions in the world of NFT and Metaverse are major, what do you consider as your best work so far?
CP : The two works that I’m most proud of are the Wilder World Air WILD seasons zeros which were my introduction to the digital fashion space and of course the Gucci VAULT loafer artworks that were recently 3D printed by Gucci for an exhibition in Milan, that was an incredible experience.
ELLE : As a creative person what do you consider as your biggest challenges so far?
CP : The biggest challenge I would say is leaving my comfort zone and maybe trying new things. For example exploring a new silhouette, I do also find this very exciting. I like a good challenge.
ELLE : What advice would you like to give a Gen Next design aspirant following your path?
CP : The best advice I can give is to constantly learn, constantly share your work with the world and to be consistent with a routine/daily structure. The final thing is be quick and do a lot of what it is that you’re doing. Don’t worry too much about perfection, just get your creations out there for the world to see. You will eventually find your place and rhythm.