Born in Zakynthos, Grèce, 1946
1975 - 2016
Wedding dress. Photo courtesy of Eleni Marinos
Eleni Marinos was the founder, manager and designer of Eleni Haute Couture, a studio specialized in the production of custom-made women’s clothing. A native of Greece, she first studied sewing with Madam Mpozikis in Athens from 1959 to 1962. She then moved to Montreal with her husband, where she focussed on raising her children for the next decade or so.
A desire for independence and something of her own led her back to her original passion, fashion, so in 1972 she went back to school at the Cotnoir Capponi school of fashion design in Montreal. While a student, Eleni Marinos made dresses that she sold for $25.
After graduating in 1975, she bought a Crescent Street dressmaker’s business the same year and more than tripled her rates.
The building included a reception area for meeting clients as well as a studio where all of the clothing was produced on-site.
Eleni Haute Couture offered a wide variety of customized clothing and accessories, undergarments, and shoes.
Her clientele, which notably included Mila Mulroney, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, was built primarily by word of mouth. Facing increased demand, she relocated to a bigger space on Monkland Avenue.
Unlike designers who create collections that reflect their personal style, Eleni Marinos designed unique pieces specifically to suit the personality and tastes of each client, creating each garment only once. She worked primarily with natural fibres like silk, cotton, cashmere and leather.
In 2016, Eleni Marinos retired and closed her business.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor
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