Stavros Melissinos comes from a historic Greek family. He was born on September 10th, 1929, on No 6 Poikilis Str., in Plaka, the old quarter of Athens -he is the father of Pantelis Melissinos, who now runs the sandal business.
His family originally fled from Crete (a few centuries ago), due to a number of unsuccessful uprisings against the ottoman rule. They left their estates and castles and moved to the islands of Naxos and Tinos.
By the end of the 18th century, they settled in Athens.
HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY
His grand father, Stavros and his grandmother, Saphira -chandlers by trade- sold ship equipment. In 1927, their son Georgios, Stavro’s father set up his shoe factory. Their other son, Panaghiotis, established MELCO, a large-scale icebox industry. This earned him a state medal for his exceptional achievements in the field of industry. He was also a financial supporter of Eleftherios. Venizelos was prime minister of Greece at the time. An other son, Emanuel Melissinos left for the States and died there. Their 4th son, Michael Melissinos wanted to follow a writing career but died in action, during the First World War.
There were also three sisters: Theano, Aikaterina and Bassilika.
A TWIST OF FATE
Stavros Melissinos, following the family tradition, served as an officer in the Greek army. There he started writing poetry and finally literature won him over. When he left the army he studied film direction at the Stavrakos School, in Athens.
He had to abandon all his artistic plans after his father’s death in 1954. When he took over his father’s store he was already married to Sophia Apessos. Sophia was his ‘muse’ and greatest devotee till the day she died.
Stavros’ son -Pantelis Melissinos, a poet and artist- is currently the third generation “Sandal Maker to the stars” and celebrities that visit this historic Ancient Greek Sandal workshop.