Stavros Karelis, founder and buying director of independent concept store Machine-A, is known supporting young design talents by stocking them alongside established brands. Karelis is also a judge for the BFC's NewGen and CSM's L'Oréal Professionnel Award for MA students, and reviews portfolios at RCM and Westminster University.
Karelis' career began in his native Greece, where at 18 he spent a year working as a magazine fashion editor. He moved to London to study politics and international law at Goldsmiths and, while still a student, launched Digitaria, a project which organised events and showcased the work of young designers and artists.
In 2009, Karelis opened Machine-A, advised by Anna Trevelyan , his business partner and the store's fashion director, with the aim to showcase quality emerging designers alongside established fashion brands on the shop floor. Karelis helps guide the young designers he showcases on production and pricing, and the store was one of the first to pick up Craig Green , Liam Hodges and Nasir Mazhar, which today are stocked next to established brands including Raf Simons , JW Anderson and Y-3. Machine-A began selling online in collaboration with SHOWstudio in 2014. He plans to open further physical locations for Machine-A in the future.
In late 2020, Machine-A got into a partnership with Tomorrow Group. As the founder and buying director of Machine-A Karelis' key role is to lead the operations and vision of Machine-A’s international expansion starting from the Machine-A store opening in Shanghai in September 2022. The store which is 245 sq.meters, will feature the first shop-in-shop of Raf Simons in Shanghai celebrating our long standing relationship. At the same time Machine-A Shanghai will showcase many emerging designers and brands mixing them with high-end brands in a gender fluid way maintaining the ethos and long standing values of the store in London. The store in Shanghai will offer the possibility to support even further local and international talent and create this multicultural exchange between London and Shanghai. Further to this, Machine-A is looking to open two more stores in China by the end of 2023.