A view of Psyrri, an upscale shopping area in the center of Athens. "It used to be full of wholesale centers and metal, wood, and leather workshops. Then in the '90s a lot of artists and designers kept their lofts and studios there," Kotsilelou says. "Now it's super-decadent. This picture is a great example of typical Athens architecture where buildings are extended vertically, one on top of the other."

Greece Is For Lovers in Athens

A disclaimer: Athens can be a beautiful city, with striking juxtapositions between ancient and modern architecture and sunshine on par with Los Angeles (check out this video for proof). But when seen through the eyes of the young design trio Greece Is For Lovers, who grew up there and now keep a studio at the foot of the Acropolis, the view isn’t quite so rosy. The idea behind their products — which invoke all manner of Athenian cliches, rendering Ionic columns as golden barbells and Hermes and Aphrodite as candles, in case “you wanna feel like King Nero and burn down some ancient stuff,” they say — is to reflect an outsider’s naive perspective on Greece, perpetuated by tourism campaigns like “Greece Is For Lovers” in the ’70s and “Build Your Myth” in recent years. On the other hand, when I asked member Christina Kotsilelou for an image to end this slideshow that reflected what the group truly loves about Athens, besides its ’80s shopping malls, she said I had them stumped. If they’re laughing at tourists, they’re also laughing along with them.

Either way, the following snapshots — taken by Kotsilelou, Vasso Damkou, and Thanos Karampatsos — do provide some insight into the trio’s work, which wallows in its own kitsch to delightful effect.