Some places stay with you forever. As we capture SMR Days in its element – on the sun-drenched shorelines and open seas of Greece – our favourite fashion insiders share why it’s the one country they will never forget. From Athens to the Ionian islands, it’s an ode to brighter days ahead, and the places we’ll spend them – whether we have to wait a little longer to get away or not. When that day comes, Greece is top of our travel list. We promise you it will be worth the wait. 

Thomas Persson has been one of fashion’s defining creative directors for close to two decades, founding the era-shaping Acne Paper in 2004 and going on to work with the industry’s biggest names, Giorgio Armani, Hermès and Louis Vuitton among them. Now, Thomas spends much of the year in his home in Athens, the energetic Greek capital, a country he has been visiting since the 1990s. Here, he tells us the secrets of his adopted home city.

How long have you been visiting Greece? Do you remember your first trip?

The first trip was to Athens in the early 1990s. We were staying in a hotel on Omonia Square, now derelict, for one night en route to Mykonos when I was 21.

What are some of your favourite places to visit in Greece and why?

Hydra and Patmos are favourites because we have friends there and it’s social and culturally interesting. Now that we have a home in Athens, I’m curious about the islands, towns and places nearby which I hope to explore this spring and summer. If I was to choose one place, it would be Athens, for its people.

Mike wears: Blue Cotton Shorts

What is the best place to stay in Athens?

I would recommend Monsieur Didot and also Shila in Kolonaki. Also, the Moon & Stars in Psyri.

What’s your favourite way to spend a day in Athens?

A Saturday afternoon about town when everything is bustling and exciting, having a good time with friends in one of the neighbourhoods Kolonaki, Kypseli, Exarchia or Psyri.

What’s the best way for an outsider to see the city?

To spend it with locals and enjoy them and their hospitality.

What’s a tip you have for people visiting?

Visit the Pedion Areos park, the fish market in Athinas. The view from Lycabettus Hill. I loved visiting the Yannis Pappas Studio which today belongs to the Benaki Museum.

Is there a secret place that you love?

Yes, and I am not going to tell you!

Where do you like to eat in the city?

I always have a nice time at Barbounaki or Ama Lachei.

Where is the best place to relax?

I would say at the HandleBar on Melanthiou.

Mike wears: White Linen Fitted Shorts, Blue Logo-Emroidered Cap, and our Circle-Motif Embroidered Bowling Shirt exclusive to Mr Porter

What’s your favourite time of the year to be in Greece?

January to June. September to December. Did I mention July and August?

Outside of Athens, what are some of your favourite beaches in Greece?

Any relaxed beach with a tamarisk tree and singing tzítzikas.

Who do you like to travel, or spend holidays with?

Dear friends.

A special thank you to Mike Vasilakis for modelling our launch collection in Greece.