When Afroditi met with one of London’s most innovative and successful entrepreneurs, Julian Metcalfe, back in 2004, it was a meeting of minds that led to the creation of a new food retail superbrand. Julian had already led the birth and expansion of the immensely successful and, deservingly ubiquitous food store, Pret a Manger, but was looking for a pioneering and innovative designer to concept and craft his next launch. Impressed with Afroditi’s unconventional approach, she was appointed to conceive a new Japanese-inspired food store, that’s now become a household name – the mighty itsu.
Several months of work later, Afroditi had assembled a masterplan for a future forward, low fat Japanese high street chain concept, shaping every aspect of design, experience and presentation. Overall strategy, corporate identity, branding, retail interiors, graphics, packaging design, website direction and even food styling were all shaped and implemented by the AfroditiKrassa studio. The first store opened in Vogue House, central London and was an instant overnight success. Now one of London’s most loved and iconic eateries, there are over 70 itsu sites across the UK, and Afroditi, as Creative Director, continues to oversee the brand’s current rollout plans for new markets such as the U.S.