A wise man once said style is as style does, and no one is doing more to increase DCs fashion factor than Iraklis Karabassis, the founder of IK Enterprises, the umbrella under which almost 100 Benetton, Sisley and MaxMara stores lie. The Greek-born entrepreneur, 49, likes to fly under the radar, but his style influence soars as far as the eye can see.
It was Karabassis that opened the District's most fashionable eatery, Cafe Milano, with co-owner Franco Nuschese in 1992. More recently, he tipped off good friend Khajak Keledjian, owner of fashionista paradise Intermix, that the perfect space had opened for a local outpost. And it was Karabassis that pushed developer Ed Asher to bring the Collection at Chevy Chase to life, leaning on friends at Cartier, Barney's and Ralph Lauren to be part of the 100,000-square-foot luxury shopping destination.
Karabassis himself will open his seventh MaxMara store in the Collection, this one's the largest in the world. After more than 25 years in the business, fashion has become more than a job for Karabassis, it's a passion. "It gets in your skin," he says.
Not content to let the ladies have all the fun, he brought Italian label Andrew's Ties to the States in 2003, and now swears by Andrew's classic designs, which compliment his other favorites: Armani and John Varvatos suits, Loro Piana cashmere sweaters, French collar shirts and Ferragamo and Tod's shoes. Karabassis is constantly thinking bigger and better, leaving us with one question: What will he do next?