PARIS — Could he be the Greek Ricky Martin?

That’s the buzz around Greek pop star Sakis Rouvas, who’s being billed in the French press as “the Greek phenomenon” during the buildup to his concert tonight at the Olympia Theater in Paris.

This story first appeared in the October 24, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

With looks to make any shipping heiress swoon, Rouvas’ musical talents may be beside the point, but he did score producer Desmond “Livin’ la Vida Loca” Child for his first international album, “Ola Kala,” which in Greek means “Everything’s All Right.”

Rouvas, a former Olympic pole-vaulting star, was introduced to the international record business by his mentor, Nana Mouskouri, and has already shown a knack for knock-’em-dead showmanship. His concerts make ample use of smoke machines and writhing backup dancers, and he turned to Valentino for onstage outfits, including one Japanese samurai look that Rouvas had to drop from the lineup after fans started to complain about the “skirt” he wore onstage. He’s got a tougher image than that, after all.

The designer — as well as Nicholas of Greece, Marina and Michel of Greece, Alex von Furstenberg and various young Rothschilds are expected at tonight’s postshow party at the Plaza Athenée’s Le Bar. Asked why he’s regarded as a “phenomenon,” Rouvas jokes, “because people never thought I would make it out of Greece.”

Ola kala indeed.

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