Is this your first collection?
Yes, this is my first collection. I have tried to combine old-world charm with modern simplicity – to juxtapose fluidity and hand embroidery with hard, structural elements. It has evolved over the past few years, and I’m very excited to show it now!
How did you get into fashion?
My grandmother was a seamstress and folk singer in Bulgaria. She mastered sewing and embroidery and after work she would continue making clothes and traditional dress for her family and singing group. As a teenager, my mother began designing and sewing her own garments as well. Growing up I found the intricate details of my grandma’s work stunning and my mom’s designs extremely chic. Their work spurred my interest in fashion – I still love wearing it today – and I recently started designing myself. My mom loved my ideas and encouraged me to start my business.
What’s the inspiration behind this specific collection?
My starting point was traditional Bulgarian folk dress – it is very ornate and striking. For my first presentation, I wanted to make a subtle reference. To achieve my vision, I reinterpreted shapes and decorative patterns into new neck or hem lines and chose truly Bulgarian motifs, but with a graphic quality, for the handwork and crochet.
Tell us about the materials, fabrications, and details used.
This collection is primarily made of wool and silk originating from Cambodia and India. I have also included a few organic cotton and soy blend selections.
When I source fabric, I consider each stage of the product life cycle and strive to choose materials that make a positive impact on the environment and the communities with which we do business. For instance, all of the wool and silk is handwoven and fair trade, reducing carbon emissions while preserving traditional craft and raising living standards for artisans. The fabrics are also dyed with low impact dyes and most are organic, protecting biodiversity and the health of farmers and consumers.
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world, thus, using only sustainable, organic and natural materials is of utmost importance for me. However, the industry has not yet caught up with demand for such products, so what I am looking for in terms of function and quality is not always readily available.
If you could compare your designs to any place in the world, where would it be?
I feel my designs represent many places around the world. At their core, they have Slavic undertones and reflect the Balkans, a region full of fun-loving, passionate people with an edge. But, the Effortless French Woman influences me to make clothes that speak for themselves. She doesn’t require much else to make a statement. I can also relate my designs to the eccentric styles seen on the streets of NYC and London; diverse cities with personality.
What fashion rules do you think should never be broken?
I’m not big on rules – I say break them! However, I am a fan of leaving a bit to the imagination. I would not appreciate a cropped top paired with low-rise jeans, for example. There’s a fine line between sexy and tasteless.
What are your feelings toward the Kimye VOGUE cover? Take away the celebrity aspect, do you think that aesthetic was VOGUE-worthy?
Kim and Kanye look beautiful on the cover of Vogue. They certainly have style. That being said, I do not find them very compelling.