I have already shared with you Ivanova's latest Fall-Winter 2014-2015 season's lookbook and now I want you to read my interview with label's creative director- Lena Ivanova, who is a real master of making great clothes.
As far as I can remember! I used to always draw and have been interested in fashion; I was always sewing something when I was younger. Like most creative people, creating fashion was all I wanted to do. When I was a beginner I worked with the famous designers as an assistant, before launching my own brand. I worked as a stylist and a merchandiser for a Chanel boutique. Then, finally came the time to express myself. I decided to build my own brand and half a year after its founding, I showed my first collection (F/W 2008/09) under my own brand, IVANOVA, on the main stage of Ukrainian Fashion Week.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion for me is, above all things, art. However, I always tried to create clothes which can be worn in the street - in real life. I find inspiration in people, in cities... I am a huge urbanist. The most wonderful part of my job is that I get to create style.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career in fashion?
The biggest lesson is to be persistent, work hard, look around with wide open eyes and put together a faithful team. The people around us, people who help us - it's half the battle. I always believe in the impossible. I discovered a big revelation - that dreams can come true!
How would you describe your brand? Tell us about your collections, fabrics, production, etc.
Thin plastic fabrics that are very comfortable with multiple layers, playfulness, complex colors, provocative appliqués, laconic forms, clear-cut compositions, comfort, expression of individual vision, of personal perceptions – these are all the main features of IVANOVA fashion.
My main qualities: control over everything that is happening, personal participation and absolute individuality.
The customers of the brand IVANOVA - girls who live in the midst of events, but they always find time to get pleasure from shopping and from clothing. They are not going to compromise and they choose clothes which are designed specifically for them.
Where do you go for inspiration? Who inspires you most in fashion?
My inspiration is always simply based on the things around me. We are the artists and we can see everything around us in unusual colors and forms. I can be inspired by a random song, a piece of bread on a plate, a puddle of gasoline at the pump - absolutely anything. There are also global occurrences that inspire me - for example, the resources of nature, which we use irrationally, peace in the world, and the fate of the jungles. My main inspiration is the Bible, which, for me, has the answers to all my questions.
I'm reading a lot and constantly monitoring new things from the worlds most prominent fashion personalities. But no one has such an impact on my designs, as the people around me - my friends. They are my muses.
Who do you think is the ideal woman for your brand?
The brand is favored by a motley coterie of young women who are curious and sophisticated: not necessarily fashion-driven, but with a strong identity and a personal vision. But IVANOVA loves girls who live in the midst of events, but they always find time to get pleasure from shopping and from clothing. They are not going to compromise and choose clothes that are designed specifically for them.
The IVANOVA woman is inspired by the simple things, but lives in the complex world.
How do big trends affect your collections?
Trends always revolve around the person you are. I'm living in a modern society, watching new movies, listening to music, looking around. And you can catch the trends every day if you are quite receptive. I think I covered such trends as gold and majestic blue, which are both now very fashionable, and things like the length and width of pants. IVANOVA’s white flared pants with cropped length became a bestseller right away after the show. Some sports chic, which became so popular, you can found in our latest collection, too.
Do you think the Internet helps or complicates the life of designers?
Сertainly, the internet helps! We can be more open to the world, to express ourselves and have a lot of friends and admirers worldwide. But it is also able to expose plagiarists in seconds, it's a big shame and really shows who is who.
Describe your working day? How it starts?
Often I start my day with a gym. As you know, work out usually helps to create new ideas and some decisions come to my mind. Then I go to the studio or to buy fabric. In general, I spend a lot time in the studio, I'm making plans, checking mail, drawing, watching the work of the tailors. Also, during the day I have a lot of meetings that I gold in the studio as a rule. We have a great atmosphere in our space and people love to come here.
In the evening I love embroidering and watching new movies at the same time. I'm a multitasker and often feel bored doing only one task at a single moment. Usually I do 2-3 tasks at the same time. Before going to bed , I plan the next day or, occasionally, sit daydreaming about my successful future!
What are the biggest difficulties in your creative routine?
The biggest problem is the lack of a serious fashion industry in my country. Everything is just beginning to emerge. It is very interesting, but very difficult. Ukrainian designers have to constantly confirm the existence, prove that they are on the level of global brands in the quality and creativity. The situation is gradually changing, but so far only in Kiev. So I always try to be a cosmopolitan and tell everyone about our people - interesting and creative ones. And my biggest success is yet to come in the future, I’m pretty much sure about that. It will be when I am able help solve at least one global problem through my work and creativity!