When did you start Masha Maria and why?
I started Masha Maria 2 years ago. Well, I have been passionate about fashion since I was a child and wanted to do a Bachelor in fashion as my 1st degree but it took me many years of working as account manager and then art director to finally start sewing and taking pattern making lessons. And in 2018 I registered Masha Maria as a business. I believe that all these years of doing other things, helped me. to make my mind very clear about why, what and how I want to communicate with my fashion brand. I want to make beautiful, playful garments for everyday life. I am sure that you have heard this line before, but my twist is up-cycling, finding different ways to create new from something already existent.
Where do your draw your inspiration from?
Textile and vintage pieces from 1940s-1980s. I love getting inspired by the fashion designers from the past, as they really have experimented with shapes and patterns, but I always love to adapt the shapes for the contemporary style of living as nowadays we have completely different daily routines and clothing should give you liberty to move around.
But coming back to the textile - for me color, texture and the way the textile drapes is certainly the beginning of the garment. I believe it is really important to think of the shape only in the context of which textile you are using. Being a graphic designer really shows off in the way I use the color. I have actually even made a statement to myself never to make a garment in black.
How much do you consider the sustainability of a product when your are designing it?
It is everything in my design process. My whole research around which next fabric I can use is always about where it comes from, how sustainable it is.
There are so many ways to do upcycling- from the upcycled yarn, repurposed fabric to reusing an already ready garment. For me, finding these new ways of reusing the fabric is very inspiring and an addidtional challenge that helps me move forward.
We think a lot of people have a different take on sustainability, how would you define it ?
Totally agree with this. I believe many people are using this correct word because they know this is what customers want to hear, but everyone has a different idea behind it. For me being sustainable, is working within limitations and boundaries. It means creating a collection that won't be harmful for our natural and also social environment: producing limited numbers, working without a principle of NEW COLLECTION following the trends but more of adding and mixing the styles every year without having items from the OLD collection but having A COLLECTION. Of course, it is the textile, how its been made, zero waste principle in cutting so you use as maximum as possible from what you have in hands. So being sustainable to me is being present and conscious about the way the garment is created.
What are your top three picks from The Sample Room?
I am a huge fan of dresses, so I would go for this gorgeous metallic blue one:
then this silk pastell pink one
and this simple but so unique top with big buttons
When you are not doing Masha Maria what are you doing?
I still work as a freelance graphic designer/art director/producer. I love film black and white photography, my camera is always with me.
I am an absolute frick for the art house movies as well. And I am learning new languages all the time. Now it is my French period.
The Corona virus has highlighted our need to change the way we do business is this something you have found with Masha Maria and have you consequently had to change anything?
Well, I think the main lesson that I have learned last year is to count only on myself, no retailers, no promoters - it is just you and your customers directly. I think it is honestly the best way of learning how and what you want to communicate with your brand. Transparency and being honest in sharing what you stand for are priceless now and always.
Top 5 lockdown activities?
French, going to the seaside, designing new garments for the future collections, reading books and connecting with more like minded people around the world thanks to the present technology.