Russian/Ukrainian architect-turned-fashion-designer Adriana Voloshchuk founded her namesake label in London in 2013. After graduating in 2010 with a degree in Architecture from Central Saint Martins, and a brief stint working for an architectural firm and interning for Michael Kors, Adriana felt it was time to carve her own path in the fashion design industry. Joined by her close friend and today business partner, Elena Todary, the duo has been steadily building their team and customer base – a girl looking for effortlessly stylish clothing that could take her through the day, and is not afraid of a striking pop of color. We caught up with Elena while the brand was preparing for their relaunch to discuss rebranding plans, their design inspiration and getting the word out about their label.
Have you always wanted to work in fashion? What does it feel like working in the industry?
As a young girl growing up, Adriana started designing dresses for herself because this concept was not on the market at the time. Wearing her own designs attracted a lot of attention from friends and strangers, and that is how she decided to launch the brand.
What prompted the decision of rebranding? What elements have you kept, what have you developed further, and what have you left behind?
We had plans to re-brand, or better said, simplify our brand name for a while. Following our team expansion as well as growing distribution in Central and Eastern Europe, we decided to bring it forward. We really wanted to emphasize our London base and AV’s international and multi-cultural team, and decided to announce the news with the launch of new Spring/Summer 2016 collection.
AV has evolved over the past two years. We still stick to our brand ethos to design contemporary, structured, architecture-inspired shapes and to cater for the effortlessly stylish London girl. Nevertheless, we learned that our customer is also seeking easy layering pieces to pair with more stand out and unusual designs or color combinations. Now the collection is complete, and looks more understated and sophisticated whilst keeping its contemporary feel.
You operate within a team. Tell us a bit about distributing responsibilities.
Every team member plays a tremendous part and gets involved in pretty much every side of the business. That is the beauty of working in a small team. For example, our designers are controlling every part of developing and production cycle, as well as taking part in all brand events, even marketing activities. Each day is never the same!
To what extent would you say is your work influenced by trends and what would people wear?
We design contemporary clothes that can effortlessly take one through her day to night. Color and trend analysis are an essential part of research for each season, and we do tend to pay closer attention to color palettes of any upcoming season. However, we always design with our customer in mind, what she would want to wear and feel confident as well as comfortable in, regardless of what current trends are.
What inspires your design work?
AV designs are always based around structured shapes. Having studied Architecture, Adriana and the team have greater appreciation for clean lines, and for most of the collection, inspiration starts with buildings and elements of interior design.
Do you do all promotion in-house or collaborate with showrooms to get the word out about your brand?
We do our sales and all projects in house. We tend to see most of our international clients at a trade fair in Paris during Paris Fashion Week. Last season, we attended Tranoi, one of the main and established fashion fairs in the world, and will most likely take our new Autumn/Winter 2016/17 collection there.
London Fashion Week has just ended. What are your views on how fashion week works and what it represents today?
London is the hub of creativity! Even though London Fashion Week is not necessarily the show that attracts most international buyers, it is certainly the one to find something different and daring, and to discover new talent.
Following Fashion Week, there is now a London Fashion Weekend packed with current season’s catwalks, trend talks and the biggest shopping popup events, representing many established and upcoming British designers. It is a truly unique experience that connects the industry with the consumer, an insider view if you like. AV London is thrilled to be part of the next session in February.
What is your ultimate goal for your brand?
Our goal is to establish AV London as an expressive and effortlessly stylish label with UK manufacturing at its heart!