What’s the common point between Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth II and Coco Chanel? They were all women of visions, not afraid to take the lead and defend their opinions against all odds. They also dressed extremely well with a very distinctive and refined style. This is not a surprise if Victoria Andreyanova took inspiration from these female leaders for her fall/winter 2019 collection.
In 25 years, the eponymous brand established itself as one of the most prestigious fashion houses in Russia and is regularly featured in major publications such as Vogue, or l’Officiel. Victoria Andreyanova dresses strong-willed women who choose to be confident and make their voices heard with unique designs.
We had the honour to have an intimate talk with its founder in Moscow. Read the interview to learn more about her statement-making brand.
Could you tell us more about your brand and your heroine?
I have an eponymous brand: my parents chose my name, and I got my last name when I said yes to my husband. Victoria Andreyanova is me.
My heroine lives in a big city, in a concrete jungle, as people like to say. She doesn’t have enough hours in a day, she wants to be successful and feminine. My clothes beautify women turning them into authentic and unfeigned beautiful ladies. My brand does not only hold values but also has a mission: prevent women from hiding themselves and give them the courage to change the world.
Could you tell us more about the challenges you encountered while building your brand?
My brand was created at the turning point of an era. A huge challenge was the deficit of fabrics. Today’s young designers can hardly imagine how difficult it was to create clothes when you needed fabrics, buttons or threads but couldn’t find any. We came out of the economic isolation with the country; we grew up, in the turbulence of economic crises. I am often asked what is the secret of the survival of my project. I believe it is energy. My internal energy, my powerhouse. My team is also a big force. All of this led me to call my brand by my name. Sometimes it’s a train that moves on rails, sometimes a rocket, which has no obstacles. Sometimes it’s a car that urgently needs repairs. But we do not stop and do not even consider this possibility. And we are very thankful that everything has gone well so far.
Where do you take your inspiration to create your collections?
My source of inspiration is a blank sheet of paper. And then everything that happens in my life: I may be tired after a 14 hours day and draw all night. I can hug a horse in a park and draw sketches of new pants. Exhibitions, the taste of cranberry marshmallow, the weather, the album of the Prado Museum, the serene sea, lyrical songs. My friends endlessly inspire me – I admire them. I am fully inspired by my life and its details. And when I want to complain, I think about how blessed I am.
What makes your brand unique?
What makes each of us unique? The shape of our eyes, our way of thinking, our unique journey in life. I respect this uniqueness, and to me, it is more important than what a person is wearing. When I draw clothes, I don’t think about what I am drawing but I think about people, about my heroes. And somehow, people who buy my clothes and take them home always become happier. As long as it stays like that, my work is not vain.
What is your favourite design?
I have two things in mind. The first one my daughter. I believe that everything is beautiful in her. To speak about fashion, this coat is my favourite design. You can’t imagine how many details there are in it. Do you know how many small and large pieces of fabric we had to put together, to get the design the perfect fit on shoulders? Dozens! And I am proud that the best masters of the country work with me.
What is your favourite fabric?
I love wool for its wide variety. For coats, it can be dense, warming, with a soft cloth. For knitting, it is sometimes a little caustic, volume, and light. For dresses, it is delicate, precious, cool. Mix the fibre with cashmere, viscose, silk, and you will get many variations, open up unprecedented properties. Wool is the Queen of fabrics.
What is your favourite colour?
Dark blue. Deep as the night sky. Born from many shades of blue. It goes well with any colours. Shimmering in the light. Business and evening. In my collections, there is a lot of dark blue designs, and it will always be like that.
What is the city that inspires you the most?
Moscow, the city where I grew up and currently live. Paris, the city where I will spend more time as I will learn French. Well, if I speak French, I will often confess my love to all the towns of Bretagne. And plant a pear tree there. And a cherry tree.
What is your philosophy in life?
“Everything is interconnected, and all things tied together all over like rain connecting everybody the world over by chain touch.” as said and felt Jack Kerouac. I want to be involved in this rain, which will change someone’s life for the better.
What advice could you give to women willing to start their own business?
You will have a thousand reasons not to start. And a million reasons to stop halfway. All this in order to have the opportunity to prove how serious your intentions are. And one day you’ll wake up absolutely happy knowing that your business, like a bud, turned into a beautiful flower. This moment is worth it.