SVETLANA UZUN | INTERVIEW
Hello, Svetlana! Personally, I know you as a very talented stylist. Please tell us what was it, exactly, that led you to create your own clothing line?
I think, perhaps it would be better to start with the question about how I became a stylist. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been drawing and sewing outfits for my dolls. I began to watch Fashion TV channel once it started broadcast in our area, and in those days no one even new about the existence of such a profession as a «STYLIST».
Later, when i was getting my degree in “Fashion Design”, I became interested in style and learned this “profession”, if this word is applicable to such a creative process.
Working as a stylist has opened new horizons for me in understanding the image, the value of its elements as a metaphor, and visual formula. I’ve come a long way as a designer, but working as a stylist helped me to understand the market with all its extensive competitiveness on the one hand, and its local weaknesses on the other. It helped me to study customer demands, understand my unique skills and identify my target audience.
The “Fétiche” project is not my first design project. Before that, there were some startups, competitions, shows… But this project has a personal value for me. It is something more conscious, what I do with understanding of my place in this market and with a desire to show my personal development.
Please, tell us more about yourself and your creative development.
I can say that I was born to be a designer – it’s my calling. Although at first I saw fashion as a theatre performance. I was not a fashionista at all.
As a child, I was curious about dolls which I can dress up. At an older age dolls were replaced by people, whose internal essence can be expressed through a visual image, with all their positive features, vices and roughnesses.
As I said, I wasn’t a fashionista, and therefore there was no need to stand out, but at the same time I was never afraid to experiment with my appearance. I had no fear to seem funny or be misunderstood – I have an incurable allergy to the concept of “correct appearance”.
Already during the training, first as a designer, later – as a stylist, I I started working in places that are related to history and costume. In the beginning – in theatres and cinemas, and later – on television, in advertising and in magazines. And I’ve always had individual clients, with their unique requests and needs. Now I have reserved the right for individual orders, but the time for this is becoming less and less.
Who do you design your clothes for? Who Is your ideal customer?
Working as a stylist, I have never followed the artificial rules. With experience in this field, I know that none of them works even at 50%, when it comes not to the public image, but the image of a real person. My approach to the client is premised on the feeling of the person, his world, his DNA. It is the material to be translated into the language of lines, shapes, textures, colors, color spots, contrasts and nuances – symbols to describe the “image”. The attempts to classify and rationalize the image are the attempts to simplify everything. This is an unforgivable mistake when dealing with a real person. His inner world dictates the palette itself! The only rule I’ve never ignored was the appropriateness of the circumstances, a kind of dress code for the situation.
The result of such work is always expressive, adequate to the requirements of time and comfortable for the client. And only such an approach helped me to find creative, but harmonious solutions and combinations which are impossible “to think up” – they can only be felt intuitively. This led me to my target audience as a designer.
My clients are people with the understanding of themselves, who have the courage of self-expression and receiving pleasure from it. These are people without stereotypes in their heads who are opened to the world and to themselves. Most of them are open-minded rebels who live in movement and appreciate comfort in their clothing. Unsurprisingly, almost always these people have their own business, because it is also a way of self-expression, self-realization. And, of course, all of them love to mess around!
What inspires you to be a designer?
I’ve always found inspiration in people. In relations with them, relations with the peace (or war) which they carry. I am always painfully impressionable, and tend to overreact to energy movements. It’s often not only delightful, but also inadequately traumatic for me, but at the same time it’s always the strongest push to the creativity.
All my experiences are my invariable source of creative energy. But I think this is the cyclical meaning of creativity and art in general – emotions encourage creativity, the subject of creativity causes feelings and emotions…
What fabrics do you prefer to work with?
My main requirement for the fabrics is their beauty and quality. This is the fabric that you see, touch it and it gives you an image! This is very important! At the moment, my fetish and favorite in the pantheon of muses is denim. Because it is the most exquisite of the hooligan fabrics.
Do you implement your ideas yourself? Or someone else involved in the process?
I control the production of my own ideas for the brand with my name at all stages. Clothes are produced in the laboratory where I personally conduct all the fittings. All the changes and nuances from tailoring to the processing options that are needed to be made are under my control. And, of course, I choose all fabrics, threads and accessories. All of this is my “intellectual property”, but it is produced by the other people in a special production.
Our readers are interested, where your production is located?
At the moment, the brand cooperates with 2 relatively large productions in Moscow. Such well-known Russian designers as Alexander Terekhov, Vika Gazinskaya and sisters Ruban produce their collection on them. Creation of the reference samples is most often carried out in the laboratory in the Moscow region. There we have the opportunity to make a detailed study of the product from design to finishing details.
How do you promote the brand?
Today «Uzun» is represented in the showroom MVfashionlab (mv.fashionlab IG) in Moscow, in the elite complex near a metro station Novoslobodskaya. I have known this brand since its foundation and cooperated with it as a stylist.
After the birth of “Fetish” by Uzun, MV founder Valeria Kovalevskaya invited me to join forces and to work in collaboration. MVfashion is a trendy and elegant classic, which suits to an any wardrobe, even the most informal one, because in the combination with other clothes any style gets a special charm and a unique sound. We are very different, but we are together!
We have joint plans to develop each brand as an independent unit. Now we are actively developing our pages in the social networks. We have big plans to implement in multi-brand retailers in Moscow, Kazan, and even begin to look towards Europe. But at first it will be enough to increase the volume of internal transformations to reach a new level.
What clothes do you prefer to wear yourself?
‘Uzun’ clothes are my way of self-expression. Since the creation of the brand, I actually no longer need to buy something else exept shoes. And now MVfashionlab became a part of my life, which blends in and complements my appearance. Uzun and MV are 2 ingredients from which I create my look.
What are your creative plans for the near future?
To create and work! To work and create! We have very big plans for the spring for both ‘Uzun’ and ‘MV’.
I cross my fingers to catch everything in time, but I understand that everything will turn out in the version that is optimal and necessary at the time. I also dream to have a family. My own big family…
Please say a few words to readers of the PURPLEHAZE Magazine
I wish myself and all people on the Earth to believe in the energy of the universe, to feel her mother’s support and protection. It was a great discovery for me! I thank all the people, who have ever appeared in my life helped me to come to this realization, which really changed my life!
And thank you, Irina, for the opportunity to share it with the readers of the PURPLEHAZE Magazine!