YEKATERINA IVANKOVA Interview

Fondazione Pistoletto

 

According to Yekaterina Ivankova, "every old, abandoned and non-reusable piece can become a must." Its philosophy consists of recovering clothes that are considered outdated and are thrown away, then selecting and rebuilding them according to personal paper models to give them shapes and make them attractive and unique again. "We have to learn to buy products when we need them," claims the designer, who in 2017, overcame the concepts of seasonality and gender with her brand, avoiding every classical categorization. "There must be a change in thinking," she adds. And this can happen only by opening the doors of our minds and hearts". That's why the name of her latest collection is Open. 

What distinguishes Yekaterina Ivankova from others?

"Our pieces are, and they will always be unique: each of them is the result of s recovering and restyling process and has an unrepeatable story to tell. For us, sustainability is the main value. Not surprisingly, we have also removed the label since the last collection. We want to proceed to put our planet at the center of everything, demonstrating that it is possible to create appealing clothes and that every old and abandoned piece can become a must". 

What is the news of this season?

"First of all, I don't follow seasons! With this collection, though, I am opting for a less oversized fit. Moreover, we have collaborated with Manteco by using both recycled fabrics and production waste".

Has the perception of upcycling changed since you started?

"Today people are more open-minded and more curious about the topic, whereas earlier they turned their noses to the idea of wearing recycled clothes."

Can wearing a recycled garment be a source of pride for those who buy it? 

We certainly have complete and a bit standardized wardrobes. Therefore I believe that today there is an intense desire for uniqueness. For those who make sustainability, it is the perfect moment, but it is fundamental to tell the customer what you are doing so that he/she can choose with awareness. 

How do you deliver your creations?

"Before this digital wave, everything was easier: my product has to be told, touched, tasted. Generally, we build our sales network without mediation because we like establishing personal relationships with our sellers. We are building our e-commerce, a platform to have direct contact with the audience, which is necessary today".

In which direction do you want to go?

"We want to create an internal sartorial production so we can follow it better and grow with a larger distribution and reinforcing the sustainable philosophy by using the largest number of scrap fabric."

Is there a piece of this collection that you particularly love?

"Coat, bomber, or trench, I always end up choosing an outwear. I started with these pieces, and I love them. However, with the latest Altaroma fashion show, I achieved the total look, and I'm glad of that".

Despite the pandemic, has anything made you happy this year?

"Even when it seems, there is nothing you can do, and you ask yourself - What now?- fashion is made of creative people who can always invent something new. Despite everything, shops have never stopped looking for me, and I'm pleased. I have privileged quality rather than quantity in recent years, and I think it was the right choice. 

 

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