We’re glad to introduce our readers Mul Olga, one of our most sold brands.
Roberta, our head of communication, interviewed the designer at By Adushka Summer Party, where all the team had the chance to know her better. We can say that she’s one of the most strong and inspiring people we could have in the team.
Let’s figure out how By Adushka founder met her for the first time...
Karin Kämpf was looking to work with Ikat pattern textiles and clothes. While browsing online, she found Olga Mul and reached out to her on Instagram. Since Karin happened to be in Italy on a family vacation, Olga invited her to stop in Milano on her way back to Switzerland. Karin arrived and found Olga in one of those signature charming small courtyards that you can find only in Italy, with a rack of clothes, a beautiful antique mirror and some flowers arranged for the presentation.
She was so touched by the creative spirit and enthusiasm Olga owned and of course once she started looking at the clothes, she fell in love with Olga Mul's work. What helped of course was that Karin and Olga immediately hit it off, both sharing a quirky personality so much passion for sustainability and craftsmanship, storytelling, authentic culture and traditions.
Roberta: Who is Olga Mul?
Olga: I define myself “a child of the world", a woman who lives and creates with no boundaries and rules. I was born in Ukraine. My mom has Polish origins while my dad is half Austrian, half German. I lived in Germany and later married in Italy. My life is of a true nomad, which means that freedom is very important to me and is my main inspiration in my work. I think there should be no boundaries in anything. My aim was to collaborate with foreign countries; in fact today I get fabrics from Uzbekistan and from the Middle East and I can say that my dream has come true.
How was your brand born?
As a child, I remember cutting and experimenting with my mother’s clothes, but all I did was ruin them, because in reality I didn't have the skills to create something concrete. Yet, I never stopped trying and I invested a lot of passion, time and work, persevering and studying till today, when I can say this is my job.
It makes me laugh to think that being so young one can already have a very good idea of the future, and that's exactly how it was for me. My brand already existed, I just had to figure out how to make it come true.
Do you think sustainability is becoming a way of life? Or are people still a long way from it?
I think sustainability is still far from the everyday lifestyle. The fashion business is a monopoly and "big brands" will never become fully sustainable. It would be a contradiction because there is are so much economic interests.
But at the moment you're becoming really popular and a lot of fashion insiders are trying to get their hands on your designs. It means what you do resonates with people. Why do you think that is?
People buy my clothes not because they are sustainable, but because of the colors, the shapes and even the fact that they are so different. My mission is to make them understand that they are not just buying a product they like, but they are supporting old traditions and skills, the cultural heritage, which can be soon forgotten. I want to educate my customers about our history and how people used to live and make fashion without creating environmental crises! For example the Adràs fabrics are my favorites, because one dress can be reused several times instead of renewing your wardrobe every season. It is one piece you can reuse and re-style in many different ways.
In fact, that’s why my pieces have no sizing and don’t belong to one season only. They are unisex and suitable for everyone! People have to understand that in our own way we all have the power and responsibility to make little changes that count; start by being aware of what you do, what you buy, what you wear.
Tell us more about the Adràs fabrics.
The Adràs fabrics are natural organic silk and cotton fabrics, known by interior and fashion designers, and fine furniture makers worldwide. Handmade by Uzbek craftsmen, using 19th century old techniques, many of these fabrics are intricately weaved and naturally dyed, featuring motifs depicting Uzbek nature, customs and beliefs. The interesting part is that these fabrics are unique because using all natural dyes and a resist dyeing process, tiny cotton pieces are fitted over threads before placing threads into the dye pot. Those spots resist the dye and give ikat fabric thread a singular nature.
You can find amazing stories from the ancient silk road and my goal is to preserve them, keeping this sacred tradition alive, especially in Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the Middle East, the countries I work with at the moment.
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to undertake a path from scratch?
Look at the stars, not the earth. Just look up and don't listen to anyone who is trying to stop you. If you have clear ideas from the start, there will always be someone who will follow you. If there is commitment and dedication, sooner or later you will succeed.
Interview by Roberta de Martino