Olga: 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.
Roberta: Tell us more about the Adràs fabrics.
Olga: 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.
Roberta: What advice would you give to a young person who wants to undertake a path from scratch?
Olga: 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.
By Roberta de Martino