My today's interview is with the designer and owner of the luxury brand of bags and leather accessories- Diana Ulanova. Amazing woman and designer that really creates amazing and unique bags!
Keep reading, guys!
M: How would you present yourself and your brand?
First of all, I am an artist, and it is inspiration that drives me when creating each of my looks. This is why scheduled season collections are not one of our options – we do not make them. Now, in the epoch of industrial design the prevailing number of items produced by global brands are aimed at the tasks of ergonomics and cost efficiency, which is probably why, gazing around, we see an environment deprived of individuality, emotions, spiritual meaning. I strive to make things that are emotional, complicated, living, with their vivid character. It is not occasionally that nature came as the main source of inspiration to me. The harmony of the forms and colours, plasticity and asymmetry of the lines – it all has already been created by nature, and my task is to see and transfer it to an object.
M: How did your business start and expand?
The ‘Carapace’ bag was the first bag that I made and it laid foundation to the ‘Carapace’ collection. It all started soon after my daughter was born… In that period I pursued a feeling of security and strength at the same time – these sensations found reflection in that very first collection. I made the bag for myself and by myself (just couldn’t find in stores what I had in mind!). Then showed it on the Internet – and virtually at once got a bundle of orders.
The work began: at first I sewed myself, but later rented premises, hired a team… and stared a business. It meant a huge amount of responsibilities, a need to be strong…
That was a time of becoming a 'Business Lady', while at the same time longing for tenderness, sensibility – this is how the ‘Flora’ collection came into existence, along with a collection very close to it, ‘Flowers’, with its models ‘Kingly Rose’, ‘Orchid’, ‘Leaf’ and others. Each collection is a ‘living’ collection: it is continually replenished by new bags. Moreover, personally I seek to make each bag in three variants: clutch, middle-size bag, large bag…
About a year I lived in Norway (my husband held a contract there), and it was there that ‘Antique’ collection was born much affected by the environment surrounding me: the rolling sea, the blowing wind… monumentality plus practical life. There I read a lot of about the period of antiquity, the art of that time – it is classics. The bags of that period are notable for ergonomic design, practicability, simplicity and flowing lines: the models ‘Antique’ clutch, ‘Antique’, ‘Mignon’, ‘Elephante’…
M: Where do you get the inspiration from to create so outstanding bags and accessories?
Absolutely anyhting may serve inspiration to me: a flower, a work of art, an emotion… In most cases, when I create a bag under individual order, I see the picture as a whole: the face, the character, hobbies, the style, the favourite colour palette. The more you know your customer, the brighter the idea you get for an item to-be, which is destined to become the reflection of the soul to her future host.
M: What are the materials you prefer to work with? And what are the technologies used in the production of the bags?
I work exceptionally with natural leather. This is the only material that makes it possbile to create really plastic and sculptural bags… Employing the technologic background that exists in the leather goods industry, it was difficult for us to bring our creative ideas into existence, so, by trial and error, we continually work out and master our own unique technology.
M: According to you what type of individuality do your bags signify for a woman and her nature? What do you want to say/express by making such a unique art?
Our brand is created for a woman who accepts her strong personality, striving for self-expression and harmony with Self. A bag is more than just an item from your closet it is her mood and her very particular way to make a statement to the world.
M: What are the most interesting and difficult challenges you have coped with?
The most difficult to me is to materialize the idea I keep in mind… It is where I face tachnological issues of immence complexity: working out the patterns (which can take us over a year’s time), searching for the right materials…
M: Have you received special orders for celebrities?
Actually, I’ve never inquired into who is making the order… To me, each and every of our customers is a celebrity, a star, so our task is to make her shine even brighter. This matters more to us than the sphere our customer works in.
M: Do you have a fetish?
No, I don’t worship inanimate objects.
M: What is your formula for success?
My formula of success is unconventional ideas, my friends and those I love and who come along that rather complicated but exciting way with me. Hadn’t it been for them I wouldn’t have had the courage to show my works to the world – not to mention the creation of own brand! The key to success is people, the talented people surrounding me, the people working with me and bringing our common creative ideas into existence.
M: What do you think of first when you hear the word Aesthetics?
Aesthetics is a complex of perceptions. There are many things affecting it, such as culture, social environment, historical epoch, fashion… This is why aesthetics can’t be considered a doctrine. It is a subjective notion. However the laws of harmony should be observed by the artist anyway.
M: Can we expect new projects and products from your brand?
We are at the very inception of our brand. Naturally, as we grow, our assortment will grow as well. So, it would be interesting for me to work with object environment, create interior design items… As not-too-distant a plan, we are going to make a collection of scarves to accompany our bags.
M: Which present would make you very happy and pleased?
This is the most complicated question. :) It’s difficult for me to give a definite answer. For sure it would something immaterial… for instance, vacation with my family on the seashore.
Text: Gabriela Tabakova for followMarietta