Interview: Yvailo Serafimov
About Yvailo Serafimov
Born in 1984, Yvailo Serafimov is an unexpectedly well-blended combination of a MA graduated accountant, an ex-student in Fashion Marketing and a fashion designer by his heart. Coming to the character, he characterizes himself as predominantly a #FEELINGHAPPY individual with a firm set of positive values in life:
- Health which translates with a vegetarian diet and intense exercise to keep me fit and stress-free. Strong body results in a strong spirit;
- Family – my essential foundation in life. It still teaches me about respect, love, hierarchy and to appreciate each other the way we are;
- Great partner. One plus one equals two, not one whole. And two are always stronger than one, especially bonded with love.
- Nature – incredible by itself. Flowers, pets, wild-life animals, surreal sceneries, it’s an endless list. And Sun. Sun is vital to everything alive.
- ECOlogy, not EGOlogy, my second nature as Earth is our one and only home. Our knowledge doesn’t mean more rights but more responsibility: resolving nature’s problems instead of creating. My hashtags: cycle, recycle, compost, carry tap water, use fabric bags, have a garden even in a pot, be a conscious consumer. Quality over quantity. Definitely against animal testing. And of course, happy vegan clothing!
About the brand
YVAILO is a project of the future. A bold fashion brand with vivid storylines and daring collections that surprise every season. We know what we do – not just clothes, some dull garments collected in a range, but standout products with standout stories that provoke women to dress up. Conscious designer clothing, sleek and feminine that fits and feels a bit naughty, yet practical but stylishly fun. Because who says eco cannot be damn seductive?
So no-fur-no-leather? A #FEELINGHAPPY yes. “Fur” and “leather” are excluded from our style dictionary and left where they belong to, on their owners. Animals are treated with respect, protected with a donation through every purchase made. Fashion can have a much deeper meaning than a full shopping bag. Clothes can bring more than just feel-good-on-the-skin emotions. They can give this same feeling to our wildlife.
In a digital mobile evolution we think globally, but we dress the individuals, those unique enough to stand out from the fashion masses and the ones who believe firmly in the new fashion as we do. Because 21st century brand no longer speaks with the products it offers. Neither with the lifestyle it promotes with them. It is with the values it stands firmly behind. Because luxury is the possibility to think brightly about the future without sacrificing the present.
Official website: www.yvailo.com
Instagram : www.instagram.com/yvailo/
Facebook : www.facebook.com/myyvailo/
When and how did you decide that you wanted to be a designer?
It will sound trivial but since I was six I wanted to be a fashion designer. I still remember my childhood days drawing models all day long – not the girls, but the clothes of the girls. Later on, my parents pushed me into accounting in my teenage years – completely the opposite to fashion design. Yet I am grateful for that as it gave me a full understanding of the business side of fashion and yes, despite all creativity, it is first and most of all – business. No sales, no collections – is that simple.
Was it your dream job?
It has always been. Imagine – BA and MA degree in accounting, 8 years of work experience and yet still applied for a fashion design course at London College of Fashion. And this part of my character, that stupidly stubborn perseverance I am very proud of. Despite all these years and changes it still led me to my dream goal – to become a fashion designer.
What was the first thing you designed and for who?
There is never such a thing as first design. It is the whole collection and the vision at once : the clothes, the look, the silhouettes, the details, the feeling, the mood, the message and most of all – the story of the collection. The stories start much in advance – sometimes as far as three years in advance before we start the project. It is the story that leads me to the core of the collection. However, no matter how different the stories are in between, a collection always has to obey to three words : sleek/feminine/damn provocative.
Who’s designs do you admire most of all and why?
Alexander Mcqueen, without a single doubt. Such talent is born only once in a lifetime and his vision and tailoring skills knew no boundaries. He didn’t have to speak – the clothes did instead. I still remember the Savage Beauty exhibition at V&A – it was mind blowing. It gave a fraction idea of what was in his mind and yet it felt so dramatically scary and magically fascinating at the same time. His shows were one off. He really succeeded in that clothes are more than just pieces with price tags.
Whom do you find your muse, your icon, while creating your work?
The girls from our stories. They are my muses. They are the ones that inspire me most. The way they look, the way they talk, the way they stand out – this really influences me during the design process. At the end with the clothes,they manage to say their message to the world.
If you would have to design an entire collection using just one color, which would be that one and why?
Red. It is the color of love. The color of passion. The color of statement. The color of war. The color of blood. Riccardo Tisci just did his final collection for Givenchy, but we are not afraid of being accused of ‘copying inspiration’. We had the idea over a year ago and our project will look completely different from Givenchy. It is too early yet to speak about. When the times comes closer, then we have a word.
Who is the first person whom you show your sketches to?
My business partner. As I carry the vision for every project, it is through the sketches and fabrics I manage to translate my ideas to him, which as he is very business oriented, helps me to explain the concept behind every collection. Despite the fact I talk him through quite in advance every time before we start, there is always a surprise moment when I show him the color palette and silhouettes line. That first reaction always guides me if I am on the right track or not.
The fabric that you love most of all and why?
The one that looks great, feels good on the skin and most of all, it is durable and requires little maintenance. There is no need to say it has to be cruelty-free, right. As we all have to be eco-conscious so we can speak about the bright future of our Earth without hesitation. Washable, recycled and recyclable, long-lasting, breathable, are all boxes that have to be ticked off by modern fabrics. Otherwise, where is the progression in fashion – the 2nd biggest industry in the world after oil that produces the most waist?
If your creations would have a soundtrack, which one would you choose?
Every collection comes with a story. And every story comes with songs as inspirations behind it. They are mostly Bulgarian modern pop-folk songs which in a way manage to pull strings in my imagination towards every story line. They definitely bring whole plots for a collection.
Do you have any trick to avoid that “blank page” moment while you are at the beginning stage of designing a new collection? Do you watch a movie, or read an old magazine?
Touch wood, I have not experienced any ‘blank pages’ yet. Maybe it is the fact that we plan a collection much further in advance and by the time the deadline starts, we have already given the time for the ideas to ‘ripe’ properly.
If not a designer which direction would you choose in the fashion world and why?
Probably fashion buying as in a way it requires creativity and you work closely with the design team if it’s made in-house. I know I could be a good fashion merchandiser due to my strong numerical background from accounting, but this is something I would avoid doing on most occasions. If one day I have to switch from fashion design and that moment will come too, I will dive without hesitation in to nature. Nature is the place where you can find the true meaning of ‘unconditional love’ and ‘stress-free life’. It is our natural, primal and only home.