DESIGNERS TO WATCH: VICTORIA/TOMAS
Paris as an ever inspiring fashion metropolis is the base of designer duo VICTORIA/TOMAS, founded by a married couple working and living in fashion already making a mark on the fashion scene. Their independent fashion line VICTORIA/TOMAS was founded five years ago, and from this year is the part of the official Paris Fashion Week schedule. Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzin few days after their Paris Fashion Week show sit down with DESIGN SCENE Fashion Features Editor KATARINA DJORIC to talk about their beginnings, their work dynamic – both as business partners but also as a married couple, as well as what future holds for them.
At what point did you realize fashion could be your career?
V: When we launched our brand, we contacted several showrooms in Paris to get the opinion from professionals before making the first samples. We received replies from two known showrooms and met them. Both of them were interested in representing our brand and confirmed that we should realize the collection. After we presented our first collection in one of the showrooms, we received orders from 5 stores, including Isetan Mitsukoshi in Tokyo. At that moment we realized that this can actually work and we should follow the flow.
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What was your first, real fashion moment?
T: We can talk about first ”fashion moment” in business, which was the first cooperations with stores. But if we talk about our personal achievement, like a ”dream came true”, it’s when we got our clothes in Colette. I would also mention our first show in official Paris Fashion Week calendar, this September, that was a huge moment in fashion for us!
What are your main sources of inspiration?
T: Me and Victoria, we had very different interests and characters in the beginning and we always find the sources of inspiration in this, first of all… With time we found a balance between my, more sub-cultural lifestyle and Victoria’s, which is more calm, artistic and controlled. VICTORIA/TOMAS is a contrast between something very girly and boyish. Rebel and innocent. It is the opposites that create a certain harmony. We like the idea of real clothes, which are desirable for modern women. So the first thing that comes to our mind is – how can we make something special out of something that already exists in women’s wardrobes. Or also, how can we use and re-construct the men’s wardrobe to adapt to women’s.
So, could you tell us more about your creative process.
V: The most important thing in our process is talking. We always start the new collection with a huge analysis of what we did before and what is happening currently around us, not only in fashion. We talk a lot before we start working on new designs. We don’t do illustrations or a lot of sketches. First we have a clear idea of what we want, after we make a really quick sketch and then we work straight with the fabric.
What is the one thing that makes your label stand out from the crowd?
T: Unabated dialogue between man and woman. And Love [laughs].
Fashion is a very competitive industry. Have you ever had moments when you wanted to quit?
T. We were very young when we started the brand. We had no experience, skills and contacts. In the beginning we were just two kids who wanted to do something personal and be independent. It was a lot of ups and downs on our way, especially when your passion transforms into business, which in the beginning is extremely unstable…There were hard moments associated with money, as we were investing our own. But I think if we ever wanted to quit, we would quit. We always wanted to find the solutions and prove ourselves that we can handle it.
How much your love for art influences your designs?
V: I finished two art schools, but I can’t say that art influences our designs directly or that we are followers of specific art movement. We never have any literal reference of what inspires us… It is more about mixing all of our current interests in one single ”bouquet” and making it look connected.
Do you think there’s a specific type of woman who buy your clothes?
T: We know that our client is very different. They are different physics, different interests and nationalities. We already crossed a very pretty woman size 40-42 who wore our shirt. Our very good friend, she is Australian and she has a jersey dress from us and she crossed a girl from China who wore the same dress and they crossed in Portugal…Our moms, who are very different, rocks our clothes. We can see interest from variety of beautiful and interesting women and this is the best compliment that designer can get.
What’s the best thing working together and how do you separate work from every-day life?
V: Our everyday life is completely merged with our work. And we absolutely love it. We are married and we have the same targets. What can be better than this…?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Don’t be too serious.
And finally, as designers, how do you see yourselves growing in the future?
T. We are still young, we want to enjoy every step of building our company, despite the fact that this business is overflowing with new brands. We want to grow sustainably and one day become the new classics.
For all the latest from VICTORIA/TOMAS visit www.victoriatomas.com
Special thanks to Anne-Lou Tiddu at Station Service.
Images from VICTORIA/TOMAS SS18 Collection