With his sophisticated aesthetic, Petar Petrov has become Vienna’s favorite designer. Here, he discusses with our Editor Zarko Davinic how he pursues his design principles and future plans and shares advice for young fashion entrepreneurs.
The simplicity you showcase is implicit but not explicit. What would you say is the main design principle of Petar Petrov as a label?
I like to create emotions with my clothes, and I’m definitely not interested in opulence. To create clothes that are simple but cool is challenging, but I love challenges.
Some of the most hyper-exposed and endlessly photographed women, such as Kristen Stewart, Emily Blunt, and Kerry Washington, to name a few, choose Petar Petrov. When designing, who do you have in mind as the Petar Petrov woman?
The Petar Petrov woman is not defined by age. I am inspired by real women with character and attitude, such as that of my female friends. Their style and the way they live and enjoy their lives whilst still needing substance are a source of inspiration for me.
You presented your first fashion week collection in London. Today, do you believe a runway as the more traditional format is still necessary to showcase a collection?
It is difficult to say right now but to be honest, I really love the runway format. It would definitely be a pity if this disappeared.
How important is your design team to you in your Vienna atelier?
Of course, it is extremely important to me. The most important to me are the ongoing conversations with my design team, whereby they provide their unique points of view.
What are the Petar Petrov bestsellers?
This is not a particular category within the collections, but every season we have some key pieces that prove to be popular amongst consumers. However, I wouldn’t say this means that these are the best pieces in the collection.
When working on your collections, do you ever feel limited as a man designing womenswear?
I don’t see it like that. I find it essential to talk to women when I am designing. Almost my whole team are women, but I believe that it doesn’t matter if it is a man or a woman designing. Rather, it is a question of a particular sensibility, quality, and understanding.
Are there any plans in the future for a Petar Petrov menswear collection?
Oh yes. I wish we could do it sooner, but it takes time, and our women’s collection keeps us extremely busy.
Petar Petrov as a brand gives us a glimpse of your own way of thinking and sense of life in Vienna—the art, the lifestyle. How do you choose the inspiration for your collections?
I do not see Vienna as a direct source of inspiration. It is more about evolution and what is relevant and exciting for me at the moment, and how we can move forward and keep our desire to dress more interestingly.
As we are facing the ongoing horror of the war in Ukraine, how do you believe the fashion community can step up to help our fellow Ukrainian colleagues in the design and fashion industry?
This is a really difficult question, but I think it is entirely individual. I think we should help as much as we can, and if everyone helps even a little bit, it will all contribute to ending this suffering. I hope this war ends soon and that people can return to their beloved homeland.
What is your advice to the budding entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own fashion business?
Fashion is a challenging business; you must be strong and believe in yourself. You should be ready to fall down and get back up again, stronger than before. Learning and reflecting is our daily job. I learn something new every day. Even on the days when it requires a lot of energy, I really love the dynamic nature of the business.
Keep up with Petar Petrov on @petarpetrovofficial
Originally published in DSCENE Magazine’s Anniversary Issue.