Fashion Magazine

Introducing: Alesya Orlova

By Lesassorties @LesAssorties

Ukraine-born Hamburg-based handbag designer Alesya Orlova initially entered the world of design as an interior designer – she holds a degree on Spatial Design from AMD Academy Fashion & Design in Hamburg, Germany. After a few years working in the field, she moved into handbag design launching her eponymous label of leather handbags for women entirely handmade in Germany. Her first collection debuted with the “Supernova” clutch inspired by the story of Russian model Natalia “Supernova” Vodianova, who stepped out of poverty in Russia and achieved international stardom, released in subtle pastel colors adorned with textured details. Along with the “Geo” structured bucket bag, these two pieces quickly attracted worldwide attention inspiring the designer to expand her collection. We sat down with Alesya to discuss shifting careers, running her business and getting the word out for her brand internationally.

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What made you switch from interior design to handbag?

Becoming a handbag designer was my childhood dream. I was born in the former Soviet Union where all goods in stores were the same. There was only one kind of a doll, and all the children had it. It was the same with bags; there was only one design available, and everyone carried it. Everything was geared towards mass production. I started making my first bags at 14. While I was visiting Kiev, I had eyes only for the bags. I was always fascinated by the people who dressed differently.
Before I started studying Interior Design, I studied Music in Kiev. Then I moved to Germany, and I knew that was the right moment to begin my life, so I decided finally to study design. Initially, I was not sure whether I should study fashion or interior design. I always wanted to make bags, but, unfortunately, Germany is not the right place to learn the craft. I eventually decided to study interior design in order to learn more about design process in general. After I finished my studies, I worked for several interior architecture offices in Hamburg. But the desire to create tactile objects you can wear and feel their texture made me decide to launch my own brand of women handbags.

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How has your background contributed to your design process?

As a former interior designer, I am mostly inspired by contemporary architecture, flowing shapes and curving appearance. I never start the design process with sketches; I need to work immediately with 3D shapes.

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What do you consider your biggest milestone?

My biggest milestone has been the decision to embark on this adventure in the fashion world. I vividly remember; it was Sunday, and my husband and I were having breakfast. I was deep in my thoughts, and then it just clicked. I said to my husband: “I have decided to design bags.”

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Young designers seem to be sensitive to producing locally despite being more expensive. Why do you think that is?

You are right, as a young designer you start producing locally which may be more expensive. At the beginning, you care most about quality which, through local production, you are able to oversee better. But if you want to expand and be able to deliver bigger quantities, you should definitely outsource your production.

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How often do you introduce new designs into your line?

As a young brand started out with a debut collection, we plan to introduce new designs once a year.

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In your opinion, what are the key characteristics anyone should have to make it as an independent fashion designer?

I think that the main point is to be yourself and do what really makes you different from others. I mean each of us is unique, and has their own style. Also, it’s important to always improve yourself and be up-to-date. As a designer, you have be able to set a great example for you to follow.

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What is the hardest part of the design and production part for you?

Each part of the creative process has their own complexity. In my expirience, every step requires concentration and inner balance. To me, getting an excellent result means to be in a good mood and think positive thoughts.

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What’s next for Alesya Orlova?

At the moment, we are focused only on the German market, but our plan is to soon expand internationally.

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www.alesyaorlova.com
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