Maria Izvestkina was working in graphic design when she chose to pursue fashion. She now combines two passions for one profession. Her story can inspire other individuals who wish to change careers.
She says, “I’ve started in graphic design, but then soon realised that I wanted to try something else and be able to apply my graphic design skills within a different medium. I’ve always been interested in fashion and body, so naturally I was drawn to that.”
Her experience started during student years. “While studying and after graduating, I was interning and freelancing at a few places and doing my own little projects on the side – separately from the uni”. She practiced her craft through diverse places.
Full time working life steered her in a particular direction. “Later when I got my first job in the industry, I realised how valuable it is to keep working – keep creating, to practice and develop your skill.” Professional projects were allowing Maria to show off the commercial potential of her skills.
Her career blossomed. Although this seemingly glamorous industry is not always as easy as it seems. Maria says the biggest myth is, “people’s idea of what’s the job of a fashion designer is like.” There is serious work behind the scenes, “In reality [the work] is hectic, hands on.” It is a “job that you absolutely have to adore to be able to keep up with.” Maria is yet another designer who, when talking with Fresh Fashion, emphasised the importance of passion for one’s craft. You have to enjoy what you do.
Creative processes vary between designers. Maria enjoys experimenting with shapes. “For me fabric/material comes first and inspires me. I usually start playing with fabric first, silhouettes, shapes and only then can do some sketching. It’s easier for me to drape it than, let’s say, flat pattern making. Fashion is about volume, three dimensional shape.”
I hope to produce fashion that promotes self-expression and confidence in who you really are.”
This same method of experimentation can help, when adapting styles for diverse types of customers. “I think it’s important to know exactly who is your customer and make sure to meet her/his needs as much as you’re able to. It can vary from considering different occasions/ lifestyle choices to different interpretations of one look. As long as you know exactly who is she/he.”
Maria still works for both herself and others. The juggle is worth it. “It’s tough and time consuming, but very rewarding. To me, it’s one head space with two different approaches. But it’s important to have separate time for each.” Her professional experiences were with multiple mentors.
She still remembers the value that is gained from broadened professional experiences in design, “The more different projects I’m involved in, the more I learn and understand my industry.”
Social media presents opportunities for Maria’s collections to be shared in detailed storytelling, “I wanted to present my process, step by step and tell the story with each collection. We live at the time when images have great power – and if using it smartly, it can be very beneficial for emerging brands.”
Sizing is an issue in fashion. Maria suggests a simple way for consumers to feel comfortable in clothes, “I think it’s as easy as you have to feel good wearing it, both aesthetically and in terms of comfort.”
Maria best articulated this when talking to Geometric Skies, “I hope to bring fashion that is more experimental, that provokes a thought. I hope to produce fashion that promotes self-expression and confidence in who you really are.” These pieces are more than clothes – they are forms of identity.
She puts the responsibility onto fellow designers and creators, “I think it’s more important for fashion companies to be very particular with the fit of their product, and refit it as many times as needed during production process – in order to produce the garments that fits the consumer perfectly.”
This designer values sustainability, “I believe and hope towards more sustainable ways of clothing production… On a bigger scale, I think the environmental issues (like climate change and pollution) have influenced many designers from various industries. I think it’s great that there are more and more designers who consider sustainability in their work.”