What’s good, America? GRAZIA USA asks fashion industry leaders and influential voices to share their secrets to a life well-lived: from the small delights of daily coffee orders to thought-provoking literature, and more complex topics like sustainability and social activism. Welcome to #GOODQuestions.
Here, we chat with fashion designer Svetlana Bevza about her Fall Winter 2021 collection unveiled during NYFW.
#GOODQuestions With Svetlana Bevza
How was the process of sourcing and designing different this season compared to past seasons?
Usually we source for new fabrics across the globe but this time we took this season as a challenge to concentrate on sourcing fabrics produced in Ukraine. For instance, our “fur” coat is made of hemp, grown and produced in Ukraine. Also, all handmade pieces are made of wastes from fabrics of previous seasons.
Who or what was the source of inspiration for the collection?
We continue to share an ethnic cultural heritage through collections and this time it refers to a significant figure in Ukrainian history – regent /knyahynya/ Olga. In the 10th century, when women’s rights were not taken into account, she already ruled the country competently and strongly. Olga possessed a tremendous ability for strategic thinking and planned all her actions explicitly and prudently. Hence, this collection is about the power of a woman, her wisdom, and beauty.
Do you have any day of show rituals that bring you good luck?
Those I keep in secret. But one of most important rituals that I’d mention here is to sleep well before the day of the show.
What’s your favorite look or piece from the collection and why?
White balaclava. It’s the key symbol of this collection
Who is the woman you design for? Who is your muse?
Every self-defined woman with her own strong vision and unique path is a muse for me. I design for women who dare to live life full of creativity, wisdom, and freedom.
What measures did your team take to work efficiently but stay safe while producing this collection? How has COVID-19 affected the way that your brand has approached fashion week and the presentation of new collections?
We took risks to work from home for all the executive team and with flexible schedules for the production team. Fortunately, it worked well. Due to lockdown limitations, we even understood how to simplify many production, logistic, and administrative processes. Furthermore, experience of virtual shows became a brand new creative and inspiring process.
In what way do you hope your collection makes a positive impact?
We emphasize the significance and role of women in history, which is conveyed through the prism of cultural heritage. The new collection represents unique feminine power. It’s not about equality, it’s about the fact that in addition to stunning female beauty, women possess courage and strength.
Do you think it’s important virtual shows recreate the vibe of a show or create an entirely new experience?
I think both sides are important. Virtual shows are different from a real runway but I think that it can become an art itself. Any approach is good if it’s good.
Were there any experiences or lessons that you’ll take away from this unique season?
Surely! We have crystallized a lot of inside processes in Bevza.
Tell us about a favorite fashion week memory.
One of the most memorable moments was when I met and chatted with Anna Wintour on the day of the final event of the Vogue International Contest. The second thrilling moment was the first Bevza show at New York Fashion Week.
What were you watching most while designing this season?
During the process of creating the new collection, I researched scientific and historical literature about /knyahynya/ Olga. For instance, in the Lavra Library in Kyiv, I can spend hours and be inspired. I also watched The Color of Pomegranates and Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Sergei Parajanov, studying the origin of the Ukrainian national costume.
Current fave songs you listened to while working on this collection?
It was actually an investigation that I intended it to be. The show soundtrack is based on the well known motif of Christmas song Shedryk that is known all around the world as a folk song. But it was actually written by Ukrainian composer, Mykola Leontovych, in 1916. We put the main motif of the song on the contemporary canvas.
What’s your morning routine? What’s the first app you open each day?
I wake up, kiss my kids and husband, prepare my son for school, and we all have breakfast. That’s how the day begins. The first app I open is Instagram.
Who in your life brings you good vibes and positive energy every day?
My son Marc and my daughter Anna. I see love every time I look in their eyes. This fills me with absolute happiness.
What makes your day go from good to great?
The results of the day. It’s when I do something (finish the project) and think like “wow, I really did it.” When I realize that I did something bigger than I could imagine yesterday.
Quote you love?
A quote I love is “beauty will save the earth.”
Best news of the year for you so far?
Sometimes, no news is the best news. 2020 was a unique time to rethink values, meanings, and plans globally. The best for me was the time spent with my family.
What won’t you miss about last year?
I definitely won’t miss lockdowns and my son’s online learning. I won’t miss closed borders, the inability of foreign business trips and traveling.
What’s the last good book you read?
Ruthless Management by Dan Kennedy.
What helps you connect with your inner grace and goodness?
When I ask myself questions, like “Do I really like it?” “Will it harm anyone?” “Do I bring values?”
What is your fave recipe to make?
Everything that is made from produce I grew in my garden. What can be more delicious than morning salad of cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and dill, slightly salted and drizzled with olive oil? Only a salad of tomatoes that you picked up from your garden 15 min ago.
Define what a good life means to you.
A good life is when you live hand in hand with your intuition.
What is the last thing you do before bed?
I kiss my family.