Prive

DARIA & MARIA

Feeling inspired by designers ‘ stories today? Some of them make for pretty amazing editorials too. But don’t forget to consult your stylist before choosing what pieces to make yours this season: fashion is crazy

Daria and Maria Vasilievs are sisters. More, they are twins. But they are also business partners, as they co-own their eponymous fashion and jewelry brand, whose fast development has caught the attention of many, their unique jackets ruling the street-style social media circle during ss16 fashion weeks. Appreciated by Russian celebrities, bloggers and fashionistas all around the world, Daria & Maria’s creations are young, playful and a little too much – just as we like our stand-out pieces to be. Stand out is what these jackets are meant for, along with the designers’ jewelry line, whose inspiration draws from fairy tales to all things contrasting but – first of all – beautiful. De Choix chatted with Daria and Maria – currently based in the Andalusian city of Alicante – about their career, the struggles of setting up a business and how even if at times the path might look foggy, you should never forget where you’re going.

Daria&Maria

Daria and Maria, you are not only business partners but also sisters. Tell us a bit about your background.
Yes, it’s not that common to share and co-own a business and also be sisters. Plus, we are twins! We guess it must be because we’ve always got along with each other and understood each other perfectly since we were kids. This still helps us in our work. For example, if one of us comes up with a great idea, it’s usually the second one who develops it and brings everything to its finishing line. We’ve always enjoyed expressing ourselves and being the center of attention, which brought us to perform on stage – singing, dancing and acting – and probably set the ground for our common interested and the necessity to be creative which we still have a drives our business. We’ve both attended the same Art School as we wanted to fulfill what had become our strongest interest in our teens: drawing.

How did your passion for fashion begin and in which ways did you develop it?
Despite trying out many different disciplines such as singing and acting, we’ve always been painting, since we can remember. Our first attempts to sew also belong to the very first part of our lives: we remember how our Barbie dolls used to be the most fashionable ones in town! Making fashion and jewels became our way of creating all these things we didn’t have growing up but which we were so fascinated by. That fascination and our strong desire to become a part of this industry ultimately became a job.

When did you come together to create your own brand?
After graduating from Art School we could teach, which we both did for one year, despite never really feeling like we belonged to that kind of career. Teaching means to transmit notions and knowledge that has already been discovered, while we both felt like we wanted to create something brand new, to learn more ourselves and keep evolving. Besides, we were never very fond of the dress code required to attend a teaching job.
So after about a year we both decided to quit and change our lives completely: first, we entered a local fashion competition and won. It wasn’t the biggest prize but it changed everything for us as it made us understand that we could do that for real, if we wanted to.

Which were the most challenging aspects of launching a new brand?
We were born and raised in a small town in provincial Russia, where fashion was definitely not among the usual topics of conversation. We were abandoned by our parents at a pretty young age and went through a lot. When we decided to launch our brand we had absolutely no money and we struggled for years, working in shops and saving on food to buy the necessary to make our first creations. But we believed in ourselves and supported each other even during the most difficult times. Once we had a significant amount of samples made, we started showing them to buyers and stylists in Moscow and few showrooms began to notice us and stock our products. Trough social media, we also began to promote the brand and in the space of few months the business literally exploded. We are proud to be sold internationally and to be able to make a living out of our passion, no longer struggling.

What makes Daria & Maria unique and different from any other brand?
Our Pop Art printed denim jackets are the brand’s signature. As mentioned before, we’ve always loved to draw and that’s reflected in our jackets. Every single one of them is unique: we first develop the print on canvas, then add embellishments – such as crystals, studs and sequins – and finally decorate them with feathers. The result is a stand out piece you couldn’t possibly go unnoticed with. We’ve also developed a unique way of detaching the ostrich feathers from the jackets in order to make it easier to carry them when traveling or just to add an element of versatility to the pieces.
Speaking of the jewelry, what we love the most is creating new shapes and inject a meaning in each of our pieces. For example, for our latest crystal jewelry, we were inspired by the Snow Queen and we used a combination of crystals, spikes and flowers to portray both her soft beauty and strong soul. We like to hunt for different materials from the ones you’d usually spot in other designers’ pieces.

You’re now based in Spain. Tell us more about the decision to locate your brand in Alicante.

We love traveling and it’s important for us to find inspiration in different places. That brought us to leave our hometown in the first place. We decided to move to Spain because it’s a beautiful, warm country, so different from what we were used to. We enjoy seeing beauty around us every day.

If you could pick a place around the world where you’d like to establish your brand, where would it be?
We feel like we would be comfortable anywhere. The world is so big and fascinating and we aim to see as much of it as we possibly can. We are planning to visit the US, Japan and Italy soon.

Who is your woman?
Our woman is a fashionista: not afraid of being the fulcrum of attention. She is successful but playful at the same time.

Your jackets were worn by celebrities and bloggers around NYFW and PFW this season. How does it feel to see different women wearing and interpreting your pieces?
The feeling we get from popular people and respected ones from the industry wearing our pieces it just indescribable! It’s also very interesting to see how all these gorgeous fashionistas and respected professionals interpret our clothes: it makes us wonder what image of themselves they aim to create when adding them to their closets.

What are your plans for the upcoming year?
Our brand has grown very fast and it makes us very proud to have our jackets sitting right beside some of the most established brands in the world in our showroom in Italy and France. At the same time, we feel like this is just the beginning. We are looking forward to keep improving ourselves and we couldn’t be more devoted to our brand. Time will tell, but if there were one thing we weren’t afraid of it would be missing our chance of succeeding: we have always known who we are and where we are going.

 

All images courtesy of Daria & Maria.

Visit Dara & Maria’s Website here.

 

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