FATEEVA, Interview: Nina Prehofer
Vienna-based fashion label FATEEVA was founded by shoe designer Elizaveta Fateeva in 2017 and reinterprets the term “essentials” for womens- and menswear by skilfully combining avant-garde with the everyday.
You’ve used lockdown as a time to be creative and started One Dress A Day. How did that come about?
Elizaveta Fateeva: I have a feeling that One Dress A Day has been lying dormant just below the surface for a while, just waiting for the right moment. My oldest friend called me and asked me to make her two summer dresses during lockdown using fabrics that were just lying around in my studio.
So I opened up my “saving for later” boxes to reveal a real treasure trove of delights!
The topic of upcycling is really important to my label, so I’ve always bought loads of remnants of high-quality silk in Italy. I often go there and traipse around the factories and warehouses looking for surplus and leftover fabrics.
Since then, you’ve created a new dress every day. What can this achieve?
Elizaveta Fateeva: For me, One Dress A Day was primarily a case of getting back to my roots. I actually didn’t think I would do it for so long and that I would enjoy it so much. I’m a trained tailor but I haven’t actually sewn anything for almost ten years. I’ve now realised how much I miss the manual craft, and how patient and focused I am when I’m at the sewing machine.
The fact that it results in something beautiful that will bring joy to other people makes it even better.
This meditative way of working combined with the challenge of only working with surplus materials has opened up new perspectives, and I want to increase awareness of this direction among my customers – recognising the value of raw materials and demonstrating that we can still continue to develop even in bleak and uncertain times.
How has your label FATEEVA developed?
Elizaveta Fateeva: I started FATEEVA as a shoe label three years ago, with seasonal collections and a showroom and presentations in Paris. It has been a continual learning process since then, despite having already worked as an accessories designer for large fashion labels for ten years. As a small label there are many highs and lows, and it requires great perseverance to keep your head above water and to differentiate yourself on the market.
It took all of that for me to establish that the usual path is not the one I want to go down, nor is it modern anymore.
We live in a time that demands that we reinvent processes and find an individual rhythm.
Photo: Lisa Edi
The market is more than open to the courage to experiment and products that tell a story. The dresses I’m currently making are my answer to this. At least for now.
FATEEVA online >>