Olesia Makhonko graduated from Kiev National University of Technology and Design with an Honours BA in Fashion design. She worked for Alexander McQueen until she launched her own womenswear brand Molessa in 2007. The brand’s inspirations are the shape of the female body, modern architecture and art. I’ve used Olesia’s dresses in several shoots and I just love her designs so I knew I’d just had to ask her a few questions about her work.
As a young designer what are your biggest challenges?
OM – My biggest challenges as a young designer are finding time to design, organize sampling and production of my collections, look after my sales and PR, and meet deadlines on an everyday basis. Running a fashion business is a very complex and time consuming process, and as the owner and designer you need to know about everything and look after every aspect relating to your label. The other biggest challenge is the financial side, as I’m one of those designers who still works full time for a well know fashion company to earn money, while trying to establish my own brand. Costs relating to running a high end fashion business are very high, and obtaining sales orders from boutiques is very difficult.
Will you be doing a show next season for London Fashion Week?
OM – I’m hoping to show either at Vauxhall Fashion Scout group show or at On/Off exhibition next season.
What advice do you have for a new graduate?
OM – I would advise young graduates who want to create their own label to understand from the beginning that in order to be successful you need to be a highly creative, motivated and hard working person, and that you need to believe in yourself and never give up, as the road to designer label success is extremely hard and long for most of us.
How do you work? What is your process?
OM – I’m one of those designers who gain their inspiration from material and shape, rather than just visual image research. I love to draw and I make many sketches while gathering ideas for new collection, however I also experiment a lot with fabrics on a dummy to get a real feel for how a new idea or design will work. So before I draw the final sketches and organize the collection, I’ll make many quick drawings, take photographs of drapes on the dummy and collect fabric swatches, and then move to making patterns and toils and organizing sampling, which my production unit or sampling machinist will do for me.
What other projects are you working on?
OM – I’m working on a diffusion range for the online retailer ASOS.com. It’ll be a more affordable and casual line, however it’ll keep the Molessa sleek, clean, geometric style and elegant feminine shapes.
Do you live in London ?
OM – Yes I live in London in the wonderful Bloomsbury area.
What do you eat for breakfast?
OM – I try to eat yogurt every morning, however often I don’t have enough time and end up eating an apple on the way to work.
Photography by Diego Indraccolo