Fashion Talk
Olga Kotova

Olga Kotova

Designer
Label - Masha Maria

Textile is my main source of inspiration

Masha Maria is an Amsterdam-based brand founded by Olga Kotova. Brand philosophy focuses on upcycling as well as transformation and all the garments are handcrafted, hence unique. Pastel colours are prioritised. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, the designer discusses her journey, collections and shares her forthcoming plans for the label.

Fibre2Fashion: What intrigued you towards the fashion industry and how would you illustrate your journey?

Olga Kotova:

I was always passionate about designing clothes since the age of 15. But I am also happy that I enriched myself with other experiences before entering fashion. I am still working as Sr. Creative in the advertising domain. Since I have gained much throughout my journey, I am able to clearly see what I would like to create with my brand – timeless pieces that enhance personality and not trends.

Fibre2Fashion: Why the name ‘Masha Maria’?

Olga Kotova:

The name of the brand honours my beloved grandma Maria, and in Russia all Marias are also Mashas. I wanted to remember and respect her memory as she has taught me a lot in life.

Fibre2Fashion: How would you define the aesthetics and vibes of your collection?

Olga Kotova:

I take inspiration from the 1940s with its gender unique clothing, 1960s with its playfulness, 1970s with its rebellious style, and 1980s thanks to the disco era. I rework on all these vintage inspirations considering contemporary fit and lifestyle.

Fibre2Fashion: With so many fashion brands coming forward, what makes your label stand out?

Olga Kotova:

I mix unique fun styles with interesting research in fabrics and transformation techniques. The garment should not only be beautiful on its own, but it should be uplifted by the person who wears it.

Fibre2Fashion: How do your designs for Autumn differ from the ones for Summer?

Olga Kotova:

For the Spring Summer I concentrate primarily on the dresses, and for the Winter season I work with outerwear and coats. All the pieces I make stand out because of the colour and unique design, which is a mixture of my multinational experience of living in six different countries and mixing up different styles.

Fibre2Fashion: What fabrics and wools are utilised for your collections? How do you ensure their sustainability?

Olga Kotova:

I source vintage wool blankets locally in Holland, checking every piece for quality. I do the same for the textiles for the summer, which are primarily made from upcycled yarn and handwoven.

Textile is my main source of inspiration.

Fibre2Fashion: Suggest five fashion trends that can have the highest influence on fashion devotees.

Olga Kotova:

The five trends would be: 

  1. Upcycling
  2. Developing more styles with jeans
  3. Sustainability in textile approach
  4. Working closely with artisans
  5. Less is more.

Fibre2Fashion: What are the forthcoming plans with your label? Are you planning to introduce new categories?

Olga Kotova:

Yes, I am working on developing more outerwear bombers and trench coats. Also, I am obsessed with fanny packs, so thinking about going into accessories category as well.

What are the forthcoming plans with your label? Are you planning to introduce new categories?

Published on: 22/08/2022
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