We’re Loving Greek Fashion Brand Maraveya!

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11 QUESTIONS FOR… Vivianna Maraveya

Brand Maraveya

Discussing fashion, passion and inspiration with one of Greece’s newly established designers, Vivianna Maraveya:

Are you excited for the new opportunities that seem to be opening up for Greek fashion? Although we’ve had some higher end clothing designers such as Kathy Heyndels in the past we have never really had a strong middle market for Greek fashion designers… your thoughts….

I’m am extremely excited about the new opportunities opening up for Greek fashion. I’m so happy that year after year our fashion is stepping up, and achieving better design and quality. There are so many great middle market companies emerging over the last few years; providing the Greek market with great garments and accessories that match the level of international brand aesthetic. I love that and hope that we will soon be able to talk about exporting Greece fashion globally.

Fashion is inspired by the past and/or inspired by current trends, do you think a country is able to keep an essence to its heritage while also staying modern?

I believe 100% that you can keep a countries’ essence while still being modern in your design. Its actually one of the things MARAVEYA stands for. In designing we always seek to throw in some Grecian elements, that define the brand’s origin. And why wouldn’t we? If you look at major designer collections throughout the years, time after time they have used Greece, ancient Greece, or the Greek islands as a source of inspiration, so Greek brands should be the first to want to keep their countries’ essence. I think that success in design, means first to create a strong identity and second to be able to use various elements and conceptions, all the while staying true to that identity.

Maraveya white

Is there something similar in most Greek designer collections and do you try to keep something Greek to your collections?

I can’t say I’ve pinpointed something similar to most Greek designer collections. I think there’s a huge range out there. I always try to keep something Greek in my collections and this can be seen in our maxi dresses which are the pieces that convey this reference the most. I love to use light, airy fabrics and drapes.  It varies a bit with each collection but I always keep something Greek.

Maraveya Collection

Congratulations on being a part of NYFW!  You have showed at The New York Fashion Week and  participated in the famed trade show at COTERIE NYC; what did you learn about NYFW and what surprised you the most?  It is very difficult to be chosen to attend the trade show Coterie; why do you think you were chosen and would you do it again?

NYC was such a huge eye opener for me. It was an amazing experience and such a great place to debut MARAVEYA toward international markets.  I learned a lot about how fashion works in the United States and how important marketing is to the successful growth of a brand; It’s probably 60% of the deal. I guess I wasn’t really surprised with anything major, just in awe of how big the show was and how much is available out there. Its amazing! Fashion is such a huge industry all around the world, its hard to grasp really.

MARAVEYA is at a point where the brand has an identity and conveys that through its clothing, retail locations and clientele.  Applying was quite a process; we first had to send in a written application, then send in photographs and samples of the line, and finally wait for the acceptance. I think MARAVEYA was chosen because it conveys a style that is far different from anything that already exists in the United States and the quality of the garments is at the level it needs to be to compete with international brands. I would definitely and will definitely showcase there again. We were invited back this time for AW.15-16!

What inspires your collections?  Do you look around, look to the past, or see what people are wearing on the street?

MARAVEYA collections are always inspired by a core concept which is then combined with some elements of modernity. I try not to be influenced by running trends or what people are wearing on the streets but more so by observing their patterns so that I can try to predict what they will want to be wearing next season. Social awareness is very important while designing, because you have to be in tune with everything going on around you. Politics, society, the environment… these things basically dictate design. Its amazing how much everything is interconnected. This is why it is very important to have a clear idea of who you are dressing; there are so many realities in the world, you have to know which one you’re targeting.

Who is your typical target customer or can anyone wear your clothing?  Can people outside of Greece buy from your collection?

The truth is that MARAVEYA has a wide range of clients. One of our main goals is to provide customers with versatile garments that can be worn in different ways, on different body types, and/or from day to night. I’m a working woman and I see that that’s something I look for in a garment, unless of course its for a specific event.

Clients can visit our site to see our retail locations and also the websites we work with. Visit www.maraveya.com for more information! We are also in the process of building our own website which we are SUPER EXCITED to launch!

Maraveya desert

Do you prefer to design for winter or summer?  Why?

I’m definitely a summer designer! No question about that. Nine out of ten of the ideas that come to me are for summer clothing. I think that it’s because I’m a summer baby… 🙂   Generally I love summer and I’m very inspired by summer destinations.   I love the beach and sand, and the free spiritedness of summer. Everything is brighter and better and clothing is lighter and easier to wear. I also appreciate winter but it’s much more limiting for me in terms of fashion. The one thing I adore designing in the winter is knits and I think that’s why MARAVEYA is known for knits! It’s so funny how people pick up on the things you love the most through your designs.

Maraveya Designs Knits

Is there something you don’t design right now but would like to if you have time in the future (handbags, bathing suits, etc?)

OHHH YES! I would love to design handbags and shoes in the future. I always envision the perfect shoe or the perfect bag that I would want to see my garments paired with. If I find the right people / factories to make them I will definitely give it a go. But finding the right people is the most important part. A good idea never got far without proper execution.

How important is it for a designer to surround themselves with a team, people who they can rely on?

It is THE MOST important thing for a designer to surround him or herself with the right people and to create a strong reliable team. I cannot begin to express how lucky I am that I found the right people who joined my journey from the very beginning and are still with me today. Melenia Alexandraki, Christina Voyatzi and I are the MARAVEYA trio. We work so well together; we are each so different and yet so committed to the same cause. After three years, they’re like family to me. I love them and can not imagine MARAVEYA without them, and that’s what keeps us fighting through the hard times. I really do believe its everything to have the right people next to you. I just finished reading Richard Branson’s book called Like a Virgin and one of the first quotes that stuck on me is

“Businesses are nothing more than a group of people and they are by far your biggest assets”.

By the way I loved reading his book!

Black top Maraveya

Any advice for future Greek designers as our market is smaller compared to other countries?

I think the only piece advice I can give, is to keep yourself grounded, take small secure steps, and always try your hardest. Set your goals far and then do whatever you can to get to them.

5 must haves for a Greek island & 5 winter must haves

Maxi kaftan, swimsuit, beach bag, day-to-night romper, sandals for the islands and a knit sweater, cape, black skinny jeans, oxford men style shoe, and a pencil skirt for the winter.

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Vivianna, Hellenic Lifestyle wishes you great success!  We are keeping our eyes on you as we’re sure you are going a long way in this very competitive industry!

1 Comment

  1. Bex

    March 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I also interviewed Vivianna here on my site – before her Artlinks OCTOBER 2014 show – she’s an inspiration! http://www.lifebeyondbordersblog.com/artlinks-athens-2014-maraveya-fashion-show/

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