Seizing the current situation as a source of opportunity and inspiration
Viennese fashion label FATEEVA reinterprets the term ‘essentials’ for womenswear and menswear by skilfully combining the avant-garde with the everyday. Uniting these conflicting priorities allows FATEEVA to create honest, unobtrusive designs for customers who value excellent craftsmanship and practical, timeless design. True to its mission statement of “making luxury accessible, reducing wasteful use of resources and embracing exquisite design”, FATEEVA does not present its collections in seasonal cycles and instead bases its releases on the availability of premium dead stock materials such as leather and other materials.
How has the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions affected your work?
Well, with almost all international production chains having come to a standstill, so too has the work to plan and develop my collections. Above all, it has given me time to step on the brakes and consider how I should move forward in future.
What has been the biggest challenge for your label?
I always see restrictions and new situations as opportunities and inspiration for new approaches and solutions rather than as challenges. I started in 2017 with shoes and a classic B2B distribution chain; I made some mistakes and I’ve learned from them. Since 2019, I’ve been working a lot with upcycling in Italy – and since March 2020 I’ve been making products myself in my studio in Vienna. After the initial shock of the international crisis, I’ve found a new process that places the focus on craftsmanship and slow fashion, which to me feels both contemporary and authentic.
And what do these uncertain times mean for the fashion industry overall?
To be honest, I see the changes as being broadly positive. If everything had not come to such an abrupt standstill, I don’t think the industry would ever have taken the time to reflect as a whole on what is working and what isn’t. The industry is trapped in a maelstrom, being swept from collection to collection, always going further and faster for fear of being pulled under. In a way, we are all members of an orchestra – someone sets the tempo, which gets faster and faster, and we all have to keep up or someone will soon fall off the pace. Until now, nothing has been able to bring the entire fashion orchestra to a standstill. It doesn’t just relate to the fashion labels, of course, but also to the retailers, media and other related fields, too. The entire global construct and its composition need to be revisited and restructured. Most people are aware of these problems, too, and the current situation has brought about a host of exciting conversations and approaches to change.