You are originally from a small village in Russia, what made you move to the Czech Republic?
For as long as we can remember, we were always into art and when we were teenagers, we decided we wanted to create clothes. In 2014, right after our graduation from high school, we moved to Czechia to study fashion design. The majority of Russian universities at that time had no fashion design department or the courses were too academic and strictly directed at a single learning model. (Although we should certainly compliment the pattern making and tailoring education in our country). We wanted more space so that no tight old school boundaries would limit our creativity. Therefore, Prague seemed like the right place for us; besides, some of our friends had already moved there to study art so we knew what style of teaching and education we were getting into at local art universities. In addition, Czechia is a very beautiful and liveable country.
ARCHIVARIUS PRECO21 EPIC TRANQUILITY
How is the fashion environment in your country?
There are a lot of street and athletic style brands (mostly designer sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants with different prints and drawings) but you can also find some very interesting, talented designers in Russia. In our opinion, the fashion industry in our country has only recently started to change for the better. Many organizations and projects are now being created to support young local designers, independent fashion shows get underway and not only in large cities. Young agencies and buyers are trying their best to support Russian designers, presenting their collections in Paris showrooms and around the world. Eco-friendly brands are being launched, a lot of designers are starting to remake old clothes and recycle old materials. Creative people work together and support each other as they understand the old system of fashion business needs to be changed. We think the best is yet to come but the start has already been made!
What influences your work? Where do you search for ideas and inspiration for your new collection?
Everything influences us: from the day’s mood to situations beyond our control. But we’re always ready to work and we just can’t sit around doing nothing. We feel it’s in our nature to keep busy. It’s a passion!
Usually, ideas come to mind ‘on their own’ and they don’t have to be painfully searched for. We think it all depends on the person’s ability to explore the world around them. The ideas often come unexpectedly, for example, you’re walking alone, minding your own business, you’re looking at your feet, seeing a pebble of an interesting shape on the ground, and that’s it – the idea appeared!
As references for the collections, we usually find our inspiration in nature (organic shapes, colours) and history (for example, costumes of a certain period).
You call your brand “Archivarius”, do you feel like preserving some old heritage?
No, we don’t preserve some old heritage by using the name. It’s about more personal stuff. We started the project to archive our student works, there were both individual pieces and small collections on a variety of topics. We knowingly took the word “archive” in quotation marks to make fun of ourselves, to compare apples and oranges. As we and our skills developed, we’d changed the concept in a more serious and personal direction. Because, for us, each piece we create is not just a nice thing to wear; it carries certain emotions and memories. And we would like people to create their own context by wearing these pieces and continue the story we started by designing and tailoring them. So Archivarius is more about creating and preserving the memories and moments of our own and of people who see a kindred spirit in the brand.
What did the experience at Vejas and Laformela give you?
It was a great experience working with Vejas and Laformela, which we really appreciate! Most importantly, we learned a lot about how to work with colleagues and customers; how the communication with sewing factories and dressmakers should be lined up; how to prepare samples, patterns and all important materials for production to achieve the best result. It was all about serious fashion business but with the ‘human2human’ concept; that was perfect!
In the article, we are presenting three collections: NEWLIFE, FASHIONTALE and EPIC TRANQUILITY.
BIO / Archivarius is a young fashion brand founded by two sisters Kseniia and Elizaveta Fedorovy who are working and living between two cities, Prague and Moscow. The sisters, originally coming from a small town in the north of Russia called Apatity, were always interested in clothes, fashion and art and in 2014, when they graduated high school, they decided to enter the University of Art and Design in the Czech Republic. Both are currently in the final year of the BCA programme at the Faculty of Fashion Design making their final collections. Over the course of their studies, they had internships at fashion brands Laformela of Prague and Vejas of Paris where they worked closely with the designers and have learned a lot about the practical side of the profession. They took 2020 off to focus more on their own project and to be in Moscow with their family in these difficult times.
Kseniia is usually responsible for menswear and Liza for womenswear. Normally, they start from setting common direction for a collection and then design mens and womens lines separately, consulting together on important decisions so the result feels natural to both. Understanding each other as a family and creative professionals makes them an excellent duo.
Archivarius was originally founded in 2018 (at that time called “ARCHIVE”) as a collection of Kseniia’s and Elizaveta’s student works created over the past few years, random and unconnected at first. They have always tried to explore everything there is to know about clothes, gradually learning sewing skills and techniques, focusing on the things that they enjoy and do well. According to them, lots of changes and improvements lie ahead. Not so long ago, the sisters changed the brand‘s name from ARCHIVE to Archivarius to make it more distinctive and next level for moving forward in the controversial fashion world.
“The concept springs from the brand’s name. “Archive” (as “an archival item”) can be defined as an exceedingly rare piece of designer clothing. It’s all about experiencing a time in fashion, when things were a little more exclusive. There are many world famous designers and fashion houses with a long history and heritage whose rarest pieces are researched, collected and resold. We are not among them. Our clothes are not so exclusive and desirable but we aim to make unique garments that will always be relevant and wearable regardless of time,” state the sisters.
Each piece they create is not just a nice thing to wear to them; it carries certain emotions and memories in which they want the owners to continue. That’s why in their tagline ‘MAKE THIS YOUR “____”‘ is a blank space purposely left out to fill in with what feels right, what the garment is or will become for the wearer. Kseniia and Elizaveta want people to make their clothes their “archive” and let the “Archivarius” be the archive’s creator.
ARCHIVARIUS PRECO21 EPIC TRANQUILITY
Photography and VFX / Iryna Drahun @iryna_drahun
Styling / Kseniia Fedorova @ksenigiorgio and Liza Fedorova @verystupidlizard
Models / Gertie Adelaid @nintendogertie and Demian Kovalov @xerror.exe
Photography / Anna Stepanova @averyhipstapostpunk
Models / Gertie Adelaido @nintendogertie, Stepan Popelka @buridarjulia and Patrik Pagac @patrick.patricius
Photography / Iurii Ladutko @iuriiladutko.raw
VFX / Svatopluk Rucka @svataaan
Models / Veronika Osipova @os.ver and Johanka Posova @johankaposova
Fashion designer / in all displayed editorials / Archivarius @100010archive100010