Viktoria Marchev – A Journey of Colour and Culture

Renowned fashion designer Viktoria Marchev invites us into her vibrant world where colour meets culture, exploring her latest collection and her journey from New York and now into the United Kingdom.

Viktoria’s creative process is a fusion of passion and innovation. She shares her journey, from mastering comic book-style drawing to her latest colourful collection. Each piece is a testament to her decade-long journey in the fashion industry. Her latest collection, ‘YOLO . . . this time’, bursts with vibrancy, featuring bold jumpsuits and dresses in shades of blue, fuchsia, yellow, and green, paired with fluorescent silicone cover-ups. This explosion of colour is a celebration of life, designed to evoke joy and vivacity in the wearer.

Entering the UK Market:

For Viktoria, the UK market represents a natural progression. Having received early acclaim from British Vogue and Glamour UK, her recent showcase at London Fashion Week further solidified her desire to enter the UK market. Her collection’s lively spirit resonates deeply with the dynamic essence of London.

Ethical and Sustainable Fashion:

Viktoria’s commitment to sustainability is evident in her choice of materials. Silicone rubber, a key element in her designs, offers both durability and eco-friendliness. Its versatility allows for minimal waste production and easy maintenance, aligning with the values of today’s conscious consumers.

Cultural Diversity:

Rooted in her Central European heritage, Viktoria’s designs reflect a rich tapestry of cultural influences. Her experiences showcasing collections worldwide have infused her work with a global flair, celebrating diversity and strength through her diverse cast of models and protagonists.

Q&A with Viktoria

Q: Can you walk us through your creative process when designing a new collection, particularly your latest colorful collection?

A: I have always been interested in drawing, especially in comic book style. Throughout my collections, I have tried to take control of more and more aspects of my design, to the point where I pour the material itself from liquid silicone rubber, color each piece individually, create 3D patterns, and more. This obsession with creating colors and patterns with silicone started with my collection ‘CLONES’ in 2014. For this collection, the concept is similar, but this time I decided to draw the story and print it to create my own unique patterns and colors. My previous collection was called ‘PINK FLOW,’ and you can clearly see the connection between the pink, Barbie-feel collection and this one. They are both messengers of a new era in my career, born after my 10-year mark in fashion, full of joy and vibrant colors. I managed to create some sort of stability, and I think the joy and ease of that are reflected in these two collections.

Q: How do you select the colors and materials for your designs, and what factors do you consider when making these decisions?

A: The color scheme of this collection is more vibrant than ever, including jumpsuits and dresses in four bold colors (blue, fuchsia, yellow, green) and matching fluorescent silicone cover-ups. The process of color selection is simply intuitive; I believe whatever I use is the color that I need to see, so there is some sort of selfishness involved. I am sure that when I created my mostly pink collection, I wanted to get closer to my own femininity, as in my “real” life, I needed to incorporate a lot of grays and reserved colors, so inevitably somewhere I needed to reach back to this part of me. For the current collection, I took it to the next level. I think I just wanted to let everybody know I am alive and I want to embrace the “full” spectrum of the color palette.

Q: What message or emotion do you hope to evoke with your colorful designs, and how do you want people to feel when wearing your creations?

A: This collection, which is called the S/S 2024 ‘YOLO . . . this time,’ is about the joy of today, of this life, so my intention is to give the wearer the sensation and appreciation of life. I want them to be happy, brave, and a little bit sassy.

Q: The fashion industry is known for its fast-paced nature and ever-changing trends. How do you stay ahead of the curve while maintaining your own distinctive style?

A: For me, my design process is all about my emotional self-expression; I create what I feel. My feelings are obviously intertwined with the happenings of life, let it be my own personal life or what is happening in the world, but I can mostly rely on the experience that I am going through. The fact that they might overlap with global trends can be because as artists we are all sensitive, and we reply to what we feel with our art, and when many reply in a similar way, that is what I believe we call a trend.

Q: Expanding into new markets can be a strategic move for fashion brands. What interests you about entering the UK market?

A: If I wanted to make this question easy on me, I would just say it is self-explanatory. London is one of the fashion capitals and was always on my radar. I was born in Central Europe, I started my fashion brand in Hungary, and the first international attention came from the UK; my brand was featured in British Vogue, Glamour UK etc. within the first 1-2 years of my launching of the brand. I even attended a smaller off-schedule LFW event about 10 years ago with my designs, but I kept building my brand in Hungary and then I received other invitations to New York and Vancouver, so my “expansion” to the UK never happened. I had some smaller efforts, an exhibition during LFW in 2018, and I had my designs for a few months in a PR Showroom in London. It was not until last September, however, when I had a show at London Fashion Week with Oxford Fashion Studio when I started to seriously think about entering the UK market for real and receive more media attention. I believe that this current collection resonates a lot with the liveliness of London; I really enjoyed being there during my show last year.

Q: London Fashion Week is a renowned event in the global fashion calendar. How has that experience influenced your perception of the British fashion scene?

A: It was a wonderful experience. I worked with OFS, who are the loveliest team; it is always a huge pleasure for me working with them. I was in awe of the venue at Devonshire Square, I felt everything was just aligned perfectly to have a great show. I remember the vibe in the whole city was extraordinary; it might always be the case, but as I only flew there for 2-3 days for me, this feeling is strongly connected to Fashion Week.

Q: British consumers are increasingly conscious of ethical and sustainable fashion practices. How do you address these concerns in your designs, and what steps are you taking to ensure your brand aligns with the values of British consumers?

A: The material I use the most often is silicone rubber. While choosing this material derived from a number of reasons from my side, conscious fashion practice was one of them, or sometimes I say was a pleasant “side effect”. The material is liquid, so the pieces are made through a pouring process, which allows you to use as much as you need, without having an excessive amount of waste. Once cured and ready to use, keeping it clean is also relatively easy, it is 100% waterproof, it does not need machine wash, or an overwhelming amount of detergents. It can be hand-cleaned easily, disinfected with alcohol, and rinsed.

Q: Your designs often reflect a unique cultural perspective. How do you incorporate elements of culture into your collections, and what role does cultural diversity play in your work?

A: My cultural heritage is rooted in Central Europe (Hungary), and I spent (my first) 30 years there. The overall aesthetics of my work are rooted within that culture. Also throughout my 10 years in fashion, I had the chance to showcase my collections in multiple different cities/countries, in order of events Vancouver, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Paris, London, I encountered models, photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists of so many different cultures, International Fashion Weeks are beautifully diverse in my experience, so I am sure my visions got gradually adjusted to have a more global style. I definitely feel that now that I have been in and around New York City for 5 years, my designs are more vibrant, more colorful, and I do think that I honestly did not even know I had these colors in me. The female role models that I depict, who are the protagonists of my collections, are usually all strong but at the same time vulnerable female characters, and I feel that it is beautiful to show her through models from different cultural backgrounds, as you see them in my campaign photos and runway shows.

The New Collection can be seen here:
Follow Viktoria via Instagram 
Photography: Dobrin Marchev 
Model: Daphne Marleen
BC_marleen_ with Only One Talent Management @via Mary Vogt
MUA: Toby Klinger
Retoucher: Olena Bulavenko
Studio: Hudson Yards Loft, New York