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In the Life of a London Designer: Style Chat with Maya

By Jessica Miller

Introduction: With its signature Kimono tops and its upcoming debut at the Mercedes Benz Fashion week in Moscow, we could not resist but to have a style chat with this amazingly talented designer Maya, whose label "Mayka" is based in London. We chatted about London, New York City and what happens behind the scenes in the design industry? Here is what Maya had to say...

NEW: Spring/Summer 2014 Collection

Club Fashionista ("CF"): Can you tell us about yourself, at what age did you realize you were passionate about fashion? Was there a particular moment you remember? 

Maya: I was five when I was very much into drawing princesses. I was quite good at drawing and my grandma still keeps those wonderful and colourful drawings. It was all about the textures, colours, combinations, and it was so 80s: bright greens with pink combinations, gray and bright yellow combinations with black contours; it is really interesting to see…

The Face Behind the Brand: Maya
CF: Can you talk about how you set your foot in the fashion industry? As I understand, you worked at the costume department of the Royal Opera House in London? What happened there? 

Maya: The first job I got when I arrived to London, just over seven years ago, was as a dresser for the operas and ballets at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. I could not get any design jobs, and I really missed doing things so I started drawing these really odd and psychedelic black on white drawings. I used to do that on every break I got from work, people started noticing, especially some dancers; that’s how I got my first few gigs creating modern concepts with these dancers. The concepts included whole staging, garments, make up and hair, and a lot of times I did the artwork on top of the photographs. 

We carried on to installations and live performances. In fact, there is a whole section of Ballet Journal on my website. Later, I was commissioned to make one-off dresses and costumes for various performers, and I really enjoyed it. It was only when I took part in the reality show Project Runway (in Israel) that I became more focused on fashion and print.

After my first child was born, three years ago, I decided to pursue print designing and discovered my style was quite unique; I designed samples for Premiere Vision Paris exhibition. It was not long until I decided I should give it a try and open my own label. It has been really exciting and hard work with ups and downs ever since. 

CF: Is fashion art? 

Maya: That’s a tricky question. I guess it depends on who is designing and what is their aim. My aim is certainly to design pieces of art. I think women are beautiful, different and individually unique, and so they should express it in what they are wearing! MAYKA creates individually unique pieces and at the same time wearable art pieces with some of the most amazing fabrics such as silk chiffon, georgette, organza, twill, cottons, and quality lycras. It is all about making a woman feel amazing in her second skin, which is what she is wearing.

CF: Why London? How did you settle on starting your own label in London, why not New York City ("NYC")? 

Maya: NYC is amazing! I visited NYC about 18 years ago! It is a fantastic place! Fantastic people and a very open minded fashion industry. I would love to come to New York City and explore the opportunities there. London was the place my husband and I went after our graduation. It is fantastic, there is so much to see in terms of art, culture, installations; it is very open to every expression but at the same time it is a place you can really live in. It has a homely feeling, it has lots of parks, and you can easily connect with people, even just randomly on the train or at a shop…

New York City vs. London?
CF: We can see that you design a variety of items like trousers, tops, dresses, leggings, and even jackets. Do you have a signature piece? 

Maya: We have our best sellers which are the draped camisoles and kimono tops. Our jackets get a lot of attention too.

CF: What are the differences between your Spring/Summer 2013 and Spring/Summer 2014 collections? Lessons learned?
Spring/Summer 2013
Spring/Summer 2014 Collection
Maya: Differences are definitely in colours. I felt pinks and blues are really right now, but we still receive a lot of requests for the previous collection. We introduced new cuts such as the blazer jacket, strict trousers and kimino coats, inspired by Japanese patterns; it is going really well. 

We are a young label; there are lessons we are learning everyday! 

CF: Can you talk about your most recent collection Spring/Summer 2014 called “Secret Garden?” What inspires your designs? Is there one transgressing theme? 

Maya: The new collection is called “Game of Thorns,” which is an epic journey of the senses through the artistic gestures of the abstract and the expressive hand drawings of street art with interweaving naturalistic photographic images. Worlds apart exist side by side, threaded in thorns, binded by flowers, where each print transcends into a unique fantasy, and a lush piece.

In this collection we have three themes/campaigns: Art to Wear, Secret Garden and Juliette Moderne. All around three different ballet dancers: Nathalie Harrison, Yuhui Choe and Melissa Hamilton, who stars as Juliet in the coming Romeo and Juliet of the Royal Ballet Company.  

CF: What advice do you have for people flirting with the idea of being in the fashion industry? 

Maya: Tough one. I guess it would be: "Stay true to yourself!” It is so easy to get lost  in everything that is going on… stay grounded, and work really hard to find your own unique signature. 

CF: What can we expect to see from you in the future? Any exciting upcoming projects? 

Maya: We are really excited because we are going to present our collection in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Moscow at the end of the month. We cannot wait! In general, stay tuned for updates through our Twitter page as we are constantly organizing and involved in various events throughout London. We look forward to seeing you soon as well!

Club Fashionista would like to thank you for your time. We wish you a lot of success in the future, and we hope to see you shine and continue with your amazing creations. For updates on MAYKA, follow them on Twitter and see their official website!

1 comment:

dafna podlubny/ jeweller fingers . said...

im more then honor to know maya closely
shes an amazing unique designer and a lovely person .
and this artical is verry good !
love you maya !
dafna !


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