Designer Profiles: Cozy Handmade Designs | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the sixth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Ann Petrov – Cozy Handmade Designs

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Aay Kay Photography

Who are you & what kind of designer are you?

My name is Ann and I am knitwear designer, but I don’t only do knitwear, I also sew, work with patchwork and interiors.

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Timothée Cognard

What sparked your interest with fashion?

About seven years ago, I was depressed and uninspired around me. I bought myself a sewing machine and knitting needles, and I basically knitted myself out of my depression. I started with kids clothing and patchwork blankets, and then started to make clothes for myself and for my kids who by that time where on the plan.

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Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I am thought by my grandmother the most. I think she was the one who thought us the craft. Then in Estonia, where I am from, you would have handcraft/sewing classes mandatory until you finish secondary school. I studied Interior designs and currently debating to take online course in Fashion.

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What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

CHD was Karma Crafts before, I made baby clothes and sold them online or made to order. When I finished my interior designer I really wanted to add home decorating line to my kids clothing. 2016 I decided to stay home with my kids and that was the moment when I decided to take little more fashion approach and add extra line to my collection.

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What is your aesthetic?

I guess it’s more to this romantic spirited feel. I use lot of vintage inspired patterns in my designs and try to use quite muted colours. And add splash of colour to it with flowers or beads. My designs are definitely rather feminine.

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What inspired this collection?

City Royals is inspired of Vintage shawls and autumn weather. I love using knitted lace. I also like to bring this old shabby style to modern young people, make it to theirs to wear. This collection has an extension with knit/crochet clothing line, what is currently on the making but won’t be ready for the show just yet.

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Mick Russell Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

I guess its slow and steady, there is up’s and there is downs. I learn with each project and design I make. My wool quality and source has gone better in past seven years. Funny note, as I have told my partner that I will more likely give up on him than on CHD! Of course if it is life and death situation…well I still might keep few needles and wool!

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What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

 Plan, study and delegate. I plan my day everyday, I plan my marketing plan and my blogging plan. I also have learned that I don’t have to know everything nor should I do everything. But I need to have great knowledge so I could hire right people to do certain services for me, so I could keep my passion live.

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Describe your creative process.

My creative process starts from the wool or material, crazy patterns or book. Sometimes its enough to see something in tv. I am very “close” to my phone and its always full of ideas. There are times I have been watching something in Netflix, seen something fabulous and then googled same moment in my phone to see can I find image of it.

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How do you get unstuck creatively?

I just leave everything, take it back to my studio and take couple of days off, to play with kids, read, bath, go shopping.

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What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

Who is going to wear it? Would I wear it? And can I visualize it how it will be when its done.

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How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

Like I said I plan my day, so it usually plans around on how much should I get done and three other tasks. If I don’t get it as I planned, then its not a big deal, tomorrow is another day. Kids have taken over my summer, so I am actually excited to get back in school routine.

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How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

I don’t really follow fashion. I obviously do now, as I create my collection. But I more look into colour trends rather than style trends. There is so much fast fashion what has low quality made into high quantity. Having a daughter who is more ‘Tom’ than ‘Princess’ has also shown me how gender orientated the current fashion can be.

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Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I would really like to finish this one piece off women’s clothing collection and have it steady coming out each year. I don’t necessarily want to expand too big but have this steady collection available.

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What advice would you give to young designers?

Take business studies on the side of your designer studies. There is so many passionate young designers out there, who will start and fail as they have no idea how to get to next level. And also YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO START!

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Model Imagery|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography| Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell|

All other imagery via Ann Petrov & @cozy_handmade_designs

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Ann will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

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The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

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Fashion: a Female Game?

Following from last week’s blog post an interesting thought struck me. While female empowerment is one of the biggest fashion trends for Summer 2017, why is it that female empowerment in the industry itself is such a rarity. Why is it a current trend rather than an eternal staple?

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Image via Dior

Currently, the majority of creative directors for luxury fashion brands are men. Why? Is it that men are more talented, more deserving? No.

Women are miles ahead of the game in other areas: two of the arguably most powerful figures in the industry are women: Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, and Linda Fargo, senior vice-president and women’s fashions director for Manhattan based department store Bergdorf Goodman.

However, in the design field, women are still trailing behind their male counterparts. Let’s take take the three biggest luxury fashion conglomerates: LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton, Kering and Richemont, and examine them. Out of over 15 fashion and leather good’s brands owned by LVMH, only 4 of them are led by women. They are Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, Phoebe Philo at Céline, Carol Lim at Kenzo, a shared position with Humberto Leon, and Silvia Venturini Fendi who is the creative director for accessories & men’s for Fendi. Within Kering, there are only 2 women heading the 8 brands: Stella McCartney is the creative director for her own label and Sarah Burton helm’s Alexander McQueen. Finally, within Richemont, there is only Natacha Ramsay Levi, the creative director for Chloé.

Major fashion colleges such as Central Saint Martins and New York’s Fashion Institute boast a huge majority of female students who win exceptional placements and excellent graduate jobs. LVMH, Kering and Richemont all boast excellent relationships with leading business schools around the world. In terms of these fashion conglomerates, Delphine Arnault of LVMH is a lone she-wolf among male executives.

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Delphine Arnault, LVMH

While many of the world’s fashion houses were established by women many of them have since been taken over by men: Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Nina Ricci and Marie-Louise Carven.

There are exceptions that prove the rule. We have the likes of Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo, Tory Burch, Angela Missoni, Donatella Versace, and Consuelo Castiglioni, all of whom either achieved their success by inheriting a family business or by starting their own.

It is a thought that leaves us with many questions. Perhaps it is that female designers are seen as less pioneering or innovative than their male counterparts? Is it that idea that women are incapable of balancing family and work life? Are women more interested in the glamorous side of the industry rather than the business? Is it sexism and male privilege?

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Image via NY Times

The appointments of Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior, Natacha Ramsay Levi at Chloé, Claire Waight Keller at Givenchy and Bouchra Jarrar for Lanvin show that the tide is turning, but is it soon enough?

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Supporting women in the fashion industry is of particular importance to us here at the Galway Designers Network. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by three women, Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs, Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing and Virtue Shine of Emerald & Wax, but these women need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the link to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved in the Network. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.