Chopova Lowena debuts at London Fashion Week – WWD

Chopova Lowena debuts at London Fashion Week – WWD

Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena love to do things in a “somewhat stranger way”.

The duo behind their namesake fashion brand Chopova Lowena have made a name for themselves in recent years, dressing some of the biggest stars of our time, including Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo and Harry Styles in their colorful and folkloric inspired pleated skirts. from their common Bulgarian heritage.

And they never even organized a fashion show.

When the brand was selected for the 2020 LVMH Young Designers Award, the couple told WWD they were more interested in presenting the brand in alternative forms of presentation, rather than the “old boring method” of putting on a show.

Regarding that statement, Lowena confessed that at the time they simply “couldn’t afford to do a show”.

Unlike many of the brand’s fellow London designers who launched their careers with the help of talent support programs like Fashion East and Newgen, Chopova Lowena was neglected from the start, despite applying for those more programs. times.

“I think those platforms support brands. It’s not just our experience, “Chopova said.” I think it’s good for young people entering the industry to understand that there are so many different ways you can do it. We were really hard on ourselves when we didn’t get those platforms. , and we just persevered and found our way and it’s working for us. ”

The breakthrough came in 2018, a year after they both graduated from Central Saint Martins, they received an order for 30 pieces from Matchesfashion, which saved them from liquidating the brand.

Designer of Chopova Lowena, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena at the 2020 edition of the LVMH Award.

Getty Images for LVMH

Now, the brand is selling to more than 60 retailers around the world, including Ssense, Nordstrom, Dover Street Market, LN-CC and 10 Corso Como, and its production has tripled in the past year, according to Chopova.

Although the industry offered little help at first, their family members stepped in and provided the necessary professional advice on business management, accounting and sourcing.

“We were extremely lucky because we were in the perfect situation where both of our parents had retired,” said Lowena. “Laura’s mom ran small family businesses and my dad has been in big business for his entire career. So they both had an amazing intuition and can help us with all those things you just don’t know how to do. ”

Chopova added that “It is really hard to understand when you are taught fashion design for seven years and you are suddenly catapulted into numbers and cash flows. The truth is, when you’re young, it’s hard to trust people with that sort of thing because not everyone always has your best interest. And the family certainly does it ”.

Ella Emhoff sports a beaded Chopova Lowena pleated midi skirt with black belt in Paris.

Getty Images

With a stabilized financial situation, the brand will make its runway debut and showcase its spring 2023 collection at Porchester Hall near Paddington Station on Friday at 8pm, four days ahead of schedule. As reported, all the shows that took place on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday had to be rearranged, according to the British Fashion Council.

“Thanks to your fantastic PR for breaking their butts trying to secure a space for us as soon as they heard about the deal,” Chopova said, adding that she was grateful that the venue was kind enough not to charge them extra for the move.

The new collection, titled “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”, which is a quote from a poem by Gertrude Stein, will be a celebration of their Bulgarian roots.

“It’s about the Rose Festival, which comes from the part of Bulgaria where my ancestors come from and it’s a festival to celebrate the rose and the beauty of the rose,” explained Lowena, who grew up in Somerset, England. “Each year a rose queen of the city is named. So it’s all about the stickiness and the beauty, and the pink and the direct kind of references of that.

“Also, the traditional references of traditional Bulgarian folklore and other Bulgarian things that come from my side, like denim, are inspired by how difficult it was for my parents to own jeans, as it was illegal during the communist era,” he added. Lowena.

A preview of Chopova Lowena’s spring 2023 collection.

There will also be a sporty side to the collection, added Chopova, which will fuel the mood of the collection.

“We miked lacrosse players over Bulgarian folk and metal music. So it will be intense music. And there are many references to sportswear and uniforms. We have these knitted lacrosse jerseys and lacrosse bags, ”said Chopova, who was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and had lived in New Jersey since the age of seven.

The new collection will present a much wider offer in addition to the typical skirts of the brand. There will be “fun dresses that will grab attention”, but also tailored garments for formal occasions, as the couple discovered from interacting with their online community that Chopova Lowena is speaking to a much wider range of people, transcending ages. and kind, than it is. she had foreseen.

The founders first met in 2011 when they were studying for a bachelor’s degree in women’s clothing design at Central Saint Martins, and they soon became close friends because they were the only two in the class living in South London at the time.

“I lived in Peckham and she lived in Brockley. And we traveled south together. We would board the train together at 10pm to get home from King’s Cross, ”recalls Lowena.

“Later in our relationship, we realized that we work very well together. At the end of our BA, we couldn’t produce collections on our own that we were happy with because it was just too one-way. It wasn’t interesting enough on its own. When we get together, we know how to balance things, “Chopova said.

In 2015, the two applied for a joint master’s degree in fashion design at Central Saint Martins.

Chopova still remembers the day they went to have a chat with Fabio Piras, course director of MA Fashion at Central St Martins.

“He grilled us to the point of like ‘is this something you really thought about?’ Or it’s like ‘we’re best friends and we want to make clothes together.’ She also asked “what will the future of business look like” and “will you get a degree where you will do a collection together.” Will you be okay with that? ‘ And we’re like, ‘We’ve thought about it. This is what we want to do. ‘ And then we left and then we got an acceptance letter and that’s it, “she added.

A preview of Chopova Lowena’s spring 2023 collection.

Olya Kuryshchuk, founder and chief executive of 1 Granary, who has known Chopova and Lowena for nearly a decade and has consulted the brand since the beginning, said she was delighted to see the duo grow into “brilliant business women despite being undeniably visionary designers “.

“They took time and hard work to perfect their products and develop a design language. They have also been working with the same people from day one and have never stopped being hungry for feedback, “said Kuryshchuk.” When everyone around them couldn’t believe they could do business with such a distinct product and aesthetic, they had the confidence and intelligence to move forward, take advice and boldly make tough decisions to build a healthy company. The fact that this is their first show speaks volumes about who Chopova Lowena are and how they are digging their own way “.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.