From sketching supermodels in fashion houses at the age of five, to gaining worldwide success in the pages of Vogue and the New York Times, Bibi Bevza is fashion’s rising star who is single-handedly reshaping Kiev’s fashion scene. In this interview we delve into her eclectic range inspirations and aspirations from minimalism to Queen, and Maria Abramovich to Céline, to find out a little more about the creative force behind Ukranian label BEVZA.
How much influence does your native Ukraine have in your collection?
“I have my own philosophy, and it’s not really connected to native themes or cultural borders. I do what I like. I like shapes and colours, and I try to create a unique style that is independent of trends and stems from my own taste and creativity.”
Perhaps it’s down to you to reshape and redefine Ukrainian style! How would you describe the style back in Kiev?
“Well the popularity and growth of Kiev’s fashion scene has been extreme in the past few years. The girls have always been beautiful but their style was very glamorous, with short skirts and high heels. However I’ve noticed that there’s now a tendency for the girls dress more intellectually, more trend based and for themselves. I want the world to see Ukraine as a smart and fashion forward country – I have a big responsibility!”
There’s a real sensuality and minimalism in your designs, which is a refreshing change to some of the extravagant designs seen on the runway. What inspires and influences you to create such simple yet beautiful pieces?
“My own taste influences my designs – most of the clothes in my wardrobe are BEVZA. I don’t like overdressing – when somebody is overdressed you can’t see the person under the clothes, they’re hiding. When a woman wears something that looks simple, open and effortless, you see her confidence. It comes very naturally.”
What is your favourite way of creating minimalism?
“I like to play with white. It’s a very complicated colour because it has to be done in the right shape and structure, it has to flatter the body, but it is timeless and always looks fresh and energetic. Like a new sheet of paper.”
Your designs are stunningly influential, and you’ve already received global recognition and admiration from some of the most influential names in fashion (Bill Cunningham to name but a few). Which established designers do you yourself admire?
“I love Céline and I love Maison Martin Margiela. However it isn’t always about the clothes for me, it’s more about the philosophy and execution of that philosophy into their collections. I also love a wide range of art: I love classics like Monet, and I love Dali’s paintings. I especially love art performers like Marina Abramovich. She’s crazy. I’m conservative about music, but I do love Queen. I’ve listened to Queen my whole life.”
What made you become a designer?
“Although my grandfather was a painter, I didn’t really have a direct influence. It’s been there since the very beginning. I began sketching from a very young age. I would paint fashion houses with models in front of them: there was one sketch of a girl in a blue dress-like thing: she had no hands and I signed the picture as ‘Vogue’! - I actually still have it, it’s very funny.”
You mentioned that your own taste is reflected in your designs. What are your personal favourites in your upcoming pre-Fall and Autumn Winter collection?
“There is a white coat in the A/W collection that I wore in Paris. There were hundreds of photographers there and the coat had made such an impact that it was featured by Bill Cunningham in the New York Times as well as in Vogue and Grazia; it was an accidental success, but I’m very excited about it for next season.”