Could you tell us about your career as a designer?
From my early years in university, I knew exactly what I wanted, which was to create a brand of my own. In the third year of my studies, I created and established the brand ‘Anna Dorothea Milano’ and I presented my first collection in 2013 in Milan.
After, I decided to enhance my studies and attended Central Saint Martins in London for additional studies in fashion textile and fashion communication. Returning back to Cyprus and having my own production house here, I decided to open my first store in Limassol under the brand name ‘Maison Anna Dorothea’. At the same time, I started to distribute my collections in several countries in Europe, Lebanon and Kuwait.
When was the first time that you have decided to become a fashion designer?
Since I remember myself, from a young age, I had a big interest in design, whether that was furniture design, textile design, interior design or fashion. However, what turned my career and studies towards fashion was my modelling career. From the age of 15, I was travelling to several fashion capitals and I worked for several designers. This gave me the opportunity to get a closer look at the fashion industry and made me realize that what I really wanted to do was to have my own designer brand and, through my collections, to create modern, unique and the most feminine designs that would embrace women’s sensuality and femininity.
Can you give us some information about your brand and the lines it offers to your clients?
Maison Anna Dorothea is so much more than just a clothing brand. It offers a whole lifestyle imbued by luxury, elegance and exclusivity. Maison Anna Dorothea presents a sophisticated selection of high quality well-tailored garments, carefully chosen materials and unique fabric prints. The brand has developed into several strong marked lines: ready to wear, ‘fur me up’, luxurious accessories, haute couture and bridal.
Where do you get inspiration for your collections?
Everything can be an inspiration for me, including the nature that surrounds me (flowers, the ocean, continents of the world). However, all of my collections carry the same style of the brand: Unique designs, spectacular fabrics and prints that embrace the woman’s body.
Whose opinion is very valuable for you and do you accept critics?
As a person, I try to see criticism as an opportunity to improve my work, but I decide whether the criticism is valid or not. Criticism isn’t necessarily a synonym for the cold hard truth. When you come up against a less than rave review about your work, you have to judge it on its own merits. However, I never let other’s opinions change or influence, to a high level, my own standards, opinions and designs.
Which designer has the most influence on your creations?
It is a few designers that I adore for their style and creations, such as Blumarine, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci and Ellie Saab. Each one has their own style and character.
Do you follow the fashion weeks in fashion capitals like Paris, Milan, New York?
As fashion is developing and changing, it’s a necessity for all designers, known and unknown, to keep up with fashion weeks and be aware of what is new. However, this doesn’t mean that I let them influence my designs, especially when they don’t match with the style of the brand.
What do you think of the future of fashion, given that, looking at the last collections, we see the boundaries between men and women being erased?
Fashion is an aspect that is developing and changing rapidly. However, I don’t believe that people are obliged to change with it and follow what is new if this doesn’t represent their own personal style. It’s true that the boundaries between man and woman are being erased and, in the past few years, we see (during fashion weeks) men dressed in feminine looks and skirts and women looking masculine. In my opinion, menswear fashion should stick to manly shapes and women should never stop showing off their beauty, their seductiveness and, most of all, their femininity.
What else expect fashion is taking your interest? Do you have any hobbies?
Having your own brand requires most of your time and concentration. Nevertheless, I do find some time for myself. Twice a week, I attend yoga and Pilates classes. Moreover, during the summer, I enjoy the sunny weekends sailing with family and friends.
How do you see yourself in 20 years?
Even though, as a person, I don’t like to share my dreams and ambitions, the only thing that I can say as a hard worker is that I will continue to work as hard as needed with the same passion in order to achieve the highest goals in life, while definitely seeing myself and my brand improving, developing and taking more and more international recognition. Of course, we shouldn’t forget the principle of family, which to me is very important.