If you are daring with your looks, if you like to mix and match patterns and love experimenting with textures and have a playful state of mind when it comes to fashion and dressing up then you are going to fall in love with Sayya. The Creative Director/Designer Luba Makarenko gained a very loyal Sayya fan club among Easten European fashionistas and now it’s time for her to show us how it’s done here in America! Her colorful, elegant, feminine, comfortable and chic collections just landed in LA and we are thrilled to be the first ones to introduce you to her fantastic vision. Sayya is all about celebrating your personality through the way we dress and we are absolutely on the same page! Available at KOLBO LA.
Luba, your brand is so fresh and different from what we use to see around here, tell us what makes your vision so special?
I love experimenting with colors, patterns and textures. I am inspired by bright decisions in art, people, movies and nature. I like seeing people express themselves through their outfits. And I do that too – keep telling the world who I am through my style. SAYYA is all about bright basics, and my main goal is to create an outfit which is exciting to look at. I pay a lot of attention not only to the outer look, but to details as well. We design and print all of our patterns the linings with inspirational quotes or illustrations from the collections, we express ourselves through what we wear.
Where do you live and how the city is inspiring your designs?
I am from Kiev, Ukraine & now live in Tbilisi, Georgia, there is so much magic to it! It is a combination of the modern and the historical. I am amazed by small courtyards and houses where writers, painters, actors and historians once lived. I am inspired by the atmosphere here, the air itself is drenched in inspiration, and the nature, mountains, sea is breathtaking. I used to live in China, and the rhythm is really crazy there, you hardly have time for anything, nor to have some alone time. Georgia is perfect for being in a creative state of mind.
What are your favorite places in your town?
I am from Kyiv, Ukraine, that’s where the brand’s studio is located, and it is my own little world. It is a city where every district reminds you of something. I would like to mention Ukraine more in this context, Lviv’s spirit is perfect for Christmas, the best fall is in Odessa, with its beaches and old buildings. The Carpathian mountains are best for winter. Speaking of Tbilisi, I love small cafes with antique design, where there is a lot of history – Lolita, Litera etc. My favorite city in Georgia is Batumi, where planes land straight from the sea, and you can just watch them all day. Abastumani is another charming location, where lots of sanatoriums are place, and emperor Romanov’s manor is still preserved.
Tell us about how you create a collection? What does the creative process look like?
It’s a long process and it all starts in my head . I soul search for a mood that I want to give to the collection’s main character. Then comes a mood board, where I put together notes, magazine cut-outs, pictures and everything else. Then I start drawing sketches on my tablet and look for the right fabrics. I usually think of more items than eventually ends up being produced in the collection because there also is a commercial aspect to it. Assortiment matrix creation, cost calculation, samples. After that my team and I start buying fabrics, creating prints, sampling and eventually creating a collection. It’s a long process within which I am content only upon receiving a retouched lookbook and we upload it to our website. Then I need some time to recuperate and get ready for a new collection.
Give us some great styling tips, what is the best way to mix and match your collection?
Lately my goal has been to let you have a mini capsule when buying 4-7 items from a collection, that mix and match. You also need accessories for perfect styling, that’s why we produce shoes, purses and accessories. I would recommend wearing SAYYA’s pantsuits with comfortable shoes, brogues, sneakers or kitten heels. You can combine the prints with monochrome shades if you are afraid of brights next to you face, you can always throw on a sweater, scarf or a blazer over a bright dress. There are no rules right now and I would love for out items to highlight your individuality and style.
What was the proudest moment of you as a designer?
I am actually proud of myself for a moment every time after showcasing a collection. After that I realize that it is only the beginning of a journey and I need to work harder to reach my goals. I am not prone to being proud of myself, I believe my parents should be!
Give us a good beauty tip! Maybe something your grandma passed on! 😉
My grandmother passed on her only knitting skills. My mom never wears make-up, but used to love bright lipstick when she was younger. When I got hold of her vanity, I would cover my whole face with it. My best beauty advice would be clean eating and skincare. With beautiful skin, there’s not much more you would need. My beauty must have consisted of a brow pencil and blush.
Who are the most inspiring women around you and why?
I am inspired by my mom and my girlfriends, who have strong personalities. They are successful either at work or in families. I love it when people who have nothing find their way and bring others along towards their goals. Talking about strong women from the past, I admire Lou Lou de la Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent’s muse, and Gala, Salvador Dali’s wife. She is unbelievable, absolutely cosmic.
Who would you like to see wearing your designs?
All of the above and all the girls around me! And Marie Antoinette, I believe I’d make her life without all the crinolines so much easier. I would also love to see Anna Wintour, Sarah Jessica Parker and J. Lo wear SAYYA. I also believe that every girl who is trying to be the best version of herself is a huge inspiration and strength.
What are your favorite brands this moment?
Depends on my mood. Always happy to discover Maison Margiela’s collections, excited that Elsa Schiaparelli fashion house has been renewed. I believe I have a special connection with Dries Van Noten, we kept having the same fashion ideas at the same time. As for marketing and aesthetics, I like Bimba y Lola and how they deliver. One of the latest favorites is Ganni. At the same time, I love vintage and would love to see people buy vintage SAYYA as an object of desire.