Elvira Bashanaeva: “I want to remind people how inner beauty is important and how it makes us feel glowing, especially when you are comfortable and confident in what you are wearing.”
Meet Elvira Bashanaeva, a 27-year-old from Russia who has studied Art & Design for 11 years in Russia, China and France. She is a fine artist, fabric designer, environmental designer, fashion designer and the founder of her fashion brand, ELVIENSE.
Q: You are a professor of fashion design at INTERMARK International Design College in Shanghai. What do you enjoy most in your work?
A: I really enjoy teaching. I enjoy sharing all the knowledge in a way that will be easy for my students to digest and make it useful. My favourite part is to see my students grow. It’s similar to gardening. Planting a seed, when you water it, nurture it and watch it grow, then the tree is blossoming and giving it’s fruits. It’s truly pleasant to see.
Q: Describe working as a foreigner and professor in China?
A: Honestly, I’m in love with China and Chinese culture, so it’s already such an inspiration to be here! Plus the international environment of the university makes it even better merging different cultures and backgrounds together. It’s a great opportunity for me to learn Chinese language and discover the history and the culture of this beautiful country.
Q: What advice would you give to people working within the industry in China?
A: The fashion industry in China is so powerful, especially production! It’s truly fascinating to see the quality and speed of manufacturing in China, so I believe that the industry these days requires the same abilities from the new people coming to work in it. That means you have to be creative, fast and efficient, being positive and trying to bring a better impact with your work.
Q: How did you find yourself in fashion?
A: I knew I would be a successful fashion designer when I was 5 years old. That was clear for me from the very beginning and what I want to do in life. I have been creating fashion all my life, however for my first education I chose to be a fine artist and fabric designer, I started college at 15 years old and I’m glad that I chose this profession first, as It truly developed my taste, sense of colours and proportions as well as understand the human anatomy.
My next profession was Environmental designer in the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts, which is considered to be the best in the Design field in Russia.
Studying environmental design was interesting for me. This knowledge was useful as I integrated it in my final thesis where I designed the concept store for my brand. However while I was preparing my basic knowledge, my heart was already starving for fashion and at the same time with hardest university studies and sleepless nights I was learning fashion at night, and everywhere I could, until the moment of truth came and I got invited as an exchange student to study Fashion design in Shanghai, Intermark International Design College. I spent my 1st semester there and right after got invited to Paris for the internship at Emanuel UNGARO at Avenue Montaigne where I was designing the womenswear collection for the Japanese licence as well as prints for the fabrics. That was just the beginning of my fashion education.
My Chinese story has continued – an invitation to teach academic drawing and fashion illustration at Intermark, with full government funding and free tuition as a talented international student.
The first important triumph was the presentation of the collection of 45 models in the downtown of Shanghai, in the large shopping center ASE Mall. Later, I won the 3rd prize and became the laureate of the international competition “THINK YOUTH” among 250 fashion designers, and my collection was repeatedly exhibited on the catwalks and galleries of Shanghai.
By the end of my studies in Shanghai, I have received a diploma with highest honours and an award of the best student of the year in the Fashion Design department.
The year of 2019 – Master’s degree in Luxury Marketing and Fashion Brand Management in Mod’Art International, Paris. I entered the top 3 best students of the year. And also I took an internship as a designer in the French brand Arthur Avellano and in 3 months I managed to create a new collection for the brand, develop patterns and even sew the models for the fashion show in Paris.
Now I’m fully focused on my brand development and working on my new collection.
Q: What is the ELVIENSE vision and mission?
A: As an artist first of all my mission is to bring beauty in this world through my creations, but it’s not only about the physical beauty. I want to remind people how inner beauty is important and how it makes us feel glowing, especially when you are comfortable and confident in what you are wearing. Secondly the concept of my brand is in multi functional and transformable garments which you can modify and adjust according to the mood or occasion. This helps to save time and definitely answers the needs of a busy modern woman, moving around the world, looking perfect and traveling light.
The ELVIENSE woman is smart, confident, knows the value of her time. She has a great taste and high demand for the quality. She pays attention to details and functionality. She always looks impeccable and understands that her personality is always in the spotlight. The manner of speech, the way she looks, the society in which she revolves weaves the perception of her with invisible threads by people around.
Q: If you have a chance to participate in a global fashion week of your choice, where would you want to show and why?
A: I would definitely want to make it around the globe ! But if I was to make the priority list, I’d start from Paris, Shanghai, London, New York, Milan, Seoul, Vancouver and Dubai. I believe that these cities have great interest in Fashion and great buying potential.
Q: Use three words to describe your brand.
A: Character. Passion. Vision.
Q: What is your favourite accessory item that truly speaks to your personal style/taste.
A: A designer jacket is ´the must have´element for every fashion lady. The unique cut, interesting texture or just a nice body fit. I personally love jackets and I’m always wearing my designs. I’m in love with the unique, yet elegant items, which stand out and speak for you, even when you yourself are silent.
Q: There is no doubt that the Covid-19 has changed the fashion industry, along with many others. What do you think the most challenging aspect of this is for designers and business owners?
A: We have faced a truly historical moment, as there will definitely be a mark “before and after” Covid-19. I do think that we will overcome this, however we will never forget it. This pandemic will influence and shape our behaviour for many years ahead. I do believe that it will change the shopping behaviour considerably. Especially in the fashion industry where people come to try on new garments in the stores, they will definitely care more for the sanitary conditions of the fitting rooms or testers of the make up products for example.
In China masks have been used as a fashion item for a long time already, I guess it’s time to make it fashionable everywhere.
For fashion designers, it’s truly a moment to rethink of the future fashion and think of the better materials to design with, which will make people feel more secure and protected, not only focusing on the visual aspect of the garments. And as for the business owners it’s truly the hardest times, as they will need to survive this moment with the lowest sales, while still paying the salaries and rents, and at the same time rethinking the strategy of the company, updating the sanitary conditions of their business, points of sale and delivery. And of course caring for their employees and customers.