Designer Interview

By: FashWire
Jun 16, 2023 11:28 AM

What did the beginnings of GAYANA look like?

GAYANA’s story began in a flash, with an epiphany. The idea of what I wanted to do came, on the one hand, instantly, but on the other hand, I had been on a journey toward this moment all my life.


What made you want to design scarves and shawls?

At first, I thought about textile design, but then I realized that fabric has to be processed before it reaches the consumer, and you never know what it will turn into. I wanted to create a finished product, something that could be used immediately. My other consideration was the composition of my drawings. I create circular illustrations, and they require a square shape framework. The idea of making handkerchiefs was born out of the geometry of my drawings. There was another premise for me to design scarves. I remember how several years before the brand was born, I wanted to buy a designer silk scarf, but I could not find one that I absolutely loved, with some I did not like the pattern, with others the colors were not great, and with the rest the fabric was not the best. When I did finally buy my first silk scarf, I still wasn’t 100% satisfied so the thought occurred to me: “If you want something special, you have to make it yourself.”


What is your earliest design memory for your brand?

My earliest design memory for my brand is of my first new style drawing, which turned out to be my first scarf design, appropriately named – BEGINNING. That drawing also gave me the idea for the brand’s logo, the chameleon.


“The mission of the GAYANA brand is to show that you can dress stylishly and look great without overloading your wardrobe with an abundance of clothes.”


What was your previous work experience before launching your brand?

I had different work experiences in my life.

After high school, I entered and graduated with honors from the Moscow Academy of Design with a degree in leather goods design. After my graduation, I worked for a couple of years as a shoe designer at a flagship shoe manufacturer in the USSR where I received valuable experience in manufacturing products from conception to mass production. It was back then that I first experienced a feeling of incredible joy and pride when I saw women on the streets of the city wearing shoes that I was directly involved in the design and production of.

Unfortunately, after the collapse of the USSR, my career as a shoe designer was interrupted, as the Soviet economy suffered a default, and all production began to shut down. I had to get a second degree, a law degree, and became a practicing attorney working for several different companies and law firms. The designer inside of me was just waiting for the time to reemerge. The time finally came, and my passion turned into my business in 2013.


What was it like moving your business from Europe to the USA?

As you may guess, moving to the US wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I didn’t know how things would go in a different country and I had no idea if I would be able to manage my business in Russia while in the US. So, I decided to shut everything down until I was able to re-acclimate and figure out how to run my business in a new environment. It was actually more difficult than when I started from scratch – a different language, different rules, different mentality, and also, no friends or connections.  In Russia, we have an expression, “The road will be mastered by the walking one.” If there is a true dream, there will always be strength and ways to overcome any difficulties.


What is the GAYANA brand mission?

The mission of the GAYANA brand is to show that you can dress stylishly and look great without overloading your wardrobe with an abundance of clothes. I want to show that the right accessories can diversify your wardrobe and instantly change a whole look.


How would you describe the style of your brand?

The style of GAYANA is “New Classic” – bright, fresh, fun, and elegant


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

The first thing that sets GAYANA apart from the rest is our unique designs. They are recognizable and memorable. Most designs start with a circular geometric base, the elements of my patterns are intertwined with each other and form new intricate shapes and patterns.

The second unique feature of GAYANA products is the colors and color combinations, they are bold, bright, fresh, and eye-catching.

GAYANA scarves are an infinity of themes. My themes are inspired by nature, wildlife of land and sea, seasonal celebrations, architectural details, as well as cultural themes from around the world. It is interesting for me to create drawings for scarf designs on a variety of topics, sometimes even unexpected ones, to encrypt them and weave them into beautiful bright patterns.

I love challenges and go even further. I provide a very unique service, I create custom designs, it can be a special event theme or someone who wants to make a unique gift and incorporate the name of a loved one on an already existing design.


“GAYANA’s consumers deserve the best product, and we stand by that commitment.”


Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in everything around me – nature, people, objects. The whole world is my endless inspiration. I am constantly walking around taking pictures that seem interesting and inspiring and writing down notes and ideas. I have more ideas than time to produce them.


Do you have a passion other than fashion or design?

Oh, yes, my other big passion is my art. I paint in oils, and when I am in the process I am deeply and truly happy. Right now, I am working on a big project which includes graphics, oil paintings, art objects, and installations. I hope to find an interested art gallery to turn it into an exhibition.


What were some hurdles you had to overcome in your business?

I have always been a trusting person, but there have been many times when people took advantage of this and did not fulfill their contractual obligations which led to financial losses and wasted time. Such moments are always very hurtful, as this is a circumstance beyond my control.

All other difficulties do not frighten me – every problem can be solved, can be overcome. Even more – more difficulties can make life more interesting and bring more knowledge and experience.


If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?

I would tell myself this: “Trust yourself more. There is nothing you can’t figure out and do.”


What brand values are most important for GAYANA?

GAYANA stands for conscious fashion, reducing the volume of production and consumption. We believe it is better to buy fewer things, but better quality, you will appreciate these things more and they will last you longer.

GAYANA only uses natural fabrics. The use of synthetic materials damages our environment. Laundering of synthetics pollutes our water systems and because synthetic fabrics don’t bio-degrade, discarded garments end up in landfills forever,

GAYANA products are eco-friendly produced. All factories with whom we work, are certified and meet high environmental requirements.

We stand for the highest quality standards. We not only create products that are unique in design but also with exceptional quality.  Multiple factories were not able to meet our quality standards so finding the right production partners was a painstaking process.

GAYANA’s consumers deserve the best product, and we stand by that commitment.


What is the most important thing you would like your brand to be recognized for?

I want GAYANA to be recognized for its unique and beautiful designs. I want the name GAYANA to be associated with beauty, luxury, and style.


What do you envision for the future of GAYANA?

I envision GAYANA receiving international awareness and appreciation. I want GAYANA products featured in the top boutiques and stores all over the world. I would like to expand my product line so that wherever I might travel, I’d see people wearing my designs.