While looking for great parka or anorak, I used to look at men’s models. I liked the design, but it absolutely didn’t fit me. Recently, my problem was solved at Lambada Market in Moscow, I found a beautiful women’s clothing brand, Buttermilk Garments.
The founder of the brand, Dina Lubentsova, spoke about the idea of creating a brand, finding fabrics and how hard is to be a designer in Russia.
Tell me something about yourself. How did you come to create your own clothing brand?
I graduated from the British Design High School in 2010, Fashion Design programme. The main emphasis at our faculty was made on the production of workwear and the creation of your own brand. We were taught not only the design, development and manufacturing, but also the organization of clothing brand from a business perspective. After two years of training I had some more time working in the creative agency as a PR manager. But in 2013 I finally decided to devote myself to the creation of clothing.
I really liked the description of your concept on your site. Girls often like male things and it is hard to find an alternative for them. It’s about me and I think it may be also about a lot of girls.
Now I am finalising a female parka for the new winter collection. Women’s clothes fit differently; other materials are used, clothes have another cut, it took time to develop a decent jacket for girls. Once upon a time I worked in a skate shop and I used to skateboard and snowboard. By this way, I perfectly understood the problem of many women. It was easier to find a good jacket in the men’s department, but it didn’t fit at all.
I am one of those who like male clothing. They are concise, simple, functional, and usually qualitative. Men are different while buying clothes: they study the specifications, pay attention to comfort and quality. I wanted to do something like that without unnecessary details. In addition, these things are cheaper to produce, and therefore I can offer an adequate cost.
I like the concept of Scandinavian brands and their approach to life in general. A Scandinavian brand COS is a good example of value for money.
Tell me more about your collection.
At the beginning I did different products, then focused only on outer clothing. Then I added jersey, and now there are basic clothes in my collections. Moreover now I use more expensive materials.
For example, there will be anoraks in the new collection. They are made of thick Italian cotton with acrylic coating, this type of treatment is now up to date. Very beautiful fabric with frayed effect is in the long term, that is, in a couple of months every such thing will get its individual design.
For me it is important to use natural fabrics, I do not like to work with synthetics. Ideally, I choose a natural base with a slight addition of synthetic fibers to improve the properties of the tissue. For example, cotton with lycra or wool with acrylics last longer, will be less rumpled and the fabric will be slowly washed away.
I try to avoid the use of fur and leather while producing my lines. I support the environment. But organic cotton is much more expensive. So everything comes at its time.
Do you produce in Russia?
The entire production line is located in Moscow. It is important for me to track all the work on the spot and to employ people in our country. Of course, there are downsides. We do not always have the necessary equipment, for example machine for sizing joints. The level of development is a bit lower than in Italy or Korea. Competent design, conscious consumption, respect for the environment and people – that’s what I want to promote and develop.
I buy the fabrics in Italy. Now I want to go to Korea to purchase fabrics for the next season.
By the way, in Russia, I found a great insulated fabric, which is used for coats lining. I was one of the first to start making insulated coats. It was on high demand, but quite difficult. If the fabric seemed thin, it is perceived as not enough warm and if it is thick women thinks it seems oversized. This is a very fine line, I’m looking for the same balance that will provide heat and perfect shape for each model.
What about expanding on the international market?
I want to enter the international market, but it requires certain features. Now we are actively developing and aim to work with regions and countries in the nearby. We are already represented in St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Perm, Yekaterinburg and in Almaty, Kazakhstan. And we continue to work on increasing the number of stores.
Do you have an online shop?
Yes, we do have an online store. Moreover there is a workshop where you can come, try and than buy clothes you liked. The work goes on, and we are now gaining momentum. Especially now when I have a small but close-knit team.
What are your plans for the future?
Now I want to concentrate on basic products, to make a limited edition collection and introduce a unique product. In the long term I really want to make men clothes and I am constantly asked about it. I can say that now I step up volumes and work with regions. After that, I will begin to head to Europe and to expand outside Russia.
You can check out my photoshoot for Buttermilk Garments here.