Flowers Set the Trends: Inna Katiushchenko & Olena Onufriv

Flowers Set the Trends: Inna Katiushchenko & Olena Onufriv


The story of Couture de Fleur brand started almost 5 years ago with the friendly collaboration of Inna Katiushchenko, the Ukrainian media publisher, and Olena Onufriv, the famous Ukrainian artist. As a result, the first collection of exclusive silk scarves was created and later on, the idea of the clothes production appeared. In 2016 the Brand was officially presented at Ukrainian Fashion Week in Kyiv. These miraculously beautiful, one could say, "picturesque" clothes, have gained popularity with many of our compatriots. While visiting the Couture de Fleur boutique in the very center of Kyiv or the show-room in Lviv, you find yourself in the world of beauty, bright colors and flowers and for a moment you forget that you are in the heart of a metropolis.
– Inna, Olena, Couture de Fleur is a bright brand that really stands out on the background of modern monochromic brands. Please tell us about the main idea that you try to express in so vibrant, but at the same time delicate and feminine collections of clothing and fantastic home accessories.
Inna: The basic idea of the brand is femininity, inspiration, mood and the creative power of color and nature. Olena’s paintings became a basis for our prints. They have cheerful motifs and palette of nature. One-color garments also fitted into the overall color scheme. We create clothes for real women and are focused on exclusively high-quality natural fabrics. Silk with authentic designer prints are our brand identity. We manufacture our printed fabrics in limited amounts.
Olena: Every woman wants to be wrapped in the petals of flowers, and as I often paint them, we just needed to find a good factory for the production of petals and colors we already had. We have found the right graphic designer, who designed the first logo and fabrics based on my paintings. Thus, the first collection with prints of lavender on silk appeared and that was the beginning of Couture de Fleur brand. Due to the volume effect of flowers and petals our idea immediately became fairly recognizable and we immediately found our fans.
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– Inna, Olena, tell us please about your partnership, and how the idea of Couture de Fleur brand appeared.
I.: First of all, we are close friends with Olena. The idea about Couture de Fleur brand came as an inspiration. We decided to try to put Olena’s paintings onto the fabric and made the collection of scarves. Our first customers were those who love Olena’s paintings. They liked the first collection a lot, the feedback was very good. Then we started to think about clothes and home dйcor accessories. Since the first prints were the pictures painted in Provence, there was the name of the brand – Couture de Fleur. In our collections flowers set the fashion trends. It reflects the connection of women with nature.
O.: Inna has always been attracted by a fashion design. We’ve been good friends with Inna for quite a long time when decided to create our own brand, which would bring positive emotions not only to us but to all women as well. We found a good factory in Italy for the production of silk fabrics with our prints. From the very beginning it was very important for us to create clothes of the high-quality only.
– Inna, being an experienced and successful publisher a few years ago you made a decision to try your hand in fashion industry. What urged you to do this?
I.: The world of fashion has always attracted me. It is all about creativity, as well as media is. I'm quite a creative person: I paint, I like to design interiors. I am interested in turning creative projects into successful businesses. It is no secret that many of those who created successful brands had nothing to do with fashion at first. For example, Emilio Pucci was a political scientist. Couture de Fleur is not just fashion for me, but an opportunity for further development of my various artistic skills.
– Olena, what does Couture de Fleur mean for you? Is this an opportunity to express yourself not only on canvas but also with the clothes, to create the new female looks or something else? What prints can we expect in the next spring-summer 2018 collection?
O.: I have always wanted to be engaged in something else but not only painting. At first it was not easy to part with my paintings, when they were sold. But thanks to Couture de Fleur brand they found another life. This is something completely different, but no less emotional for me!
I see the reaction of people, their happy smiles and it makes me happy too. The brand is already recognizable in different parts of the world, people know “lavender” and Couture de Fleur there. We tenderly call it our “Couturechic” (our little Couture) when talk to each other.
I am constantly drawing, inspired by traveling to different countries. After the fashion show in Azerbaijan, I drew a graphic series of paintings. For the exhibition in Dubai I am going to take my favorite sketches from Italy. There is a series of lavender and fuchsia flowers, which I painted for the collection of my children. It has been extensively complimented already, so it can find a wider audience of fans. There are various interesting palettes. In the near future we will be discussing the brand's new collection of summer 2018.
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– Inna, fall-winter 17–18 Collection was designed to emphasize the nature of the woman and give her the opportunity to feel feminine, even in the middle of the stone and glass jungle. How do you see the future spring-summer 2018 collection?
I.: I see it full of air, light and flying one. The main idea is that woman is a creative being. No matter what she does, in all her actions and inactions there is a certain natural magic, and this is the secret of her success. It is important to be easy going, to trust your intuition and at the same time to be down-to-earth and realistic. The only way a woman can adequately accept new challenges is to imbue her ideas and to inspire men.
– Inna, what is it like to be engaged in the fashion business in the conditions of crisis in Ukraine? What are the qualities you need to possess?
I.: First of all, you have to accept the present moment you live in. Do not complain, but seek for new opportunities, be constantly developing. Difficulties are actually given to us to develop. Secondly, create a team of committed, enthusiastic people. And most importantly: trust your heart in what you are doing.
– February 2017 Ukrainian Fashion Week and Mercedes Fashion Days are the past now. What difficulties, do you think, modern Ukrainian designers are experiencing and how to overcome them?
I.: There are many talented designers in Ukraine and excellent opportunities to sew high quality clothes and not as expensive as in Europe. The high cost of imports creates conditions for the development of Ukrainian fashion. On the other hand, the time requires to look deeper into the business processes, to learn how to make creativity profitable. This industry lacks a consistent approach and integrated platform, a unity.
O.: Everyone is trying to show the best results. There will obviously be some difficulties. You just need to work and go ahead no matter at what level you are now. One mustn’t stop.
Boutique in Kyiv:
4, Museum Lane, 4; (044) 507-05-77. Showroom in Lviv: 9, Grigorovichа str., apt. 6; (097) 937-03-32.
"Trend" shop (Lviv): 17, Soborna square, (032) 235-83-33
Photo: Yaroslav Monchak. Makeup/hairstyles: ICONIC beauty studio
Interviewed by Anna Vishtak

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