Julia Seregina, a Russian fashion designer, moved from Moscow to officially land in New York in 2016. Since then, she’s been creating her journey is a fantastic way!
New York is an incubator for emerging fashion designers from all over the world. It’s beautiful to see their journey and how they mature along the way.
It’s also quite interesting to see their own particular characteristics, experiences, inspirations and understand why the city of New York was the chosen one to create their roots.
We spoke to the talented and beautiful, Julia Seregina. She’s originally from Moscow and is officially living in New York since 2016. Before that, she was developing her line in Moscow, since 2010.
1. How did your passion for fashion arise?
I was born in Moscow, in a family with multi-national roots. The atmosphere of culture diversity predetermined my creative mindset and originality.
I inherited my passion for drawing and modeling garments from granny, who in that distant time of goods deficit managed to turn rags into stylish wear. My favorite pastime was sketching and the most precious toy was a trunk with pieces of beautiful fabrics, yarn balls and books on sewing, knitting and embroidering. I preferred knitting most of all, and years later that hobby resulted in creation of my own knitwear label.
Luckily, I had chance to travel and live for a while in Europe, and see outfits of elegant European women. This versatile high streets “runway” strengthened my desire to dedicate my talent to fashion, to embody my own vision of a modern woman outfit. Many of my current ideas are inspired by my mother’s wardrobe from ‘80s.
2. You had a NYC experience before actually moving, back in 2010, right? How was that experience?
Years ago, being a passionate knitter and an holding an idea of own line, I first came to New York to participate in the “Vogue Knitting Live” – a big event where knitters gather from all over the world. I instantly fell in love with the City, and was impressed by Americans’ attitude to crafts, and entrepreneurship.
Here, I first learned what sustainable fashion is. The US is the first in everything. I had no doubt I would come again, but could not imagine that after a few more visits as a tourist, I would eventually move here to start my own venture.
3. How did you start your brand and move to NYC?
It was a long journey to become a designer. At first, my passion was not supported by my family. They convinced me the career of economist would ensure stable living in future. I got my MS degree in International Economy and Marketing.
That was not something that I really enjoyed, but years later I realized that having worked in multinational corporations for several years, I learned how to be an entrepreneur. I also honed my understanding of a working woman’s style preferences. Willing to embody my ideas into contemporary modern garments design, I eventually decided to redirect my career towards my childhood dream.
After months of intensive self-education and research I launched my own label in 2012. I did not have enough budget to finance my start up, so I decided to raise funds applying for fashion competitions. I won several awards – Premium Young Designer Award in Berlin, Young Creative Entrepreneur Award by British Counsel, and was shortlisted in a number of contests and events.
Following sustainable fashion values, my collection was selected as “Fashion Innovation” at Source Award arranged by Ethical Fashion Forum. All that provided me opportunities to showcase at fashion weeks in Berlin, Copenhagen, London and Milan. My garments started selling from the very first collection.
In 2015 I applied for O1 (Extraordinary Ability) Visa. And I got it!
In September of 2016 I moved in New York to re-launch my line from scratch under the name JULIA SEREGINA NEW YORK. That was a real challenge! I had no friends or any contacts here. And my first year I spent in Manhattan, searching for suppliers, retailers and anyone who could be interested in collaborating with my venture.
I soon gathered a dream team of professionals who worked with the most prominent brands: pattern-makers, graphic designers, photographers. Our collection of reinvented everyday wear for powerful women is now presented in 2 showrooms in NYC. And there is still a lot of work ahead before I can call my entity a well established business.
4. Tell us about your collection?
In my collections I blend the elegance of well-made, classic pieces with the artistry of unconventional details, with emphasis on experimental knits. Transforming and reinventing space into new forms through knitting, crafts and fabric manipulations, I aim to create clean, simple and easy to wear silhouettes.
I often hear from my clients that my collection is different, and that my garments are “relaxing for the eyes”. This comment is extremely valuable for me.
5. Which are your biggest inspirations?
Talented people, with their passion, authenticity and free spirit. My collections celebrate creative powerful women. Before approving a new outfit I always imagine when, how and where they would wear JULIA SEREGINA.
As for the shapes and colors, the inspiration comes to me randomly, as a weird blend of simple but very personal things I experienced through my life. The rare art from places I have been to, crafts from my childhood. Plus, I love making surprising blends of classic and avant-garde with arty and sporty notes.
6. Why NYC?
I just love this city: its artistic vibes, challenges, and multiple opportunities for self expression.
7. What would be your advice for someone staring in the fashion industry in NYC that you’d love to have known earlier in your career?
Having plenty of opportunities for emerging talents, NYC fashion industry has become quite a competitive field. If you want to start your own line, you should get prepared very well before you begin to invest time, energy and money.
So, learn the industry, the market, your customers, define what you expect to achieve in fashion, and your possible trajectories of how you are going to make it.
Bear your dream in mind, and take small steps to achieve it. For example, if you have limited budget to make a capsule collection, start as a mono brand with your strongest category, like sweaters or skirts or suits, and become really good at it.
Building your own brand is like constructing a multiple rooms house. Each element needs taking care of: product development, marketing, sales and many other things. To succeed in New-York every detail should be done perfectly at the highest level.
And, you cannot do it alone. Gather your dream-team, search for like-minded people who would support you. Also, meet industry professionals, search for advise, ask for help.
Moreover, the good news is that the new opportunities now arise in various aspects of fashion: styling, video production, art direction, content marketing management, etc. I mean, it is not necessary to be a designer to build lucrative career in fashion.
8. Do you have any exciting upcoming projects you can share with us?
Thank you for the question. I am excited to share with you that we are developing a concept of “Identity driven fashion”, representing it through our campaigns. The Heroines of all our lookbooks are women with extraordinary background.
For example, one of the models was an editor from with a ballet background. For our latest shoot we invited a Jazz singer who had recently graduated from the Harvard Astrophysics faculty. Our new collection is coming soon!
9. Where can we find JULIA SEREGINA?
We have been in a relaunch phase till now, and currently starting with a new business partner. So, we reviewed our strategy.
In addition, we plan to open our upgraded online store soon. And, we start selling in boutiques. Please follow our Instagram Page for updates.
So, as we said, NY truly an incubator for emerging fashion designers from all over the world.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Yulia Levit and Maria Savelieva
Art Director: Natasha Mileshina
Make Up Artist: Aisha Campbell
Stylist: Julia Seregina