Maria Korovilas, fashion designer and artist, felt uninspired by the fashion market, so she took matters into her own hands and launched the Korovilas fashion line. Along with the creation of intricate and fashionable silhouettes, Korovilas also creates many of the textiles used to make garments for the line. Korovilas talks about her inspiration for entering the highly competitive business of fashion as well as ways in which she is taking her brand to new places.
Much of Korovilas’s initial inspiration came as a rebellion against fast fashion that was dominating the clothing industry following the recession of 2008. She states, “What drove and continues to drive the design process is my passion for ‘process’ and ‘craft.’ I was trained in classic methods of pattern drafting, construction and fabric manipulation, so when you know how, where and why things originated, it feels really awful to see the bastardizing of those processes in fast fashion and the effects it has, not only on the environment, labor and the economy, but also on the potential extinction of the true craft of garment development.” She prides herself on intricate and special designs, and the line features many garments that are not readily available on the mass market.
Branching into brides
Following the success of the Korovilas brand, she and her business partner decided to move into the world of custom bridal gowns. Korovilas states, “I love to create garments that require intense hand-sewing, fabric manipulation and other processes that can’t be produced en masse. This was a place to keep utilizing these processes in a way that can’t be put into the mainstream and keep that DNA going with Korovilas since we started with the ready-to-wear/contemporary collection. Naturally, bridal works in higher-end details and construction, so it made sense with the cost and labor involved. It was also a way for me to dip my toes in this market and see where I wanted to head in the future, and I just so happened to have people contacting me to commission custom garments for them.”
Building a brand on timelessness
When entering the fashion business, there is a lot of competition, especially in a market like Los Angeles, which is a hot bed of emerging talent. However, Korovilas doesn’t sweat the competition, choosing instead to focus on her brand. “Our customers have come to realize that Korovilas garments are lifelong garments. My style is about timelessness and true artistry, and that holds up over time. The pieces aren’t for everyone, and I wouldn’t want them to be. If you try to reach everyone, you effectively reach no one. And if you understand the casual luxe DNA, you’ll gravitate toward and know how to wear Korovilas.”
When building a business in a crowded market, it is important not to become overwhelmed. By knowing her strengths and focusing on them, Korovilas and her business partner have been able to build a fashion brand that is on the rise in the Los Angeles fashion scene.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.