“I want people to feel special in my clothes, it takes a lot of time to create them, and to wear them you need to have power in yourself,” says designer Victoria Masalova. From the moment she launched her label V4K in 2020, Victoria created an approach to craftsmanship unlike any other. Drawing inspiration from nature, beauty, and fitments, the brands brings an undoubtedly fresh perspective to knitwear.
Within V4K’s latest collection, there are barely-there knit shrugs, tops, hip-hugging dresses, and a barbie-pink knitted top among other pieces. The latest arrives come in a range of neutral-toned hues, spanning across “Black,” “Milk,” and “Beige.” Standouts include the sleeves, which can be paired with the brand’s cropped top with an asymmetric bottom line. Elsewhere, the Holey Dress and One Sleeve Top feature fitted silhouettes while highlighting the endless possibilities one can create with knitwear. Through her garments, the designer explores self-confidence and security, celebrating hyper-femininity, curves, and sensuality.
We had the pleasure of chatting with founder Victoria in regard to launching V4K, the process behind her garments, and more. Read on for our conversation below.
You previously mentioned that fashion is an art that helps people express themselves and to be who they truly are. Are there any specific aspects of people’s lifestyles that interest you the most?
I just love people who understand their responsibility and the connection between their thoughts and actions. Can’t say this is a definite lifestyle, but people who truly listen to themself and work on themselves, just happily doing what they want, and that is the lifestyle I like and strive for. Not many people can afford to wear what they want, and it is not about money. It’s about their mind, they think too much about what other people will think of them. Or maybe it’s not the time, not good enough, and so on, but all this doesn’t really have a meaning because it’s only your life and you’re responsible for enjoying it.
V4K has only recently launched some years ago. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how the brand came to be?
Well, I’m from a little town in Siberia, where nobody has heard of fashion. I was a creative kid so when I was ten, I understood that I want to be a fashion designer. It all started from watching fashion on television, buying Vogue—not even reading them, just studying the pictures, and drowning collections in every season.
For an artistic person like me, living in our little town was very boring, nobody understand fashion there, but I happily had a little company of friends. So all of my spare time was spent taking photos, making videos, and I even did makeup for money. I did everything! After I finished school, I went to the university in a bigger town near mine. There, I learned how to manufacture and sew, and after university, I tried to work on clothing production for another brand and I couldn’t do it because I felt so bad about working for someone.
Thus, my friend and I decided to make our own fashion brand, and this is when I started to understand how many people actually should work on doing a brand. Of course, we didn’t have enough money and experience, and actually, as two people from a little town, we had a lot of limiting beliefs and no confidence in our art at all! We didn’t realize it at that time of course. In the process, we independently began to study how to build a brand, study marketing, business, even silkscreen printing, and too many other things. Here, all of my skills taking photos and video, makeup, were all very useful and improved a lot!
After three years of work, it didn’t grow enough and we decided to separate our ways. That’s when I started to make my own brand and it’s a cool story too because to run it, I had to work three different jobs. I also started to work on another brand with a girl who lived in Moscow which helped me to move here finally. Here, more people love fashion and support your art! It’s very important for me.
What does the process behind creating a garment look like? How many hours are put into each piece?
Firstly, to knit items like this you need to have a certain skill and understanding of things. For example, for products such as sleeves, it’s difficult to draw up a pattern scheme because of the large number of holes, and they must be in a certain place and size, or otherwise the thing will be perceived differently. You need to feel a thing so when I’m working with a master and not knitting by myself, it takes time for explanation and tests. Also, you need to understand the types of yarn and their threads and behavior.
Although of course, we always start from a sketch then we go to the construction from a fabric. From there, I started to make a lot of experiments to create the desired form. While you knit better fix, it’s important every step into a scheme. If you’re lucky to make a cool pattern during the first time, you can do it on another copy. If you don’t, you’ll have to knit it all over again. It can take weeks of work actually. Then after all preparations are ready, like the scheme, yarn, and tests, it can take up to two days.
Garments like the Sexy Top and Holey Dress come in tonal hues like beige and black—what is the role of color in this latest collection?
To be honest, it is just the colors I liked. I can’t explain it, it was just my mood at that time. Then I went to the pink, and recently I bought a grey-colored yarn. During that moment, I didn’t have so much time and resources to pawn an aim into colors, I’m guided by my gut and feelings, so it comes from inside, it’s real art.
What kind of person do you envision wearing your garments? What do you want people to think or feel when they’re wearing them?
I see wonderful and creative people in her or his way. I want people to feel special in my clothes, it takes a lot of time to create them, and to wear them you need to have power in yourself!
The tops and sleeves are among some of our favorite items from V4K, what inspired these pieces?
Thank you! Fun fact: I wanted to make the sleeves that I did for V4K as they appeared in my head a few years ago, so I had to start knitting on my own to create them. It is all started from a thread, I saw it and imagined sleeves. It’s so thin and elegant, but at the same time, it keeps its shape and it’s smooth. I was very lucky to have this yarn like it was in my head. Then my head didn’t stop and I made a top, and again, I just went with my feelings.
Launching a clothing label is hard in itself. What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
It is hard! Not enough confidence, money, or experience. You have to make too many things you wouldn’t even ever thought you will do, but it becomes more interesting because of this. Every day is like a little test: what will you do for what you love? I do everything and I’m happy every step is a challenge. I’m a very shy person, and I have to work on myself, to move on. I knit and create schemes for V4K on my own! That’s the craziness for me!
Do you have hopes for the future? How would you like to see the brand grow and develop over the next few years and later down the road?
I hope for my brand to grow larger. I would like to cooperate with fashion stores and maybe other brands. Also, as a creator, I’m dreaming of making clothes in new techniques. I have a dream to help other creative people who don’t have many opportunities, making their dreams come true, and I have a lot of thoughts about how to make it.
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