With spring almost upon us (the current warm temperatures in London have us very excited), we’re constantly on the look out for exciting new brands to add to our upcoming spring wardrobe. We’ve recently found our new brand crush in the form of ready-to-wear label PASKAL. Dedicated to creating sublime silhouettes and contemporary shapes, this brand has been at the forefront of sartorial innovation since its launch in 2013. Intrigued by the brand’s journey, we sat down with designer Julie Paskal to discuss all things fashion, the impact of social media and being an emerging designer in today’s fashion world.
The PASKAL Brand Journey
Julie: I was trained as an architect and during my education, me and my friends were doing a lot of creative projects besides studying architecture. That was the first time when I tried to design clothes and I liked it. We were looking for something cool at flea markets, designing and sewing clothes by ourselves and going out. In that time, my inner desire formed. And then everything came naturally – after my graduation I wanted to turn my desire into something real and came up with the brand idea. I made the first pieces by myself and shot them in the kitchen. Then, I participated in a city festival and did my first catwalk with only two models, 11 looks and an amazing soundtrack mixed by myself. It was really a DIY-time. I got a lot of support from my family and friends and it helped me to gain the confidence. After participation in various local fashion events, I decided to move forward and come to London for the collective showroom. PASKAL is a pioneer in the broad sense of the word. We were the first in Ukraine who started exporting (our first stockist ever was Luisa Via Roma), the first who got the window at Colette, the first Ukrainian participant of PFW and many more. Participation in LVMH Prize and support of Sarah Mower and Sarah Andelman were the main pushes for the brand; I wouldn’t be at the place, where I am now without them and them believing in me and the brand.
The Many Sources of Inspiration
Julie: My main inspiration is my everyday life, my feelings and my experiences. I’m not saying that art or music doesn’t inspire me, it does, but each PASKAL collection is a personal story, woven from my emotions, feelings and the events that I lived in a specific period of time. I can find an inspiration in everything: in morning rituals, driving car, taking shower, brushing my daughter’s hair, sun glare on the sea surface, clouds, flowers in the PASKAL studio. I try to see something beautiful every second of my life.
A Usual Day in Team Paskal’s Life
Julie: Hectic! We always speak a lot, discussing new ideas and projects and then do the ‘main’ work in a hurry. Usually in the morning I go to the flower market to buy some fresh flowers, after I can draw some sketches or do whatever I need to: production, interviews, calls, meetings etc.
The Impact of Social Media
Julie: To be honest, social media isn’t our main way to promote the product and develop the business. I understand the importance of social media and modern communication, but for me they are something more auxiliary, than main.
Nonetheless, my “godmother” in fashion – sales agent Selene Collins found PASKAL through social media. She saw the picture of Sarah Andelman wearing our skirt and loved it and then found us and it was the moment when PASKAL turned from an Ukrainian brand into international. Within one year we tripled our stockist list.
The Future of PASKAL
Julie: I love to dream, so in 5 years I would like to see PASKAL flagship stores in the world’s capitals. I would like PASKAL to be featured on the Vogue Paris cover and I dream to design the collection for the Björk tour. In terms of business, I really want to expand the line and offer new categories and products to the customer, even fragrance and cosmetics. I don’t mind collaborations with different brands and I hope to see PASKAL x Dr. Martens or PASKAL x Converse very soon.
The Insider Tip for Aspiring Designers
Julie: Don’t start with a compromise, believe in yourself and create something special, do it through using unique vision (if there is any). If the main motivation is the money – don’t start. You need to have a passion to create and this passion will break all the boundaries.
Follow PASKAL: @paskalclothes