Ev Bessar, you’ve heard of her previously on our Style Fashion Week post but now I want to put the limelight on the designer herself. After making such a deep impression on stylistic eyes at Style Fashion Week, I’ve been itching to get to know the mind behind the designs and just, you know, getting to know someone I consider seriously talented. I couldn’t resist asking the designer some of questions.
First things first, Ev hails from Russia (Da!) and stands for a very strong cause, congenital heart disease. Her designs are unique, dark, futuristic, and powerful. She has partnered with artists to raise money for her charity and earned a spot at Style Fashion Week during NYFW. It’s time to remember her name because we may be buying it later. But enough of my talking–let’s get into the real story.
When did you fall in love with fashion?
I believe every human being is gifted with creativity. I found the best way to explain and express myself through Fashion. I started exploring various forms of Art since childhood meanwhile tearing my mum’s or brother’s clothes apart to make outfits. But I have never thought I would be a designer. I graduated from two universities in Russia, Finance and Linguistics. And coming to NYC I realized that my true passion is creating the stories with clothes. Fashion is my inspiration and reflection of my inner universe, the door to an imaginary realm, where i fill every piece I create with thoughts, desires, rhymes and broken phrases. It’s my canvas that helps to bring ideas alive.
What is one outfit that you’ve seen that you felt ‘I have to create Art like that’?
The Alexander McQueen‘s mind-blowing creations have always astonished me and boiled my imagination. Although I am working in a monochromatic color palette, his vision has definitely added depth to my boldness in design.
How would you describe the personality of your designs?
That would depend.. and not only on the design but also on the wearer. Some pieces are reversible , and they give different attitude. My clothing is predominantly unisex and certainly the garments won’t tell the same story when worn by different personalities. Overall, I’d say the feeling of them would be bold, daring, confident..
Who do you look up to/who are your muses?
Daphne Guiness, Angelina Jolie, Boris Bijan Saberi
What about your Russian up-bringing do you think gives you a competitive advantage?
It definitely differs from any European or American heritage. And I am strongly attached to my roots, literature, nature, language. I grew up in a very hardworking family. My parents gave me all their souls. I learned since childhood that when its good – its bad, when its great- its still not perfect, there is always next step, more room to grow and more goals to achieve. If that can be considered as advantage, then I will take it.
What was the hardest thing about moving to NYC from Russia?
Starting everything from scratch, adapting to different mentalities.
But here I feel the drive, the race that doesn’t allow me to stop.
Why did you chose to live in NYC?
NYC is an island of treasures- so many talented and striking personalities.
I enjoy playing with imagery, concepts, and characters. Here, with the mix of cultures, open – minded and risky people , it’s such a pleasure to create and never sleep
I know you consider your workspace “The dungeon”, how did you come up with that nickname and why?
My studio is the basement of my home. It is surrounded by brick walls, raw pipes and really cool windows up in the wall. When I lose myself in time and the sun starts picking through the glass, it gives a glare that looks like from a another world. It’s fascinating when it rains – the sound of thousand falling drops drumming over the windows..
What do you want people to feel when they see or wear your designs?
I want them to feel the power, confidence, and beauty of being yourself and being special.
What pushed you to start HeartEd?
I started HeartED as a tribute to my parents who lost their first child due to the congenital heart defect. I feel the urge to help underprivileged families to avoid the tragedy. We are fundraising with HeartED campaigns for those families that don’t have the means or possibility to get their child a life saving surgery.
Please visit the website for her cause match campaign here.
What is one of your favorite stories from the recipients of your foundation?
My favorite story is the one of Nahaniel- very clever, energetic kid that was diagnosed with a heart defect when his mum Jennifer was 35 weeks pregnant. Nathaniel was born on Nov 14, 2012. He had his first open heart surgery when he was 7 days old, followed up with a surgery to repair his pulmonary arteries at 8 weeks old, and his second stage surgery at 6 months old. Despite having his heart condition , Nathaniel is developing and behaving as a strong toddler.
For Nathaniel support before his third operation, we organized a fun art workshop with our dear friend – an amazing artist Guo Jian. The kid was full of energy, glowing and laughing, even though sometimes having problems breathing. I’m very happy for the family to be able to overcome the difficulties and for Nathaniel to bravely fight for life and recover well after the surgeries.
I saw your flash mob at the event for your charity, what was the inspiration behind that?
The dance flash mob, choreographed by Karma Stylz, it was organized as a launch of our new HeartED fundraising campaign during Jessica de Vreeze‘s “Portrait d Atmosphère” Inaugural photo exhibition with mise en beauté by Joey Sanchez, Brandon Kan and Julie Demidova. The event was hosted by AnaStasy and Janel Koloski, Superdave media, and as always supported by Geometria TV.
The campaign is built under a 30 days program of a Save A Child’s Heart organization, saving underprivileged children with CHD from all around the world. The program offers a match to all the funds we raise, so they will be doubled. It’s an amazing opportunity to save as many children as we can.
When people say ‘Ev Bessar,’ what do you want them to think of?
I’d like people to think of Ev Bessar as the brand of high quality materials, hand made clothing, that serves the purpose of equality, sustainability, and supports charitable organization.
What do you want the public to know about you, your brand, and your foundation?
Currently we are combining the forces of the talented, driven people to organize a spectacular Fashion & Art related event. I have been working on putting an amazing team together and waiting for the right moment to make it happen. I feel I am surrounded by incredible people at the moment, which gives me an opportunity to create an unforgettable show. Stay tuned for September NYFW!
Last one for fun, what is your favorite restaurant in NYC? Feel free to say more than one.
I like Mediterranean cuisine, and Greek is one of my favorites. There is a fantastic spot on lower east side- Pylos.
If you want to learn more about Ev Bessar and her designs, visit her website at www.evbessar.comIf you want to learn more about the Cause Match Campaign for congenital heart defect, the official website is here.
Also, if there’s anyone you’d like me to interview or somewhere to visit, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos provided by Ev Bessar
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