Elena Bobysheva is a creative force to be reckoned with. This Chicago-based fashion designer releases her Spring/Summer ’16 Lookbook October 28th and shows no sign of slowing down. She fell in love with fashion when she first came to America and saw the elaborate costuming coming out of Hollywood and Broadway. Enthralled by this new world, she pursued her growing passion for good design. Bobysheva recently released an e-commerce line for her own personal brand, E l e n a B o b y s h e v a. The high-end designs are fresh and bold, clearly displaying the “very strong and recognizable, signature aesthetic” she chases. The best part? Her label is rooted in sustainability and animal welfare. We fell in love with her a while back, but you might recently have seen her featured at Vancouver Fashion Week.
Who were your biggest fashion inspirations growing up?
If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t have any fashion inspirations growing up because I was completely unaware of a fashion industry period. Nobody in my family or anybody I knew worked in fashion, so my perception of a “fashion industry” was department stores. And at that time, I wasn’t particularly interested in fashion. My childhood interests included art, dance, and music. It wasn’t until I moved to America that I really started to notice the fashion magazines, celebrities on the red carpet, etc. So it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I found my first style icon, Victoria Beckham.
At what moment do you feel like you really came into your own brand?
I still feel like I’m on a journey of shaping and defining my brand. I unofficially started my brand my last year in college because an opportunity presented itself. The year prior, I won first place in a few design and business competitions, so one of the organizations invited me back my senior year as an “alumni winner and emerging Chicago designer.” Because of this, I made my first ready-to-wear collection (whilst also creating a separate senior thesis collection, which was required for graduation). When I graduated, I then had two collections under my belt – one was ready-to-wear, which is good for buyers, and the other one was more editorial, which is good for press (I also had press from being in competitions). After graduation, I was approached about participating in Chicago Fashion Week. After my debut show, my collections were picked up by Chicago retailers.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my Autumn/Winter 2016 Collection, whilst prepping Spring/Summer 2016 for buyer appointments, production, and retail deliveries in February. We’re also currently strategizing how to increase our social media presence and make our narrative more compelling to our customers.
Best nugget of advice to an aspiring Midwest fashion designer/photographer/blogger/model?
Be authentic, only put out quality work, work hard, and be genuine. Never stop learning, creating, and improving your craft.