Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Fashion Innovation – A chat with Antonio Vattev

By Mira Postolache

Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Antonio Vattev’s avant-garde brand, av vattev, emerges as a beacon of sartorial storytelling, intricately weaving together threads of culture, history, and style in a mesmerizing symphony of fashion innovation. 

With an enriched identity at illustrious fashion houses like Saint Laurent and an artistic residency at Sarabande, Vattev’s creative vision transcends mere design, seeking to elevate apparel into a profound narrative medium that resonates on a deeper, emotional level. 

Hailing from the crossroads of Bulgaria and London, av vattev‘s DNA pulsates with a fusion of multicultural influences that form the brand’s distinct essence. Antonio Vattev deftly melds his roots with the dynamic vibrancy of British urban culture to craft a tapestry of contemporary yet timeless pieces that exude a magnetic allure, embodying a modern man who champions both style and substance. Central to av vattev‘s ethos is a steadfast commitment to sustainability – a conscious choice that underscores the brand’s dedication to eco-conscious practices. By meticulously selecting local Bulgarian factories and utilizing a majority of deadstock, recycled, and organic materials in each collection, av vattev stands as a vanguard of responsible, environmentally-friendly fashion.

The Autumn/Winter 2024 Men’s Collection, ‘superculture,’ pays homage to the groundbreaking Rock Against Racism movement of the ’70s, channeling its spirit of unity and rebellion through an array of exquisitely crafted pieces. Drawing inspiration from icons like Mick Jagger and Liam Gallagher, the collection breathes new life into the echoes of past subcultures, seamlessly blending elements of Mod, Skinhead, and Punk with a contemporary twist. Each garment in ‘superculture’ is a testament to Vattev’s meticulous attention to detail and unwavering dedication to craftsmanship. From the signature Jukebox tailoring – a nod to Mick Jagger’s iconic style – to the reimagined bomber jackets and sleeveless shirts inspired by Skinhead fashion, every piece in the collection exudes a sense of artistry and purpose.

Syd Shelton’s poignant imagery of the Rock Against Racism era serves as a visual anchor, capturing moments of cultural fusion and unification that resonate, even today. Through the medium of fashion, av vattev not only celebrates the past but also propels it into the present, infusing each creation with a narrative that transcends mere aesthetics to embody a profound message of inclusivity and solidarity.

In a landscape characterized by fast-paced trends and fleeting fads, av vattev stands as a bastion of timeless elegance and conscious creativity. Antonio Vattev’s visionary approach to design is not just about clothing; it’s a profound exploration of the human experience, translated into wearable art that speaks volumes about identity, heritage, and the power of unity in diversity. This collection is not just about garments; it’s a manifesto, a visual manifesto that challenges the norm, provokes thought, and invites us to ponder the significance of fashion beyond the surface. Indeed, av vattev is not just a fashion brand; it’s a narrative, a story waiting to be told, a melody waiting to be heard. Find below the exclusive interview with Antonio Vattev x Vanity Teen:

Can you delve deeper into the concept of av vattev’s creative ethos, which explores the intersections of culture, history, and style to craft contemporary yet timeless pieces? How do you strike a balance between staying relevant to current trends while creating timeless designs?

Since the beginning my goal was to build a brand which doesn’t follow trends but builds a community and audience in a slower and more sustainable way. I believe that the only way to be relevant is to present something personal and true to yourself, rather than following trends. Timeless to me doesn’t necessarily mean boring or classic. The meaning behind timeless for our brand is something that is well known but presented in a new way, through a different and modern approach. 

You have mentioned that av vattev’s essence reflects a harmonious blend of your homeland heritage and the eclectic culture of London. Can you provide specific examples of how these two influences manifest in your designs and overall brand identity?

Once I moved to London I was hungry for knowledge, I wanted to know and experience everything I could that this city offers, from nightclubs to exhibitions and concerts. Later on I got interested in my own culture too. I realized how rich, unique and interesting it is, I think this was my homesick instinct. It was so natural to me to blend both worlds into my work, for example we use a traditional Bulgarian embroidery technique called Gaitan to illustrate shapes and ornaments inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s artwork, or we worked on a traditional British raincoat  covered with draped and wrapped elements inspired by the artist Christo, who is originally from Bulgaria.

Sustainability is a resolute commitment for av vattev. Can you explain in more detail the alternative low-impact materials used in your finished products and packaging? How do you ensure the quality and durability of these materials? 

We utilize more than 70% deadstock fabrics each season, sourced from Italian mills to minimize waste and avoid unnecessary production. However, this approach presents challenges, as our selection is limited, and we must order fabric for sampling and production before sales. Frequently, we must cancel or reduce orders due to the limited amount of fabric, impacting our business. Thankfully, our buyers understand and support our approach. Furthermore, we incorporate biodegradable materials into our packaging, aligning with the ethos of our brand.

The AW24 Men’s Collection, ‘superculture,’ draws inspiration from the Rock Against Racism movement. How did you research and immerse yourself in this historical movement to capture its spirit accurately? How do you translate the themes of unity, cultural exchange, and rebellion into tangible design elements?

I was introduced to the Rock Against Racism movement through Syd Shelton’s photography book, and what caught my attention was how people from different cultural backgrounds gathered together to fight for change through music.

The primary objective of this collection is to illustrate the power of unity through the convergence of diverse ideas and perspectives. I aimed to create a collection rooted in meaningful dialogue, drawing inspiration from figures like Mick Jagger, Liam Gallagher, and British subcultures such as Mod, Skinhead, and Punk. These influences seamlessly blend with the brand’s distinctive aesthetic and signature elements, resulting in a collection that reflects the current landscape.

The Jukebox tailoring in dark brown pinstripe satin is a signature piece in the collection. What made this specific 1965 picture of Mick Jagger with Francoise Hardy so significant and inspiring? How did you reimagine this design with av vattev’s distinctive aesthetic and the addition of the thistle logo?

I believe Mick Jagger is one of the most stylish men in the world, and he is my main muse. He embodies coolness, fragility, masculinity, elegance, and wild energy – everything that embodies av vattev’s man. My research includes tons of images of Jagger on and off the scene, so the Jukebox tailored piece is a result of the blend of all of them.

Liam Gallagher’s influence is intriguingly woven throughout the collection, reflected in parkas, oversized knitwear with tartan elements, and contemporary shirt-anorak pieces. How did you ensure that each element captures the essence of Gallagher’s style while staying true to av vattev’s unique design language?

Liam Gallagher’s style is unmistakably iconic, so for the pieces inspired by him, we integrated small details like our jukebox closure or tartan elements on the knit. I believe that the fabric choice and colours are also relevant to our brand, resulting in a very organic final result.

The shirt-anorak pieces in the collection undergo a modern transformation with pleated V-neck collars in various patterns and fabrics. How did you approach integrating these timeless elements into a contemporary design? Why did you choose to emphasize the collar as a key detail in these pieces?

A V-neck, funnel silhouette is something I’ve been exploring for the last few seasons. Typically, we integrate these elements into outerwear, but this time, the anorak was part of our research, and I aimed to breathe new, fresh life into this piece while retaining its classic silhouette and infusing it with the essence of av vattev.

The collection pays homage to key pieces from the Skinhead subculture, such as bomber jackets, tracksuits, and shirting. Can you elaborate on how av vattev modernizes these pieces without losing their historical significance? How do you balance the nod to the past with a fresh and contemporary approach?

Like every other garment in this collection, I aimed to retain the reference while integrating it into my own style. For the bomber jackets, we use waterproof cotton, a technical fabric with a soft, glossy finish reminiscent of structural velvet. This fabrication breathes new life into the garment. Additionally, we added our jukebox closure, which serves both functional and decorative purposes. The placement of the snap buttons and coverage of the front zip make me feel like I have a brooch attached to the jacket.

The shirting and tracksuits are adorned with laser-cut and embroidered panels, as well as traditional Bulgarian embroidery called Gaitan. I believe that the essence of the brand lies in these details.

Looking beyond the ‘superculture’ collection, can you share your vision for the future of av vattev? Are there any specific collaborations or partnerships you are interested in pursuing? How do you intend to continue pushing boundaries and evolving as a designer and brand?

The future of the brand lies in our self-development. I am excited to share an even more concrete message while developing our visual style to the point where we create our own universe, welcoming everyone interested in culture, music, and self-expression.

I would love to collaborate with more artists, as well as footwear brands, to expand our offering and close the circle. Even though the times are extremely challenging for young brands, especially for menswear brands, I believe there is much I can learn from our current situation and apply those lessons for a better future.

As a designer who values storytelling, how do you envision av vattev’s role in creating conversations and impacting society beyond the fashion industry? How do you hope your designs and brand can influence and inspire individuals on a deeper level?

Every season, I strive to share my knowledge on a particular topic, hoping that people are interested not only in the final visual aspect of my work but also in the message we aim to convey. I believe that knowledge is the key to a better life, where we approach everything with empathy and understanding.

A letter to your future self.

Everything you’ve done makes so much sense today. You should be proud.

Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Fashion Innovation - A chat with Antonio Vattev Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
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