We interviewed designer Afina, who designs stunning swimwear pieces that can be bought on Modafirma. Read below to find out how she got into fashion, her most memorable success so far as well as some exclusive fashion advice!
Give us a little insight into your creative background.
Although I never studied fashion design, I always had the creative eye. In high school, I took drawing and sewing and knitting courses. I have always been complemented on my taste in selecting and mixing the right clothes, and many friends and family members would regularly take me shopping with them, relying on my sense of style. So I guess fashion has always been a passion of mine, and I am glad that I not only found a gap in the market, but also managed to combine my business background with something I really love doing – designing and creating.
What/who was your influence when you started your own label?
I remember when I was studying at Regents University, about two years ago, Michelle Mone, the owner of Ultimo was invited to give a talk on fashion and entrepreneurship topic. She really inspired me as not only an incredibly smart and talented woman, but also as someone who never gives up. Michelle said when she finally developed the perfectly fitted bra after spending all her money and nearly three years in research and development, she came with her bras to Selfridges, and no-one would listen to her. But Michelle just wouldn’t leave, she insisted that she developed something truly unique, eventually one lady came to her and told her not to waste her time. Michelle replied that she only need 5 minutes, she begged the lady just to try the bra on. Once she did, Selfridges placed the biggest order for Ultimo bras… within the next few months, she became a very rich woman. This taught me that you should never lose hope, believe in yourself and just don’t take no for an answer. One can have a brilliant idea, but without perseverance and determination it is worthless.
If you could collaborate with any designer/artist, who would it be and why?
I usually collaborate with complimentary brands, for example we just did a pop up event with lingerie and high end fashion women designers. It went very well. We position ourselves as a luxury label so as long as designers are in the same pricing / target market category with us, and do not conflict with our brand identity, we are happy to collaborate
What is the essence of your label?
Afina London is a luxe swimwear brand focusing on quality, comfort and fits to flatter the female form. Our mission is to bring fresh perspective to swimwear and create wearable, yet bold statement-making pieces. We wanted to create unconventional and innovative yet universally flattering designs. Our exclusive swimwear is designed and manufactured in the UK, crafted from the finest materials with utmost attention to details.
How would you describe your personal style? What’s next on your clothes/ shoe/ bag wish list?
I would say it is rather eclectic style. It very much depends on the occasion and my mood. I love combining different styles and mixing materials and textures. For example, I recently bought a very feminine ruffled light pink dress, which I wear with wet look leggings and gives a bit of an edge, but at the same time looks extremely elegant and sexy. My favourite women clothes brand is Maje, I absolutely adore their style and quality.
What is one fashion advice you would give to Modafirma customers?
Never blindly follow fashion trends, develop your own unique style. Don’t afraid to look different and mix styles and colours. Also on my opinion clothing has to be functional – i.e. hide disadvantages of the figure and highlight its best part.
Who is your customer?
The Afina Girl is a woman who is bold, daring and sophisticated. Fun flirty and spontaneous. The Afina Girl demands high quality swimwear that is both stylish and flattering. I think that the woman who wears Afina London lives life to the fullest, requiring swimwear that doesn’t only perform well, but also makes her look and feel irresistibly sexy.
What has been your most memorable success to date?
Our first big wholesale order. I could not even begin to imagine that it was going to sell that well.
What are the key images you want to portray when people see or hear your brand name?
The image of women who travels with style. Our brand values convey exclusivity, luxury, elegance and style.
We saw that you will soon launch your wedding couture collection – could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the upcoming collection?
The limited edition Bridle Couture Line will feature the most luxurious swimwear fabrics, with original Swarovski crystals and 24k gold plated accessories. We drew inspiration for Gabriella – our bridal swimsuit with corset lacing back from European corsetières and Georgina – our bridal bikini was inspired by ballerinas’ dress. We wanted to create something truly magical and very luxe. In creating our garments, we employ the finest couture techniques. We experimented a lot with fabrics and crystals and finally achieved what we think the world’s finest limited edition bridal swimwear line.
Modafirma celebrates and welcomes new fashion and emerging talent; tell us why you decided to join our exclusive social fashion platform?
I think that Modafima is a great platform for start-up fashion brands like us. It provides great choice of brands and it is UK based.
Where do you see Afina London in 5 years?
Afina London’s mission is to be the leading brand in the luxury swimwear sector.