Dazed Digital

Moscow / Русский


March 7, 2012

Re-inventing the Russian bow tie studio

  • Text by Kristina Voytovich

Being a daughter of professional fashion designer, Maria Ionova, the founder of Bow-Up, started sewing since she was a child. As far as she remembers herself, she always tried to make something different from anyone else. So, it's no wonder Maria deicided to create a handmade studio and started making bow ties.

Satellite Voices: How did you come up with the idea of creating Bow-Up studio? 
Maria Ionova: Once, while I was pregnant, I decided to make a small extravagant gift for my friend's son, and thought that the bow tie is the best choice. Later I published my work on facebook, and, five minutes later, I already had the first two orders. After this success I decided to try to sell bow ties on ETSY. To my surprise, people were ready to buy them. So, I thought if Americans buy the  Russian bow ties, I should continue doing this.

SV: What's the story behind the name?
Maria Ionova:
 My husband came up with the idea of the studio name. He is also a graphic designer at our studio. As we started with sales abroad, we decided that the name should be in English and contain the word ”bow”. My husband thought about Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow-Up", and we finally came up with the name “Bow-Up”. 

SV: Do you buy anything in such shops?
Maria Ionova: I have ordered twice, and wasn't dissapointed. The earrings with the bracelet and the small dolls were fabulous. It is evident they were made by talented and kind people who loved their customers. Until I started doing handmade things myself, I had no idea how developed this area is in Moscow. I had huge shopping malls near to my house, and I didn’t have time to sew because I have been working all day long. Handmade stops became popular here because they can satisfy a wide range of customers. I always remember Bjork who was talking about her native town Reykjavik that they don’t have a habit to wear the same clothes. My parents told me and my brother that we should be different, be individuals, and we were always dressed very extravagantly. Perhaps, that is why I started my studio. 

SV: What do your customers usually order?
Maria Ionova: A lot of customers buy bright bow ties, apparently, as a gift. They choose the materials that reflect the cause of the celebration - Christmas trees and snowmen for the New Year, the hearts for the Valentine's Day - or choose a pattern in accordance with the hobbies - sports, fish, or stamps. At this point I came to the conclusion that the bow ties in our country are an exotic animal that few people dare to have. Although, a lot of them are to ready to give it as a present to somebody else.

SV: You have recently started making night caps. Why have you chosen them?
Maria Ionova:
Night caps are the accessories from the past, even the fairy past, and I love fairy tales. This piece of clothes is not mandatory in everyday life, but these things make our lives comfortable. They make us special.

SV: Do you plan making something else?
Maria Ionova:
 Yes, of course. I really want to make the clothes for the kids.  I plan working together with thу handmade shops that would agree to create with us.

SV: What makes you smile?
Maria Ionova: 
An unexpected joy.

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