Last January, I had the pleasure of meeting Tea Avosaps and Yoan Galabov, the duo behind the Sofia-based Minoar clothing, at the Void Showroom in Paris where they were exhibiting together with twenty-something other up-and-coming labels. After briefly perusing their latest collection entitled "Trans Urbem", we headed down to a local cafe in the Marais district so I can pick out their brains and learn more about their relatively young conceptual label. After our brief tete-a-tete, I got more and more intrigued with their works as designers and artists. Then, shortly after returning to Manila, I contacted them for an exclusive interview so I can share their point of view to my readers. And luckily, they agreed.
So guys, meet Minoar.
Please give us a brief background of your brand Minoar.
The label started two years ago as an idea which has developed into a clear and specific direction. It offers one visual aesthetic wherein one cannot be associated with a certain style. The impression from the overall silhouette is intended to aim individuality.
What is Minoar's design philosophy?
We have two main points that make up Minoar's direction. These are the uniqueness and unpretentiousness of nature and the ultimate form.
Give us one word that sums up Minoar’s design aesthetics Please explain why.
Symbiosis. Symbiosis is the union between the design in matter and the human body.
What are the advantages of having a design partner? What are your respective duties? And how do you delegate the respective tasks among yourselves?
The greatest advantage is that decision is taken without uncertainty. This is how we know that our decision is always the right one. If we think oppositely, then, we will not be able to realize our vision. As a result, we will not be able to materialize it proactively. To selflessly support and mutually stimulate each other are the forces that drive us to expand our horizons. We do not distinguish each other based on our duties. We always actively participate in every action and decision.
What are your typical arguments and disagreements as partners?
The best example would be our typical discussion on the initial stages of our work: shaping and building the preliminary model. Whether draping it directly on the form or sketching it on paper, we take into account what's the best method for the situation. We believe there's no "right" way since different methods have varrying results. It just all depends on the particular direction we want to thread. Indeed, we never think as one person. Instead, we try to understand each other's mind and pick the best argument. Because oftentimes disagreements never lead to a good solution.
Where do you normally draw inspiration whenever you start a collection?
Through transition of the experience. With every step, we understand more. This affects us similar to the so-called "the butterfly effect". The energy that we generate to our creations gets reciprocated back to us. This connection of course would not be possible if our intentions are not genuine.
Last Paris Fashion Week there were so many new "darkstyle" designers. What makes MINOAR different from the rest of that niche?
We try not to associate ourselves with a specific direction in fashion. “Darkstyle”is already an inserted frame. In order to push our minds and get out of our comfort zone we try to avoid a limiting frame. For each piece from the collection, we utilize a monochromatic palette as an over-all local tone. Bright colors are not an expression to us. Shape and proportion are the key elements to showcase our point of view. We want to make a difference by creating functional clothing from natural materials.
In general, Minoar utilizes sustainable materials. What made you guys go into this direction?
The thing that is pushing us into this direction (utilization of sustainable materials) is that we are part of this nature. Therefore, we envision ourselves unfolding the garments in sync with our bodies. It just makes more sense to us to utilize sustainable materials. Because of this, we are alway in the pursuit of developing our materials.
Do you have any pieces from your current or previous collections which people can easily identify you with?
Each item has its own distinctiveness. We believe that we can easily be recognized by the uniqueness of our functional garments made from natural materials. An example is our Aleph leather jacket from our Spring Summer 2015 Collection. It has a unique structural construction which is far from the classic pattern making construction. The sleeves and shoulders create a rectangular form, avoiding the typical oval shape of the human body. The armholes have an unconventional square form. Aside from the hidden inner zipper, three handcrafted silver buttons are placed on the front of the jacket. We really take into account every single detail of the construction of our pieces to ensure our DNA is present.
Both of you are self-thought artists, with background in Mathematics and Jewellery, before you create a collection do you visualize it on your canvas as artists or you just make the collection and worry about the general outlook once the collection has been completed?
We always have an inner picture of what we want in the end result and we express it in different ways. Sometimes by exact representation of an object in image, sometimes an unknown place. Our study is contoured on a mental canvas. It is the process of analyzing and understanding a new element.The current line has a direct parallel with the perfectly clean monument called Gurgulyat and mainly the way how each surface casts shadows.
At this moment, do you consider yourselves as artists or designers?
For us, the designer is an artist. The silhouette of a figure is the paint canvas of Minoar. As much as possible, we want to refrain ourselves from being classified to a particular label to avoid being pigeon-holed. We want to have the liberty to do everything.
When did you realize you want to make clothes for a living?
It happened instantly and spontaneously. From that moment, we decided to make clothes purely as personal experiments. Right after that, we felt that there was a need to build garments dictated by fantasy. At the same time, we wanted to contour a visual identity.
What are the toughest challenges you have encountered as a label coming from a non-fashion capital like Bulgaria?
To connect to people with similar frame of mind so we can communicate our vision to them. In some way, we don't mind not coming from a big fashion capital because we are not driven by the opinion of others. To stay pure in your intentions in creating garments is very important to us. Our minds are pristine and self-sufficient. As a result, we rely entirely on our imagination.
What do you love most about your job as designers?
To constantly seek something new. When we conceptualize something, we spontaneously create it. Then, we literally live in it. Then, the cycle begins again with the pursuit to seek for something new.
Big hugs to Yoan and Tea for making this interview possible. See you guys in Paris. And I'm extremely excited to visit your hometown this summer! I'm sure we'll all have a blast! So guys, stay tuned for our upcoming rendezvous!
Photos courtesy of Minoar
For more information on Minoar visit www.minoar.com.