Interview with the designer Melina Vou
About the designer. Designer Melina Vou aims to create clothing that empowers women to feel strong and confident in their everyday life. According to the designer, “clothing is a representation of what a woman is and aspires to be, making this one of the principles that this unique brand supports. In a world, which is constantly changing and evolving, women are feeling the need to be as adaptable as possible, whilst remaining stylish and fashion forward.”
About the brand. The brand’s philosophy is inspired by female empowerment, with each garment evoking this feeling among the women it dresses. Timeless elegance combined with an architectural, modern edge makes this label the perfect choice for fashion forward women with a taste for classic femininity. With quality being imperative, the fabric selection process is carefully carried out and each garment is produced in Melina Vou’s studio based in Cyprus, with attention focused on every detail.
In your opinion, what are the main reasons, that there is no one unique size guide in the fashion world?
I believe that the reason for this is linked to manufacturing related issues. Factories that run mass production, use the same or very similar sizing guides. Online chains may all have their clothing produced at the same manufacturer, therefore, their sizing will be the same. High street stores use other manufacturers and because of that, sizing will vary there as well. Commercial fashion giants are always going to consider the most cost effective solution in order to maintain attractive retail prices for their consumers. And finally, luxury fashion houses are more attentive to fit issues. They construct clothing more thoughtfully and consider how it will look on their clients.
What size guide(s) are you using and depend on, when designing and making Melina Vou clothes? Has it changed over the years? If yes, why?
My sizing guide is the result of trial and error. I've worked at a fashion house and in merchandising and buying, prior to opening my own business. There I gained a lot of first hand experiences and insights on what women want and need. As a designer, I carried that forward into my own business and built my sizing guide based on what I had learnt. I try my best to make clothing that is versatile and suits various body types, as I feel that’s the most realistic approach. All women are different. I want to produce clothing that would fit well on various body shapes. I've also started making clothing that is small, medium and large. I do this mainly with jackets, capes and outerwear, as this is more convenient from both design/manufacturing perspectives, as well as for the client.
Can your customers’ needs or lifestyle changes influence the size of your products? Have the sizes’ scale anyhow changed over the years?
I always consider the “modern woman” when I design clothing. These days that can range from full-time mothers who run errands and are always on the go, to dedicated career women who spend all day in meetings, then go straight for dinner or socializing in the evening. I try to incorporate versatility into my clothing as that’s what my brand represents; meeting the needs of every woman and not making them feel restricted when it comes to fashion.
How often your customers return your products because of the wrong size? What are the main reasons for that, in your opinion?
My online store is still quite fresh, so it’s still very early to pick up on these patterns. One of the reasons why I have started doing S/M/L sizes, is to avoid fit issues though. For example, this cape is a loose fit, so it’s unlikely that someone will return it for the size related reasons.
Finally, do you agree or disagree, that technology needs to be implemented to fashion, in order to provide the customers new shopping experiences?
I feel that fashion technology is almost a new industry altogether! I’m so honored to be living at a time where technology is having such an impact on the fashion industry. Hopefully, I can be part of this movement. It is definitely a positive thing, and it’s already having an effect on the way people shop and live their lives. I’m open to all the changes that can benefit the costumer and the design industry as well.
To conclude, size is a sensitive topic in fashion world. There is no “secret recipe” to create a common used size guide, which would fit all of us, because we are all in different sizes and shapes. However, the right knowledge, skills and technology in fashion is slowly changing our understanding about online shopping and decision making, when it comes to clothes sizes.
For more information and inspiration visit Melina Vou home page.
Ieva Smitaite, Communications at Easysize