I am not very well versed with designers. So when I end up with an opportunity to interview one, I don’t know what to expect. Especially the fact, that they are usually termed as haughty people who think no end of themselves and nothing of you.
So when I met Milena at a trendy Dubai Bistro, I was pleasantly surprised. Despite being hot property where High End Bikinis are concerned, having been part of the fashion scene in Russia,Japan, Maldives and Dubai to name a few, she was warm, courteous and happy to answer to a tonne of questions. And it ended up not being just an interview but a conversation.
I grew up in a place called Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy. Its a beautiful place with beautiful beaches. When young I started working as a sales girl at a local shop. Over there I understood that I had a passion for fashion and that I understood what shapes and styles would flatter a certain body type. So I worked my way up from there, became a professional buyer in Maldives among various other things that I did and now am the Managing Director of Milena Fashion.
What is fashion to you?
I believe fashion is not for impressing others. Though ofcourse, what you’re wearing getting appreciation gives a serious high, but personally I think fashion is a pick me up. When you wake up one morning and are not in the brightest moods, what do you do? I go to my closet and take out a dress which makes me feel confident, happy and ready to face the world. Its something which makes me happy. And I want the same for my customers.
What is your upcoming show about, what’s the inspiration behind it?
Honestly speaking, I never know what I will be showcasing in a show till an evening before. On the said evening, I put on music on really high volume and choose from my collection whatever suits my mood and the music. So I would say, music can be termed as my inspiration.
How often do you come up with a collection?
See, I design not just for the show but to sate my creative urges. I am always at work, always designing. I don’t really have an upcoming fashion show as a deadline in my mind. I keep designing and when a show comes up, I just pick things from what I have. So I would say, you will find something new each time you visit us.
Dubai is literally the center of the world. It has such diversity, such vibrancy that it had me hooked the moment I was here. I get to design for people coming from different places, different fields and very different needs. There are people who want very conservative clothes and then there are ladies who want to experiment. This always keeps me on my toes and helps me develop as a designer.
What makes your services different from others?
My vision is not to be here only to design and sell clothes but to forge relationships with my customers. We have personalised services. When you go to a mall, what saddens me is that there is no one to attend to you. You go there, try whatever you think will fit, if you like something, you go to the cash counter, pay and move out. Its too cold for me.
I am from Italy. And we Italians are warm people, who like to converse, discuss and have a relationship with the people we are dealing with. When a client walks into our boutique, we want them to feel at home. We want to understand what they are looking for. Then we start with our services, where we advise them clothes according to their body type, colors that would flatter their complexion and other fine details so that they get their best look.
Also, we often call Italian make up artists every month who give our clients make up advice free of cost. Many times the ladies visit us not just to shop but to relax. They come, enjoy a cappuccino, browse through our clothes, its like a sanctury for them to relax. Maybe that day they will buy something, maybe in the next visit. We are not pushing for sales all the time. Sometimes my customers just drop in to relax and chat.
We believe in taking care of our customers and making them feel valued.
Have you ever used plus sized models in your shows?
Yes I have. And I really look forward to having more of them in my shows.
What do you look for in a model?
A natural beauty, normal size in a normal body …