Widely acclaimed for his precise cuts and dark fashion universe, designer Maikel Tawadros' arv label is known for a style that is avant-garde and minimalist, with plenty of creative courage displayed in a contrasting blend of fine fabrics, fur, and fantasy film-grade leather accoutrements.
What convinced you to start your own brand?
After graduating, I had a strong desire to bring my vision and aesthetic to the Danish fashion scene. My look was a bit more edgy than what other designers were doing at the time. My shows had a darker approach; that was very personal to me. I wanted people, the press, and my customers to really understand me and my design aesthetic.
What is the most important knowledge you have gained as a designer/brand so far in 2020?
Patience. Things take time. You can create something unbelievably cool, but that doesn't ensure instant success. I also learned that having a strong vision makes your story much easier to communicate with your end consumer and while doing that, why not make the
process as sustainable as possible? In the end, it’s the consumer who decides if you survive or not. Last but not least, the most important thing is to follow your heart, even though it’s a journey for which you don’t have a map.
How do you stand out from the crowd in 2020?
By creating small-scale, sustainable, and socially responsible clothes wherein 90% of what we produce is made within the EU or closer to home. At arv, we produce small quantities – when a style is sold out, it’s gone forever. My philosophy is to make people consider how they consume; we don’t need to buy a new jacket, bag, and knit every season. It’s an outdated way of thinking. Instead, I hold to the maxim quality over quantity.
"Arv" means "heritage". How did the name come about?
It was extremely important for me to create a brand that is 100% me, but I didn’t want to name the new brand after myself – arv is a different project, a new me with an eye for sustainability.