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Vladimir Karaleev | IWISHUSUN

Vladimir Karaleev

Designer – Berlin

Vladimir Karaleev is without a doubt one of the most promising names at Berlin Fashion Week. From year to year we watch as he continues to develop, whilst remaining true to himself at the same time: clearly contoured experimental cuts and open hems, asymmetry and drapery, silk and wool dominate his collections, which are strongly influenced by the aesthetic of contemporary art. While his minimalistic styles are distinctive, the Bulgarian designer Karaleev, who is based in Berlin and founded his own fashion label in 2006, never gets tired of experimenting – and we hope he keeps on keeping on!

We are true fans of his designs but Vladimir Karaleev also supports IWISHUSUN. Welcome him as a friend!

What is more important to you, the sense of taste or sight? 

It is hard to compare; both are interconnected. What is sight without taste, and taste is somehow based on sight. Both are very important I guess!

You are a creative person. What is your vision for your personal work?

A permanent quest for new ideas through experimentation.

Most of your designs are based on flowing cloth and asymmetry – is this decision a question of visual aesthetic or of emotion? How important is the visual power of your designs?
I think every designer finds their own way of expressing their visual language. I guess mine is based on sometimes less conventional techniques (the starting point of which can sometimes be a very basic pattern). I found it very hard to find a good balance within asymmetrical forms (if you think mathematically, there is no true balance in asymmetry, so you have to somehow compensate aesthetically). I am not really into prints; for me the perfect shape is a precise interplay between fabric, volume and colour: if they can get together without too much of a fight, then you’ve got it!

Silk is probably your most frequently used fabric. How important is the choice of material for you, and what does a fabric like silk transmit from your point of view?
I don’t confine myself to any one fabric. Sometimes silk gives me what I want, in order to achieve the shape I want, but my fabric of choice is wool. I love heavy falling wool crepe. And I mean, fabric is everything, it does transmit and carry the whole structure and shape.

Where do you source your fabrics from?
Mostly Europe, but you never know where they import their fabrics from. I must say, Europeans are not always the best partners, at least compared to Asia, where they have a much better work ethic.

What is your tactic for making the world a better place?
It’s important to take social responsibility and I try to take part in various causes that are close to my heart. Sometimes I feel bad because I don’t have more time, since our world is full of problems. As an entrepreneur I try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, to make my products sustainable without wasting too many resources - I do worry about that. Giving back is not a one-time act; it has to be a way of life and if more people lived that way, it would be much easier to solve many of our problems…

What is the most beautiful thing you ever saw?
I don’t know. I am not impressed by “beautiful”.

What would you like to see more often?
Understanding between people, tolerance, people listening to each other. In general, we are the problem and the solution: but currently it seems we have too many problems, and I’d like to see more solutions.

Sunrise or sunset – which do you prefer?
Sunrise, it’s a new day.


Pic: Dirk Merten.