UF Voic­es — Sofi­ja Urumović

I formed rela­tion­ships with tru­ly inspir­ing people.”

Bal­anc­ing between play­ful­ness, sub­tle sophis­ti­ca­tion and non­cha­lance, Sofi­ja Urumović’s vision stands clear: fem­i­nine and com­fort­able cloth­ing with a twist in details and touch of exper­i­ment­ing with shapes and mate­ri­als. Sofi­ja Uru­mović was one of the Unit­ed Fash­ion design­ers dur­ing Berlin Fash­ion Week in 2018 and ModaL­is­boa in 2020. As a fash­ion design­er, she shares her expe­ri­ences and out­comes from her par­tic­i­pa­tion to Unit­ed fashion.

When and why did you start your own label?

In 2017, it seemed like a nat­ur­al con­tin­u­a­tion of my stud­ies. Fash­ion has always been an organ­ic pro­gres­sion for me, inter­est in fash­ion came very ear­ly and it nev­er went away. As a child my dream was to be omnilin­gual, which means hav­ing the abil­i­ty to speak, or to under­stand, all lan­guages. It goes with­out say­ing that this is impos­si­ble, how­ev­er, dur­ing the years I realised that fash­ion is one of the most pow­er­ful and uni­ver­sal lan­guages in the world and that it could be used as a great way of self-expres­sion and communication.

What is the DNA of your label?

Play­ful­ly fem­i­nine aes­thet­ic, which cer­tain­ly reflects my inter­est in shape design — I am huge­ly intrigued by the rela­tion of two-dimen­sion­al­i­ty of pat­tern cut­ting and three-dimen­sion­al­i­ty of human body. Bal­anc­ing between colour­ful play­ful­ness, sub­tle sophis­ti­ca­tion and non­cha­lance in a seem­ing­ly naïve man­ner, the vision stands clear: fem­i­nine, loose cloth­ing with a twist in details and touch of exper­i­ment­ing with shapes and materials.

Where do you get your inspi­ra­tion from?

Most of my inspi­ra­tion comes from per­son­al inter­pre­ta­tion of every­day life and the world around me. Some­times it’s an inti­mate mem­o­ry, a dream, a fear. Some­times it’s a coin­ci­den­tal arrange­ment of ran­dom objects. Some­times it’s a stranger on the street. I always start my col­lec­tions with think­ing, observ­ing the world around me, soak­ing in all the visu­als, brain­storm­ing. I am a very curi­ous per­son, I have always been, so I try not to lim­it myself – instead I let inter­est­ing things around me dri­ve my creativity.

What do you con­sid­er the biggest chal­lenge the fash­ion indus­try is fac­ing today?

At this very moment, I obvi­ous­ly see the COVID-19 cri­sis as the biggest chal­lenge as it has affect­ed the indus­try on so many lev­els and con­se­quent­ly exposed the unsus­tain­able inef­fi­cien­cies of the fash­ion sys­tem. How­ev­er, I also see it as much need­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty to slow things down, re-eval­u­ate the busi­ness mod­els and reor­ga­nize every­thing. The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion has showed more than ever that the entire indus­try needs to imple­ment con­scious, respon­si­ble busi­ness mod­els with sus­tain­abil­i­ty at its core. The pan­dem­ic cri­sis will force a rethink of industry’s cur­rent state of work­ing (which gen­er­al­ly has so many flaws) and reshape the indus­try as we know it, result­ing in new ways of think­ing, build­ing, design­ing a new fash­ion sys­tem. I am pos­i­tive about the future.

How are you involved with Unit­ed Fashion?

In July 2018 I have par­tic­i­pat­ed at Berlin Fash­ion Week through Unit­ed Fash­ion and now in March 2020 at ModaL­is­boa. It has been a won­der­ful cooperation.

How did you expe­ri­ence your participation?

It has been an incred­i­ble expe­ri­ence, both in terms of hav­ing a very suc­cess­ful pre­sen­ta­tion of my work in Lis­bon and in terms of con­nect­ing with such a vari­ety of inspi­ra­tional cre­ative minds from dif­fer­ent fields of industry.

What result­ed from your par­tic­i­pa­tion to Unit­ed Fashion?

Lots of valu­able feed­back from peo­ple who have been in the indus­try for a long time! I also formed rela­tion­ships with tru­ly inspir­ing peo­ple, exchanged views and ideas with oth­er cre­atives and, most impor­tant­ly, had fun along the way.

What’s next? What are you cur­rent­ly work­ing on?

The pan­dem­ic lock­down caused a lot of changes for my future projects and plans, but I am stay­ing pos­i­tive. Since every­thing stopped (or slowed down to a large extent) I am most­ly using these uncer­tain times to reassess my work and gath­er new ideas.