- How did you come up with the idea to create your brand?
The visual part has always attracted me. First, architect & designer education, then I opened my multi-brand store while studying and was selecting models for it. Later I worked as a fashion photographer and cooperated with other brands. All of it prompted me to experiment: create my own product. It was supposed to be a brand of minimalistic leather bags. But after finishing the first units, I faced the reality, which is a lack of high-quality accessories and factories in Ukraine, and, most importantly, realization that natural skin is far from eco-friendly. So, I decided to continue working with clothes. These were the years of revolution in Ukraine, and a dramatic collapse of currency (approximately 4 times) led to insane prices on imported brands, so it became almost impossible to buy things at sensible prices. The main goal was to create high-quality laconic models with a minimum of décor, made of natural fabrics only.
- Why did you choose this name?
Picking the name for the brand was a 3-month task. It had to be short and unique but I just couldn`t find the right one until I accidently combined my husband`s and mine initials. And that`s how “Madgie” appeared. As it turned out later, Madgie is a name that means pearl.
- Who or what inspires you?
When creating models, I am inspired by opposites. Concrete and glass surfaces of the metropolis, its noise and transience on the one hand, and the silence of nature, textures of wood and stone, ease of air and smoothness water on the other. Also, strong male silhouettes and gracefulness of women. I am inspired by the symbiosis of visual and tactile parts of the universe. Our things are multipurpose because regardless of the occasion and time of the year, with a minimum of accessories, all models are combined with each other.
- Your brand is known for its quality. What fabrics do you use?
We use mainly Italian fabrics. Our love – natural wool, we use it during all the seasons for making skirts, jackets, trousers, coats, etc. It can be of different density – from warm coats and knit sweaters to fine polished for dresses and suits. Even in summer it is not hot in wool products, because the skin breathes. In addition to wool, we use natural cotton, silk and fabrics of a new generation – tencel and modal that are made from eucalyptus, bamboo, beech and pine fibers.
- Was it difficult to start up a business in Ukraine? What were the obstacles?
Honestly, very difficult. There is no educational institution in Ukraine where people learn how to create and manage their own brand, and this applies not only to the clothing brand. Everything is learnt only through your own trial and error. It is difficult to predict which model will appeal to customers, and which will go unnoticed, and subsequently, this influences a lot the financial component. The biggest problem is that by creating your own business in Ukraine, there is no state support and there is no guarantee that by the end of the month you will have something to pay to your employees.
- What was the most difficult part in creating the brand?
To finally take this step and all the responsibility with it. As such, I didn’t have any problems during the creation of the brand: I was lucky as I knew how to photograph and show the product the way I wanted to. I actually still do most of the shootings personally. The main issue was personal investment and how to introduce the world to the product.
- What do you consider your greatest success?
The main success is that our clients love us and come back to us again and again. We focus on the quality of patterns, tailoring and packaging, use natural materials and offer products at loyal prices. Fortunately, people more and more often think about the origin of clothing and intelligent consumption of clothes. The tendency is to retreat from synthetic fabrics, appreciate minimalism and form a personal style.
- Do you think the Ukrainian product can fully compete with international, more famous brands? Why?
I`m in big doubts, to be honest. Let’s face it, in a situation of equal prices for similar goods of Ukrainian and foreign production, majority will choose a foreign brand, because people just love foreign labels.
- Is the price / quality ratio competitive in the international market?
More than that. We do not make large margins and set loyal prices, and things that are in the “sale” section are often sold below their cost. The cost of our products is at least 3-4 times less than the analogues of foreign analogues.
- Is the Ukrainian product popular now in Ukraine and abroad?
It is. First, because of the price – designer (limited) things are sometimes even cheaper than foreign mass-market products. Secondly, due to the great competition in the market, the level of quality and style rises. And frankly speaking, now it has become fashionable to wear things with the Made in Ukraine label.
- Where can one buy your products? Is it possible to do this, being abroad?
Our showroom is located in Kiev on Khreshchatyk. We have international delivery and we ship orders worldwide regularly. On the website madgie.com you can easily place an order at any time of the day. Madgie is loved in the USA, Lithuania, Latvia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Germany, Poland, Italy and in other countries.