ZIB* is a colorful fashion brand from Riga, Latvia that creates originally designed casual clothing and accessories for women and kids. It was founded in 2012 by Inga Priedite and Irena Andrejeva, who were then students at the Art Academy of Latvia.
Each ZIB* garment is handmade from their workshop and goes through the entire process – from sketching to digitized printing to sewing. Today, ZIB* is made up of a team of creative women – Annija Viluma (Production Lead), Edite Feifere (Customer Service), Katrina Talberga (Project & Events), Inga Kalnina (Accountant and Bookkeeper), Baiba Saurina and Liva Linina (artists and dressmakers).
Irena Andrejeva creates designs as all the other team members do, and her love for photography also makes her the official in-house photographer.
Today, director and co-founder Inga Priedite shares with us her personal picks, her inspirations, the challenges, and a few other things you’ve probably wondered about of ZIB*.
What’s the story behind the shop name?
It was from our thesis project on the concept of reflective knittings. ZIB* is based on Latvian word for “sparkle” or “twinkle”. By now, the brand concept has changed and we now design casual clothing with printed drawings by me and Irena and other designers. In winter, we launch a collection of knitted hats and gloves with worked in reflective elements.
Can you share with us the process of creating these items?
All creative process starts with ideas that we put on paper. Therefore, working on sketches is a significant first step. Ideas for prints start with pencil or black fine point pen drawings on a white sheet of paper that are later embellished with colourful pencil drawings or watercolour paintings. Once the sketch is ready, it is further digitally edited to bring out brighter colours and adjust to the right size for the clothing.
ZIB* team is lucky to have such talented and harmonious members that complement each other. Therefore most of our prints are a combination of work by several team members. The complete composition is a mosaic made up of layers of different sketches. Our drawings are distinguishable by the fine lines, hidden characters and symbols, as well as bright and lively colours. This is what makes up the unique signature of ZIB*.
Screen printing is essential part of ZIB* daily routine. We learned this technique while studying in Art Academy of Latvia. At the very ZIB* beginnings, the first jersey leggings were made in screen print technique and that is the reason why this technique is so dear to us. Some of the screens have been renewed several times and many new designs have been created. Screen printing allows endless ways of using the screen – stencils can be printed in many different compositions and each print is unique handmade design.
Digital printing is a printing technique to transfer images on fabric. First, the picture is colour printed on paper. Afterwards the image is transferred on the fabric using high temperature heat press. Digital print allows to make full color prints with small details and nuanced colour blends. The high temperature of the heat press allows the colour to be absorbed by the textile fibers and makes the color long lasting – it will not fade or wash out. It makes it possible to print on fabrics with different textures and thickness, like polyester and other textile suitable for digital printing. The dazzling drawings and colour schemes on ZIB* dresses, tops and sweatshirts are all printed this way.
The photos for the shop are stunning! Can you tell us a little bit about what goes on behind the photoshoots?
ZIB* photoshoots are a big part of our work and we always spend a lot of time and brainstorms to fulfill our dreams. Each of the team members participate in every photo shoot. It’s a great job, created by an enthusiastic team. Almost all of decorations are hand made by our team. We are sewing, building, cutting and sometimes also dealing with not so feminine instruments, such as borer and hacksaw. 🙂 The amount of work is huge, but the result should always be light and joyful.
What are your top 3 favorite picks from your shop?
1st place goes to comfortable ZIB* leggings “Mint beetles“, as I’m a pretty active person. I love to feel comfort every day.
2nd place goes to – “Emerald Iris” maxi dress from new collection “FRAMED”. I love it because of it’s colour and design. While creating this design, I got inspiration from Claude Monet paintings which are one of my favourite ones.
3rd place goes to – “Flash of the Northern light – training tank“. As I like to do different sports activities, this is the right choice! 🙂
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is all over us. We just have to be open-minded, and catch those tiny details and moments of our lives. If you are to tired or in a bad mood, inspiration won’t come to you. The biggest inspiration comes from traveling around the world. But we also try to be inspired by everyday life, and also from each other’s designs. 🙂
How would you define ZIB’s latest collection “Framed”?
ZIB* collection “FRAMED” dismantle the concept of time and space, and brings new life and meaning to art masterpieces. The meaning of artwork is not complete by framing it and displaying it on the walls of a renowned museum. It continues to live its own life and transforms through the eyes of admirers and reflects the changing times. It continues to breathe and reside in peoples’ memories, triggering new thoughts and ideas, and serves as stepping stone to the new.For this collection we found inspiration in the works of by Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Frida Kahlo, Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
As we are new fashion brand, each and every day comes as a challenge from which we learn from. Actually, failures can inspire us. That’s the way we grow and learn how to do things better. For me personally, the biggest challenge is to combine my creative soul with leading the team and taking care of financial issues.
I’ve learned that fabric scraps from ZIB are taken to the LUDE weave studio. Could you tell us more about this?
Cooperation with weave studio LUDE started as friendship. One day girls from LUDE were visiting our workshop and that’s the way how our friendship/cooperation started. It’s such a great feeling when you can do what you like and also know that all those fabric scraps serves as foundation for something new and beautiful as LUDE weaves.
What future projects or collaborations can we look forward to for the up-coming year?
Actually we have a lots of plans in our minds, but as we all know – we just don’t have enough time to do all what we want! 🙂
The nearest project in our scope is the Reflective accessories – safety vests, hats and other accessories. Here in Latvia winter is very long, days are dark and it’s very important to be visible on the streets, so we are trying to make those reflective accessories more colourful and stylish.
And in the beginning of 2016, we are planning to release our new sport collection. Plans for the next year are huge. Stay tuned and follow us on social networks to be the first who knows about latest news.
Your message to customers and friends?
Never stop believing in your dreams! To fulfill them you have to make the first step, even if it’s a small step – make it and you will be amazed at what can happen! 🙂
Thank you so much, Inga!