Photos by shopatvelvet doc
To shopatvelvet, a brand founded by Randy W. Sastra and Yessi Kusumo, women who wear their clothes should have the freedom to express their personality and to interpret the design in their own way. Such perspective is also echoed in its more exclusive establishment, byvelvet.
Sharing a strong interest in architecture and design, Randy and Yessi decided to start a fashion line in 2011. “Before that, we only curated and tested the market. We enjoyed that phase but we wanted to be more involved, which meant creating our own label, with our own design and quality control. Therefore, we officially launched our website and brand as shopatvelvet that same year,” says Randy. Since those early days, shopatvelvet remains focused on e-commerce, and has successfully attracted women of all ages.
Modern and simple are the first impressions of the shopatvelvet collections – from its cutting to its colour combinations, which are mostly in neutral and pastel tones. While having a strong minimalist form, the designs also show a seamless feminine and romantic twist through signature details like pleats and their well-known (and widely copied) knots that they have been developing and evolving since 2012.
While other designers might want to make their customers look bold, shopatvelvet focuses on being understated and letting women wear the clothes any way they want. It’s not the design alone that creates the look – it’s more about encouraging women to explore different looks to bring out their true personalities. “Our details are not too bold. We’d rather be known as a brand that brings out individual personalities than dictating our brand’s aesthetics on the women. People may not realise it when they see our designs, but it’s the way that women wear our clothes that makes their personality shine through and that is what we are aiming for,” adds Yessi.
They apply the same approach to their line byvelvet, a label that uses superior materials and apply elaborate detailing in the designs. The sister brand has also gained international attention with its appearance at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo. “Byvelvet is created for those who have refined their individual style and are now looking for clothes that reflect their particular taste and attitude, as if they have entered a different stage in their life.”
By letting the women define their own style and bring out their personality, shopatvelvet’s designs are no longer about what people wear, but how they wear it. It is, interestingly, in line with what Sophia Loren said, “A woman’s dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.”
This article was originally published in Indonesia Design’s 74th edition themed “Product Design” published in 2016.