I had discovered the MATÉRIEL TBILISI brand by chance and I had fallen in love with the cut of their pants. I have learned that it is today one of the oldest clothing manufacturers and fashion retailers in Georgia. Indeed, the experience gained by working alongside European and Soviet fashion houses has enabled them to have a solid foundation in creation.
I like the idea that items are entirely made in Tbilisi, a city in Georgia in the Materia factory. It is rare to see a brand continue for so many years to produce locally.
MATÉRIEL ’s desire is mainly to contribute to the evolution of the Georgian fashion scene. New talents draw their inspiration from the trends of their country. Both designers Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili and Lado Bokuchava are sharing the artistic creation.
-How old is your brand and what is it’s story ?
Materiel emerged as an international brand in 2016 and before that it was just an atelier brand operating only on a local market in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Setting up and perfecting the production was not hard considering that the brand is produced in the local factory that has been around since 1949.
Throughout its existence, Materiel employed up and coming Georgian designers who were creating collaborative collections using the resources the company had to offer.
Today two talented designers Lado Bokuchava and Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili are the creative directors behind the brand. Their collaboration has been the most successive one so far. Their aesthetics are quite different but often times that is what creates the perfect balance of femininity and masculinity in Materiel’s collections.
-Give me 3 words which represent well MATÉRIEL
Sophisticated, structured, romantic
-Where do you get your main inspiration ?
Lado: Inspiration is everywhere around you. In simple walks in town, during the night out. It is in strangers, sometimes in architecture and etc.
Aleksandre: I find inspiration in my surroundings as well. I often visit markets and bazaars as I think it is characteristic for every city and vibrant with people, products and colors.
-What makes you different from other fashion houses ?
The fact that Materiel is based on two different designers’ perspectives and in-house production are two main characteristics as to why we are different from other fashion houses. We already spoke about the designers and I will just add that their collaboration is so unique and different, yet synced.
As for the production, everything takes place in our factory so every single team member is involved. In the world of fast fashion and mass production, where factories are located on the other side of the world, this is the luxury that not many company has. On top of that, we are very environmental friendly.
-Is there a flagship piece to help you make yourself known ?
Our Space Pants are extremely popular. Due to high demand we reproduced it for 3 or 4 times. It is always sold out. However, we will not have them again as we do believe there are a lot of other great pieces in the collections that deserve the same love !
-Who wear your brand ?
Women and men of all ages. Recently we shot some of the campaigns with men models wearing Materiel. We do get asked a lot if men can wear our styles and the answer is YES. Really, there is always something in our collections for everyone.
-It look likes leather is part of your DNA ? How could you explain it ?
The faux leather is definitely a part of our DNA. We’ve been making faux leather suits since the first collection. Our customers love it! Our leathers are super comfortable. Usually, the
fabric comes with a little stretch that makes you able to live in it. Can’t forget the edge that a pair of leather pants and a jacket have when worn together. We also use fun colors like yellow, red, pink and etc.
-A fashion tips which means a lot for you ?
Lado: I don’t like fashion tips. Everyone is free to do what they want to do and wear what they want to wear. It is very boring to live by the tips.
-Who is the MATÉRIEL woman ?
Materiel woman is a strong professional who loves to take her day look into evening. One who dares to bring back the classic 50s silhouettes and add a color or a detail. The one who likes to dress up and accentuate her body shape in flattering ways.
-What are your plans for future ?
Aleksandre: Growing the brand even more is our goal for future. At the same time, we are concentrating a lot on the collections and we are making sure to stay true to ourselves as well as create something that customers want. That is a challenge sometimes.
At the office you are rather:
-Filing cabinet or rags
-Morning or evening
-Assistant or Personal
-In Paris: rive gauche or rive droite
Lado: Rive Droite
Aleksandre: Rive Droite
-Croissant or buttered toast
Lado: Buttered Toast