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Interview: Fleet Ilya Designers Talk To Highsnobette

22 April 2011, 22.39 | Posted in Accessories, Art, Fashion, interviews | 1 comment »
Portrait by Brett Llyoyd

Portrait by Brett Lloyd

Anchored on design, craftsmanship with a little kink, U.K.-based Ilya Fleet and Resha Sharma of Fleet Ilya have cleverly meshed high-end design, functionality and edgy  bondage accessories that were once  reserved for the boudoir. Fleet Ilya, the collection of restraint and accessories has since its inception garnered a global  following of admirers all smitten with the duo’s ability to make leather desirable and decidedly out the box. We even made them part of our intro. On the next page enjoy reading about their process inspiration and more…All the pieces featured are available here.

HS: Ilya, from what we understand your first collection was called “Restraint,” clearly a highly stylized and modern expression of bondage and S&M. Was that your intent, if so when did the line cross over to fashion  fashion?

Ilya: The “Restraint” line was the first thing to be picked up by the fashion press, but at the same time I was making one-off conceptual fashion pieces, some referencing bondage. The restraint and fashion have always crossed paths and feed off one another.

HS: As a couple working in fashion we cannot help but wonder about the creative dynamic you each bring to the line. At Highsnobette we’re all about out-of-the box fashion and creativity. Which one of you tends to push the envelope on the design side or are you equally risk takers?

Resha:I think we are equal risk takers, although I might be the one more likely to point out wearability or comfort. 

Ilya: We’re equally risk takers, sometimes we flip between the lines though, there are times when one of us will be pushing one area more than the other.
HS: What is your creative process like, what inspires you?

Resha: As I studied a creative course, I have been taught the design process and sourcing inspiration, drawing up ideas, however, this is totally foreign to Ilya, he’s only been taught the craft. Ilya goes straight in to the making process and develops ideas through this way. I am often shocked at how he creates things with no visual starting point, but having grown up with fine artist parents and being exposed to art from day one I think he has a subconscious bank of inspiration. This was a really new way for me to work and it’s great, but I also push him to enrich his ideas further through traditional design development. Also my background is graphic design so it probably creates further difference to our creative process as a fashion/bondage label.

 Ilya:  There is a lot of engineering and problem solving when we design, to make the objects function well and hold their form, the way we use hardware for example is 90 percent of the time to make an object work.

HS: Leather accessories that feature a similar curved structure seem to be popping up everywhere. Has there been such a thing as knock-off Fleet Ilya? Is that a concern or are you so far ahead that the imitation is just flattery at this point?

Resha:  I think as any young designer would say, it’s not great to see your designs used by other brands, big or small, to profit from them or take them as their own. However, that means they are always one step behind. It provides the fuel for innovation.
HS: What can we expect from the label for the next couple of years?  Any collaborative projects you would like to give hints about?
Ilya: Our men’s line and jewellery are coming soon. We’ve recently relaunched our website and opened our online shop, we will be introducing some cool limited edition pieces unique to our site.
HS: Ilya, what has been the most rewarding element about creating the restraints and accessories line in the beginning and how have things changes with Resha as a design partner?

Ilya: Resha was my partner quite early on so most of the rewarding things have been shared. Before Resha, it was about experimentation and learning, I made samples and sold them piece by piece, I found my style during this time and created some of the signature bondage pieces. When Resha got involved it became more of a brand, and more like what we represent today.

HS: Resha, what are your three favorite items from your collections you think every woman should own?

Resha: The cuff clutch. Definitely a signature harness. The racer back harness from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection is cool and a cuff probably the jointed cuff. I have just introduced the edit on our online shop, which are some of my favourites…

Related posts:
» Fleet Ilya Autumn/Winter 2011 Belts
» Fleet Ilya x Comme Des Garçons Homme Spring 2013 Headwear
» Fleet Ilya Belts Spring/Summer 2012
» Fleet Ilya Clutch Bag
» Fleet Ilya Spring/Summer 2010
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  1. [...] this  Fall  the design duo  of Fleet Ilya carve out  out molded corset belts silhouettes with weaved leather and the [...]

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