Issue 99
Marina London
With her quintessentially smart silk basics,
designer Marina Guergova reminds us the sweet, simple things in life are the real ones after all.
“I love receiving customer feedback,” enthuses Marina Guergova, a Central Saint Martins graduate and owner and creative director of Marina London. “A lot of it is so positive that it makes you work harder, because people believe in your product, are buying it and then want to thank you for it. It's wonderful!” Founded in 2011, the brand creates 100% silk basics that are smart and practical. Last season, the Bulgarian designer’s signature CARO tee has been worn by fashion director Caroline Issa during Paris Fashion Week. “She sent me a note through the post to thank me and to say that she loved the top,” smiles Ms. Guergova. “It meant a lot to me.”

Here, Ms. Guergova opens our eyes to appreciate the simple beauty of silk basics.

THE THING THAT I LIKE MOST ABOUT FASHION is that it has the ability to give personal style and change how someone wants to present themselves. It is a subtle but powerful tool to make people feel confident and empowered. I like when fashion is practical and well made.

I LOVE SEEING 'MORE IS MORE'. I love being around it, but I couldn't carry it off - it is not a part of my personality and I wouldn't know what to do with it. I will always be a 'less is more' kind of girl. I guess us, women, design for ourselves and along the way we attract other women who understand our sentimentalities and join in on the aesthetic.

SILK IS A FABRIC I REALLY LOVE and had worked with in my final graduation collection, in particular sandwashed silk Crepe de Chine. It has a beautiful finish, weight and a luxurious feel about it. I mainly work with this type of silk as I have fallen in love with it and want to bring awareness to it. It is one the most expensive types of silk, so by specializing in the fabric, I am able to source my silks from one supplier and bring down the cost per meter, which helps make my pieces more affordable, whilst still being extremely well made. I love how silk makes an outfit look smarter even if the basic shape of it is everyday, as is the case with the silk tees
I LOVE THE IDEA OF A UNIFORM in the sense that it is utilitarian. I love simplicity and to me its depth is more complicated than something that is elaborate and busy. If women want to style the silk basics in more eye-catching ways, I'd always say that it's easier to start with a blank canvas and build on the details. The beauty with any basics is that they are almost always flattering.

STARTING YOUR OWN BRAND is something you have no real perspective on until you are within the belly of the beast. In the beginning, my objective was to be realistic and to start small. To do one thing and do it well. It's emotional. It's in no way at all easy, but if you have a good product that you believe in, it's worth it.

THE MARKETING SIDE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ONE OF MY FAVORITE ASPECTS of running a brand - having a vision, wanting to share it with people and creating a brand identity. You have to multi-task and try your hand at things that you may have never done before. It is a great character building exercise and in the end you understand the clockwork of your business very well, which is crucial when you start delegating jobs to people who you want to employ.

LONDON HAS MANY TALENTED VISIONARIES. Knowing that I share the same city as them and could meet with one of them tomorrow if I wanted to, is very reassuring. London also has the ability to quench your thirst for everything, whilst still having that Euro feel. I incorporated it into the name so that the brand has a base and is grounded here.

Photography by Daniel Fraser assisted by Cam Jack; styling by Aartthie Mahakuperan; hair and make-up by Gigi Hammond; model: Marcie Dvorak / Bookings Models.

All pieces throughout the story - Marina London.
Words by Carrie Lau