A Nordic Journey
Designers Olivia and Vivien Steindler welcome us into their little boutique, where the atmosphere is punctuated with enchantment. Voriagh was born from a passion for the Scandinavian and Slavic cultures, and the drive to offer unique, sustainable designs. Natural fabrics meet fine embroideries handcrafted by local artisans. As we enter this cozy shop, Olivia tells that behind every piece in the latest collection is something special. From headbands made from vintage saris to the delicate pendants embellished with ancient pieces of jewellery, Voriagh’s items always have a story to tell.
Emilie Joseph: What is the inspiration behind Voriagh?
Vivien Steindler: Voriagh finds its inspiration in the wild nature. It is a journey between the Nordic countries, through the Baltic and Slavic countries.
What is Voriagh’s philosophy?
Olivia Steindler: “Create to exist” is our philosophy. Each garment is made from fabrics and materials that are carefully chosen. We want our customers to wear something that lasts—an item that they can rely on. We work closely with the best artisans to provide a collection that reflects our vision.
If you had to describe Voriagh in three words, what would they be?
Vivien Steindler: Folklore, northern, journey
Many of your pieces are nature-inspired. How would you describe the style of the Voriagh woman?
Vivien Steindler: The Voriagh woman loves travelling and discovering new horizons. She wears clothes that reflect her inspirations and convictions. She likes to feel comfortable and loves mixing Voriagh pieces with the basics she already has. She does not like the concept of the total look and loves to wear her clothes for many years because they come with an emotional charge.
How would you describe your creative process? What is the starting point of each collection?
Vivien Steindler: I try to adapt an iconic piece of Baltic or Slavic folklore to everyday life. I also start to choose the colours according to a landscape that I develop from a pantone chart.
Can you describe the inspiration behind the SS18 collection?
Vivien Steindler: This collection reflects the colours of wheat fields and polar summer nights where the sun does not go down but radiates a unique golden light…it’s very dreamlike.
Why is being a conscious fashion brand important to you?
Vivien Steindler: The collection is manufactured on such a small scale by remarkable human artisans. This is something that I wouldn’t give up for anything. Working with happy people is part of what gives me so much pleasure.
You’re about to celebrate your 10-year anniversary. How do you feel when you reflect on the past ten years?
Vivien Steindler: I am happy and proud of what I’ve learned so far. Thanks to Voriagh, I understand what really matters to me and have learned to trust my intuition. I have found my inspiration: a part of the world which is close to my heart.
What is the process like collaborating with your sister?
Vivien Steindler: We have been working together since we were little because we are both violinists. Moving from fashion to music is very simple, as we exchange ideas and focus on creating something that we hope will be harmonious and coherent.
What relationship do you have with your manufacturing partners? How do you choose them?
Vivien Steindler: There are manufacturers that I have been working with for 10 years, including a sewing workshop near metro Oberkampf. I also work with a small atelier in India that I had the chance to come upon during a trip which makes beautiful embroidery on a very small scale and in a traditional way. The jewels are entirely handmade by Olivia and the accessories are made by our mother. Traditional Baltic crafts are made on-site by craftsmen.
What can we expect from your next collection?
Vivien Steindler: It’s getting more and more subtle and simple. We try to get closer to the real nature and essence of the northern, baltic and slavic area.
Where do you see Voriagh in five years?
Vivien Steindler: I want Voriagh to remain a small brand and will not give up on that. I hope I will have more opportunities to travel and to discover the world and that the brand will better reflect its inspirations. I have a dream of taking a boat trip to Karelia, a region on the border between Russia and Finland. ■