The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes between civilizations of Europe and Asia. It derives its name from the lucrative silk trade that encouraged an exchange of cultures and ideas between East and West. In recent years renowned fashion houses like Balenciaga, Etro and Oscar de la Renta looked at the Silk Road transit areas for inspiration and brought Central Asian allure to European runways.
This year Miami-based stylist Indira Markov launched a concept boutique collection of unique handmade pieces with the idea of merging urban fashion with the traditional craftsmanship of Central Asia. Markov was born in Uzbekistan and before moving to Miami travelled around the world working as a stylist for clients in Europe, Asia and the US.
#MIAMIGIRL met with Indira to talk about her vision and fashion in Miami.
#MG You grew up in Uzbekistan and came to Miami by ways of working in fashion in many parts of the world. What did you see in the local fashion scene when you first arrived to the city almost 10 years ago?
I was pleasantly surprised to see many of my favorite fashion-forward designers sold in local boutiques or having their own stores here. Most of the brands we see on runways in Paris, Milan and New York were already in Miami. The interesting thing for me as a stylist was to understand the way Miami women interpreted these brands and made them their own. In general, I noticed a lot of feminine “softening” happening to even the most edgy brands.
#MG How did the idea of Silk Road Lab come to mind and what inspired you to start your own brand?
It all started with my personal love for unique one-of-a-kind timeless items. It was very encouraging to see that my Miami clients shared this passion by often deciding in favor of artisanal items over established luxury brands I sourced for them. At the same time I realized that most of the artisanal brands I could find in Miami came from Latin America and there was absolutely nothing on the market from my region.
#MG What exactly is Silk Road Lab and where does it stand in today’s fashion industry?
Silk Road Lab is a concept of connecting American consumers with designers from Central Asia. I work with highly-skilled craftsmen who don’t have access to the wider international market, while consumers are tired of trends and looking for ways to stand out by wearing unique fashion items. The collections we develop result from close collaboration with the designers, who produce customized orders for Silk Road Lab.
When it comes to the international fashion industry Silk Road Lab is among the brands that promote sustainability, craft and ethical products. The fashion industry today is one of the most wasteful industries creating more greenhouse emissions than international flights and shipping combined. People have to change their ways of consuming fashion by wearing it longer, taking better care of clothes, and recycling.
Silk Road Lab promotes the culture of appreciation for the hard work that goes into crafting fabrics and clothes. By treating fashion as art I want inspire people to take good care of the items and pass it on to their children, which is a beautiful tradition still alive in the countries of Central Asia.
#MG How does Silk Road Lab fit into Miami lifestyle?
All our garments are perfect for Miami weather, since we only use natural materials, lots of silks and organic cotton. I personally like the “luxurious nomad” look and mostly work with loose – fitting silhouettes, kaftans and robes. Many of the garments we present can easily be transitioned from day to night. Looking great from morning till night is very Miami.
Meet Indira in Person on Dec 2&3, 2017 at DESIGNER POP UP MARKET