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A clothing brand that eschews the usual cliches
THIS month's Cult Status takes you to the exotic Bulgarian capital of Sofia, to introduce to you a homegrown fashion label that has been making its presence felt, quietly but gradually, around the world.
Metamorphoza is a label of unique womenwear and leather goods that was developed and is run by native Bulgarian Veselina Mincheva, along with a team of fellow countrymen that she describes as her "family".
The brand markets its wares via relatively modest distribution channels: Etsy, that global marketplace of mostly handmade goods, and its own website (metamorphoza.com).
Despite maintaining a relatively low-key presence, Metamorphoza has also managed to catch the eye of some well-known personalities. Celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D, who has also launched a successful make-up line at Sephora, is said to have posted photos of herself wearing some of the brand's creations on her social media - an event that Veselina has demurely described as being "very cool".
Metamorphoza has also put up an impressive showing on its Etsy page (to say nothing of its own website), where it has made 17,517 sales since it set up shop there in 2014, and has garnered over 3,500 five-star reviews.
I myself was first drawn to the label because of its relative novelty (because, isn't one's aim in life to not look like everyone else?), and (what I consider to be) its Japanese-inspired designs. I love the brand's voluminous widths, origami pleats and outrageous draping, which is an aesthetic I have always been drawn to.
Veselina, who says she designs her clothes for women "who are tired of the clichés, who can't stop reinventing themselves", tells me she gets her inspiration from "almost everything - a walk in the park, some nice art, a piece of cloth - it's unlimited, as long as you have the eyes to see it".
Its designs aside, I found myself buying into the brand after I realised that what I purchased from it was also impressively well-made, with good-quality materials, clean and neat stitching, and its drapes, curves and pleats falling as they should (ie. as the products are pictured).
It finally occurred to me that I ought to feature the label when a pair of its grey harem belted pants that I wore on two occasions kept getting compliments from everyone I met, and I ended up passing on Metamorphoza's contact to them.
It's also worth mentioning that Metamorphoza's creations are all priced very affordably, with the aforementioned grey harem pants being just US$69, and all their other offerings are typically priced between US$49 and US$99.
The brand also has sales promotions now and then, when you can pick up items for even less.
Worried about buying online without knowing if the item fits? Metamorphoza accepts returns on purchases, within reason. You ought to be returning the item because it doesn't fit, and not so much because you've changed your mind, and within the specified return period.
Veselina has kindly refunded some of my purchases when they turned out to be too big for me.
Metamorphoza can also customise any of its products for you, with the addition of details, changing the material or colour, etc - just ask. It can also customise your order to your exact measurements. But your orders will take a little longer to be prepared, and you will not be able to return them, in these two instances.
Such work is time-consuming and Veselina admits she has made many sacrifices for the brand; she adds, however, that these have been worth the realisation of her life-long dream. "The thought that you have created something from ashes and that something is loved by so many beautiful people is something I can't compare to anything else."