ARTHROPODA, or short ATR, is an Amsterdam based fashion label, focusing on knitwear design with contemporary twist. The brand mixes influences from art and nature into a unique vision for strong and outstanding individuals.
The label founded by Macedonian designer Todor Stojanov “joins” creators from different backgrounds to “walk” together in creating a unique brand aesthetics. Admiring the micro-cosmos and the micro-creatures that are scary to touch but beautiful to watch, they are focusing on refined and edgy product design.
The brand is offering a variety of high quality fashion garments for women. Products range from active wear, casual wear to gala-wear and accessories. ATRP emphases knitwear by giving it a special twist through exploring new shapes and combinations of details.
Q: Hello Todor! This month marks two years since the United Fashion SEE Showroom took place within Fashion Weekend Skopje in March 2019. What are your memories and thoughts about the event from today’s perspective?
ATRP: United Fashion SEE Showroom and the Fashion Weekend Skopje was a great experience and a perfect opportunity to launch my first collection under the label ARTHROPODA.
The main motivation for participating in such an event was the support offered by the organizers and the possibility to connect with a wider network of fashion professionals from the region and EU.
I was positively surprised by the complete organisation that definitely met my expectations.
Q: What are the highlights of ARTHROPODA’s work as a fashion label to date? Could you name some milestones in your professional career as a designer since 2019?
ATRP: Since then, ARTHROPODA has produced two more collections, several fashion editorials, videos, and has been available on several digital marketplaces offering fashion from independent designers.
Q: You are a Macedonian designer based in the Netherlands, so you are familiar with both the Eastern and Western fashion markets. How would you describe the two separately or make a comparison?
ATRP: In the western markets overloaded with high availability of various fashion offers, the fashion customer is getting highly conscious and selective in his fashion decisions, constantly looking for exclusivity and newness.
Therefore, there is an increased interest for independent fashion labels offering unique design vision and at the same time there is an extremely critical and demanding approach towards the masfashion brands.
On the contrary, the lacking presence of the masfashion brands on the eastern markets, still makes them very desirable for the fashion customer there, who is accepting the mainstream fashion, driven by the power of the expensive marketing campaigns.
Q: How do you perceive the current situation in the fashion world today? And how did you individually adapt to the ‘new reality’ as a designer and founder of ARTHROPODA?
ATRP: It is unavoidable that the actual situation will bring a new view on the way fashion should be produced, offered and treated. Sustainability, innovation and the unique design vision will be extremely important for standing out of the crowd of fashion offers.
The period in quarantine made me rethink the complete concept of my fashion label which resulted with a decision to completely change the narrative and maybe rebrand it into something completely sustainable, transparent and sophisticated by exploring new innovative technologies that will enhance the product performance.
I would be able to share more details very soon and FWSK would be the first to know.
Q: You come from a town which is considered to be the capital of the textile industry in our country. Many youngsters still dream about a career in fashion. What advice would you give to all the talents who are yet to follow your footsteps? What future awaits the emerging designers and labels from the Balkans?
ATRP: Turning back to our traditional craftsmanship and using cultural elements successfully incorporated into a modern design can be a unique point of sale for the new brands coming from our regions.
On the other side, the “know how” of our masters of crafts is very interesting for the western world and that should be embraced in the DNA of all the brands from our region.