ZANE x DOUBLE NOTCH September 21, 2016 – Posted in: Double Notch, Lifestyle

In the age of globalization and World Wide Web, gigabytes, terabytes and exabytes of information fly past us every day. It might seem that there is nothing you can’t find on the internet with a little help of social media or search engines, countless online stores, blogs and forums. However, not that far ago internet had a blank space left…

Meet the inspiring and never the less creatively adventurous Zane Valujeva – individual standing behind the first and only online platform presenting Latvian designers and brands – DOUBLE NOTCH.

We sit down to dig up the roots of how it all started as well as to paint a vision of where it’s going. And there is no one better whispering the details behind steering into the big, cold world of fashion, than the dreamy but determined captain itself.

You and fashion. How did it start and where is it going?

I’ve decided a long time ago that it is the kind of professional path I want to follow in life [laughing].
I remember my friends being a bit jealous of my assurance about this career choice, during the last years of high school – there somehow was never a doubt that I should do something else.
Being able to go to London – live and study there, opened my mind in a completely new way. It was a great beginning for me – unique and amazing learning experience.

In general I hope it is going towards something great, amazing and most importantly something that people would love.

Zane Valujeva Double Notch

What circumstances made the idea of Double Notch born?

A while ago my friend and a very talented photographer Monta Dedele asked me to help her out with the final project for university – she wanted to make a photo series around Latvia – the beauty of it, the old and the new. My task was to do the styling for the whole thing. At that moment I simply went for google’s help to find some new and emerging Latvian designers, as I was in London at that moment. And to my surprise it was quite a challenge – simply to find a gathered information and even more – photos of the new designer’s creations.

Shortly after, the idea of then unnamed project was born – there should be a platform of some kind which presents and combines information about the new Latvian designers. After thinking about it all, the idea about an online store came pretty straightforward – because it would be just too cruel to show the beautiful creations and not to give a possibility to own them. After a lot of working and a lot of teasing – fast forward to May 2016 and the fashion platform and online store Double Notch was finally released and for everyone to enjoy!

In the age of online stores and platforms of all kind, what makes Double Notch special?

We are the first this kind of fashion platform that showcases the best of new and yet unknown Latvian design online. It is very important for the customer not to only purchase some items, but actually have the possibility to find out more about the designer or brand – who, where and why!

Each and every single of the items are specially created and made for order and is made sure it will meet the need of each client – we do not keep the clothes in massive storages. Each piece is unique in it’s own way. And all the specials things do take time to create, right? We do hope that you will be patient with us so you can have the best of it – created with care and responsibility.
Authentic Latvian design and creations – each piece is created in Europe’s hidden gem – Latvia.

At Double Notch we strongly care about nature, welfare and sustainability. Our designers are aware and take this matter into consideration when designing and producing their products – either practicing zero-waste design, being eco & vegan friendly or even giving another life to materials used in the creative process.

We offer the very best of Latvian fashion. Unique and unseen. This is for people who appreciate good design and nice, quality clothing.

We emphasize the fact that each and every design piece is unique, created with love and care, which is the most valuated thing among true fashion-lovers – something new, original and yet unseen.
Another and none the less important part of Double Notch’s focuses is to produce unseen and exclusive content. It is an essential part of Double Notch and very important for us.

Can you tell me about the team which made Double Notch happen?

A lot of amazing people – many times I’ve thought how crazy all these people must be to be up for such a ride.
When talking about Double Notch, I have always said WE – never I, because I would have never gotten so far without the help of so many creatively crazy people. It has been wonderful to have an interest and support from so many interesting people.

Basing on what qualities and values do you choose the designers to work with?

Once I started working on this project I have discovered and kept on finding out about so many breathtaking and talented designers in Latvia.
However, what is the most important for me is that they stay true to their unique sense of style while in the meantime producing high quality clothing, making it wearable and functional as well as gorgeous.
I am very excited about the existing and the upcoming designers and brands participating in Double Notch!

I hope, that one day, the designers that Double Notch represents, together will have the ability to define Latvia’s fashion scene.

However, there are a lot of improvements that have to be done – this is the industry where still a lot of serious work has to be invested in order to take it to another level.

At the moment you live in Copenhagen, before that you lived in London; Is there something specific that characterizes Latvian design?

Of course there is! I think that a lot of people do not realize it just yet, but I believe it is unique, unknown and therefore exciting.
It is quite different in between each other (designers/brands) but in the same time there is this little something that defines and bonds it all together.
One of the things I believe defining Latvian fashion are the constructions of the clothing – whether it is simple or very complicated, it stays unique.
We in Latvia have amazingly beautiful nature and I believe it serves as a great inspiration in some level to each of the designers.

Zane Valujeva Double Notch

How about the target audience of Double Notch? Is it possible to describe him/her?

Impossible, in my opinion – but let’s give it a shot…
I imagine the person living in quite a big city – working, attending occasional cultural event, interested in welfare as well as general/global sustainability – being a cautious person. Most importantly a person who loves life and is excited for the future.

Any exciting upcoming projects you would like us to tell about?

I assure you that there definitely are exciting projects coming up, but I won’t tell you too much about it, it’s a secret – I love to create mysteries [laughing].
A lot of yet undiscovered Latvian (and maybe even beyond…) designers and brands, exciting collaborations, must – see exhibitions and “can’t keep your eyes off” still and moving images!

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And the question I ask every one of the people interviewed, but to be honest, your answer interests me the most – how do you think, what does fashion need the most nowadays?

Personally, I am very interested in, also passionate about sustainable fashion practices – I try to encourage every one of the represented Double Notch designer to think about this issue and keep it in mind while designing and creating. I am a big supporter of it. I guess this would kind of answer the question – I think fashion nowadays lacks the sense of responsibility from the producers as well as the customers.
The thing that is missing the most in this field is the consciousness – the big labels tend to care more about the quantity – not the quality. They do not care so much about the circumstances of how the product is created, nor where the materials come from. This also includes the buyers – people don’t even think about such things. Probably it is because of the fact that not so many talk about such matters, so we are just used to buying things not really knowing how or where it was created, how much damaged has been done… is it really okay to be so?

Interviewer – Eliza Aboltina
Text editing – Annemarija Grasmane
Photo by Monta Dedele
Illustrations by Zane Valujeva

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