Estonia to UK, the story of Kadri Klampe
Estonian designer Kadri Klampe only launched her label Yufash two years ago, and already her designs have been worn by some of the most iconic celebrities. Her fashion film "My Mind" has also been nominated by the Fashion Film Festival in California and London. Having been exposed to fashion from a young age, Kadri Klampe always knew she wanted to go into fashion and studied Fashion and Textile Design in Estonia, graduating top of her class. Central to her designs, is believing the customer always comes first, hence the name Yufash, literally 'you fashion'. To find out more about Kadri Klampe, check out her interview below!
How did you get into fashion?
I was fascinated by fashion at an early age. My grandma was really into fashion, she inspired me so much and I spent so much of my childhood being with her. That was my first exposure to fashion and tailoring. Then, when I was a teenager, I was designing the basics of skirts and dresses for my friends. I studied Fashion and Textile Design in Estonia. It was very difficult to get into that school and I worked very hard to graduate top of my class.
Where does the name Yufash come from?
I didn't want to name my label after myself as I did not want the whole brand to be about me. Yufash is about other women, their originality and their sense of style. I wanted the focus to be on the customer as opposed to myself. So the title Yufash comes from the words 'you fashion'.
How have your collections changed over time?
For my first collection, I was lucky to have received celebrity interest. It was a lot more simplified and mainstream, afterwards I spread out more into evening wear. Now I want to open a line of coats as well as a more casual line.
What helps you find inspiration for your designs?
Travelling. A lot of my designs are inspired by Estonian nature and its folklore. I also love Iceland as a source of inspiration.
Do you often go back to visit Estonia?
Yes I do! At least twice a year.
If any celebrity could wear your pieces who would it be?
Gosh, that is a difficult question. Quite often designers visualise their brand in their own mind, but the viewer perceives it completely differently. Therefore, it's best that you decide for me! I definitely would say the celebrity should be a mature, creative person with an organic sense of style and color. Also maybe an actress, as for some reason they often wear my designs.
Tell me about how your journey has gone, from starting your brand in 2015 to now?
The first year after we launched, we experienced amazing success. We managed to get into the Wolf & Badger store, got a call from Warner Brothers to buy my designs for their production and Little Mix [pop group] wore my garments. Obviously for me, I thought "wow is this how it's going to go?" I think it was a sort of beginner's luck, when you are a fresh new face on the fashion scene, people like to pick you. The second year was a bit quieter, which let me develop my custom range and I did a lot of custom and private orders that year. Then the third year, we had a nice little reception in New York.
What can we expect from Yufash in the next five years?
To be honest, ideally I would love to have my own store in London or New York. I am actually looking for an angel investor as that will let me launch my own store. Fashion is financially costly, you have to organise yourself and your team well. You never know how your collection will go, you can never predict your sales. I would say I hope to have an investor and my own store and of course I'm looking for new stockists in New York. But I would love to keep my brand small and original.
Would you ever go into menswear?
For now, I am focusing on women. However, I have been thinking about teenwear. For some reason, I have had a lot of teenage interest and around six of my clients are teenagers. So, maybe it would be an idea to develop a more affordable line for a younger audience.