Rhinestones, lingerie and chokers- What more can a LA girl ask for? Luckily for us Ekaterina Gladysheva provides that and more with her brand GK Goddess. Sitting at a decorated restaurant in Koreatown called “Café Mak”, the designer told me her tales from Russia and her past designing experiences. Now placed in a new environment, Gladysheva is working on taking over the Los Angeles fashion scene as she did in Moscow.
From Russia with Style
Like every other stylish girl in the world, she enjoyed styling outfits for her Barbie doll. Her interest turned into a talent as her mom taught her how to sew. At the age of 8-years-old, her first client was her blonde haired, blue eyed Barbie doll. She always had an interest in fashion and continued being stylish and artistic.
“From her drawing s and fantasies she created her own brand,” Olga Gladysheva said.
“First she sewed clothing for her dolls, herself and then for photo-shoots.”
In college, Gladysheva studied advertising and graphic designing. She then decided to change her career goal to focus on fashion. In order to graduate, she had to do diploma work. Her most notable clients were the musical group LMFAO. Now if anyone knows anything about these infamous party rockers, it is that their wardrobes are far from shy. Leopard print, neon and Afros were fun; but, a little bit too loud for her taste. Though she already knew that she wanted to start her own brand, she continued to work for other people including many producers. She loved the experience but, she was finally ready to create her own line. Her first self-made collection pieces were custom made chokers. She started off making and selling items for her friends and eventually the line grew from a hobby to a business.
“I remember looking at a Calvin Klein billboard and thinking I want to design something like that,” Gladysheva said.
“Blending luxury, lingerie and glamour, was my goal with creating my line”.
Inspired by the Calvin Klein billboard, Gladysheva had a fascination for combining luxury and lingerie. She began wearing her own pieces, until she received an offer from a showroom in Russia. The showroom offered to sell a few of her items including chokers and her high waist lingerie. After being a part of the showroom, she noticed the amount of love her clothing line was receiving. The business was going great in Moscow; but Gladysheva could not fight the urge that she wanted the business elsewhere.
Catching the LA Vibes
Moscow and Los Angeles are obviously two different cities but, according to Gladysheva, they have completely different visions of fashion, style and modesty.
“I appreciate the style and vibe of Los Angeles,” Gladysheva said.
“In Moscow, you can’t show off your body and you need to be covered up all the time but, in LA everyone allows you to wear whatever you want.”
Luckily, this was not her first encounter to Los Angeles. She visited on two separate occasions and her visit included staying a week in Downtown Los Angeles. Though it was at first hectic for her, the city made up for it, with its’ weather, beaches and the hidden gems like Old Town Pasadena.
New York was another U.S city that Gladysheva considered moving to but, the business of the city reminded her too much of Russia. She loved her hometown even though it was constantly surrounded with people who were very busy and ran completely on a schedule. Los Angeles fulfilled her love for both fashion and chill vibes.
Initially her parents were not on board with the move, like any other parent would be about moving internationally. After seeing, Gladysheva’s effort for the transition, they accepted the move and supported her dream. Living in Los Angeles boosted the brand’s name in the independent fashion industry. With the new fame came networking, more opportunities and a large following.
“It feels great being in Los Angeles. I mean it is a lot of work but, it is worthwhile,” Gladysheva said.
“Every day I meet new people in the fashion industry and everyone is able to keep in touch and grow together.”
Moving to Los Angeles inspired both new pieces and a new name for the line, GK Goddess. The name came from a combination of her style and her initials.
The line’s collection includes: sexy swimsuit and lingerie sets. Trimmed with the bands logo and strapped in various ways, the sets are the fan favorites of the line. Still creating various products also improved the brand’s Instagram page. Social media was a strong strategy to grow the following of the lingerie line. Tactics like having bloggers modeling the products and creating giveaways keeps the brand flowing. Her collection is still growing and glowing with the addition of pieces with rhinestones and fringe. With new additions in clothing articles comes a heavy amount of work, that is a lot for the self-ran business.
“My current goal is to add more people are on the team and increase my following,” Gladysheva said.
Currently Gladysheva is networking in Los Angeles and building her brand one step at a time. What is next for the Russian beauty? Building a fashion empire of course. First Moscow, Second Los Angeles and then maybe the world.