Interview with Svetlana Horvat of Défilé à Paris and Serbia Fashion Week

Interview for Fashion Week Online

Svetlana Horvat has made a name for herself as a producer of international shows par excellence.

With almost 30 years in the fashion industry, she has many accomplishments under her belt. She is the founder of Serbia Fashion Week, which since 2013 has become the 5th biggest in Europe with 30,000 visitors each season.

She is also the president of the National Chamber of Fashion of Serbia, a member of the Presidential Board of the European Fashion Council and member of the Expert Board of Fashion News Live TV Los Angeles. For her management work, Svetlana Horvat has received numerous awards at home and abroad in the past 3 years, and the last one in the series is “Lady of the Year 2019” in her country.

She was “Lady of the Year 2019” in her country

Svetlana Horvat has devoted her entire life to fashion. During her 20-year career as a fashion designer, she worked with fashion houses as well as her own collections, for which she received the most prestigious awards both in her own country and abroad.

In 2016 Svetlana Horvat received an invitation to be guest as a non-political personality at the famous “Prayer Breakfast” with the former US president Barrack Obama in Washington DC.

Since its inception, Serbia Fashion Week with Svetlana Horvat as its president, has signed 31 international partnership and cooperation agreements, with 31 fashion weeks from Europe, Asia and America. With Art Hearts Fashion NYFW, she signed an exclusive partnership for 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Now she’s bringing that acumen to a new series of shows happening during Paris Fashion Week: Défilé à Paris.

Interview with Svetlana Horvat

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Q: Where did your love for fashion come from?

On the one hand, I can attribute it to the genes I inherited from my mother, who left a lot of traces in the fashion and textile industry of Southeast Europe. On the other hand, it is an affinity that has been growing stronger since childhood. I am convinced that fashion would have been my passion even if I did not grow up in the family in which I did.

Q: What did your journey look like to what you are today?

From the beginning, I wanted to promote my culture abroad as a fashion designer. I did my first fashion collection back in 1992 for the Belgrade fashion fair. In 1993, I received my first “Zlatnu Košutu” and the “Zlatna Košuta” ring for the best collection of the fashion fair.

I wanted to promote my culture abroad as a fashion designer

Thereafter, many other national and international awards for my collections have come.

I also did a special collection that was shown at Les Salons du Louvre in Paris, 2006 called “The Truth,” based on my country’s traditional costume. The name was intended to draw the attention of French journalists to our tradition, history, and beauty of the Serbian people.

Paris accepted me because it was something new and different to them at the time…. And the technique I used to make this collection was suitable for world fashion journals.

Hand-crocheted leather, which our precious grandmothers have crocheted in the countryside, enriched with Swarovski crystals. My fellow French creators ran to me to congratulate me and touch pieces of the collection, not believing it was all leather.

My collection at the Louvre was hand-crocheted leather with Swarovski crystals

Q: How did you build Serbia Fashion Week?

When I started preparing Serbia Fashion Week, I never dreamed how difficult it would be.

A dozen of us gathered and, without any financial support, decided to make one of the biggest fashion festivals in Europe. The idea seemed like an impossible mission, but with a lot of dedication, love and hard work, several of us managed to make it the 5th biggest fashion week in Europe, starting without nothing.

I remember that during this first Serbia Fashion Week, we had a representative of Portugal Fashion Week and when we asked him how many people work in organizing their fashion week, he answered about 300 people. We thought he was joking or exaggerating.

However, now more than 300 people are participating in the organization of Serbia Fashion Week, and more than 30,000 guests visit it per season.

Doing what you love is a privilege, and the reward is seeing your vision come true and that everything you do in the end makes sense. A woman can become successful if she is fully committed to what she is doing.

the reward is seeing your vision come true

Nowadays, the international press said that Serbia Fashion Week is “the miracle among festivals.”

Q: Who have been your guests so far and who supports Serbia Fashion Week?

The 10th SFW last year was closed by one of the greatest fashion designers, Thierry Mugler.

Aside from Thierry Mugler, great names of the fashion world have been guests of Serbia Fashion Week and personally and openly supported us: Anna Fendi, Patrizia Gucci, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.

The most important names in the fashion world love and support us as well: Jean Paul Gaultier, Kenzo Takada …

Q: How did the Défilé à Paris platform get started and why in Paris?

In fashion society all around the world it is very well known that Serbia Fashion Week is all about French and Serbian friendship and support.

SFW is the biggest promoter of French fashion in Eastern Europe, thanks to our strong friendship with many people from the fashion business in France. So, the byname of SFW is Serbia fashion with the French taste!

SFW is the biggest promoter of French fashion in Eastern Europe

Mr. Eymeric François (French couturier, costume designer and art director of Paris and Berlin fashion fairs) is going to be one of our laureates.

Also, from the beginning of SFW, seven years ago , the President of the Serbia Fashion Awards and big supporter has been Mr. Donald Potard (ex-CEO of Jean Paul Gaultier, Honorable President of the Chambre Syndicale de prêt-à-porter for couturiers and fashion designers, Head of Department at the Paris College of Art).

So when we are speaking about fashion events, Paris is our second city, after Novi Sad.

Q: What are Défilé à Paris’ goals are and what can people expect see in September?

Founded and run by eminent people who have been in the fashion industry their entire life, Défilé à Paris will become a great platform for any designer who decides to showcase their collection through a runway show or a presentation.

Our main purpose is to preserve a country’s cultural heritage by promoting its best fashion designers, their uniqueness and creativity.

Our main purpose is to preserve a country’s cultural heritage

This platform is established to become a special fashion project with the purpose of preserving intangible cultural heritage of human beings and promote the creative culture of countries with the best designers from Asia, Central-East Europe, America.

This is the way to refresh traditional knowledge in crafts and adopt it in modern way.

Visitors can expect to see many great collections from some of the best designers from Europe, Russia, Latin America, and Asia such as Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Eduardo Perez Gonzales Ocantos, Sergey Khromchenkov.

Also, many of our celebrities friends will come and support this event. Some of the top persons from fashion, film, politics, business, as well as singers and actors will be there.


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