Ria Keburia is a creative nomad, a traveler transcending borders with her fashion, her creations and with the artists with whom she collaborates. Her fashion is a perpetual show, always new. Ria Keburia is searching for “the pursuit of happiness around the world”. She shares with her fans, those who follow her and all curious minds, a wonderful and theatrical world, making the past a future force.

Michel Temman: Where do you come from? When was the defining moment you fell in love with fashion? Maybe when you were a child, a teenager? When and why did you decide precisely to become a fashion designer? 

Ria Keburia: It’s how the interview should begin, I should say! I started dreaming about fashion during my childhood, but fashion wasn’t yet a clear definition for me. From time to time, I had series of flashes of podium scenes, music, characters walking, and playing music. I couldn’t even remember what they were wearing. My characters were just performing. It was never me on stage. At school later, of course, my favorite subject was cutting, drawing and sewing. And embroideries also attracted me. I loved passing time in a calm, creative atmosphere. I even remember my mom shouting that my voluble years would pass quickly and that I should dedicate more time to going out and meeting people. I was quite introverted from childhood. I started dreaming of becoming a fashion designer when I found heroes of my taste. First, it was Marc Jacobs. I started following and learning his steps, ended up with the Japanese revolution of Comme des Garçons. Time by time, I started creating handmade toys, just using pieces of different tissues, prints attached with thick threads, each of them having a different personality. Those pieces were very contemporary and pleased the audience at instantly. But I stopped creating them and dreamt of going further, and entered IFA Paris to pursue the Bachelor Fashion Design and Technology program. My first degree was actually Marketing Communication.

M.T.: There are freedom, fun, colors, dimensions and perspectives in your creations. Critics are talking about your “talking silhouettes” influenced by Georgian or Japanese cultures.  How would you define your style(s) and where do all your aesthetics and ideas come from? 

Ria Keburia: Yes, talking silhouettes were something that followed my mind from the very beginning. I can only create according to my dispositions. I need to make sure whether a skirt or a coat has a specific role, value in the whole story. I start from the story, and the story gives me the product – I put garments into the illusionary tale, and of course the tale start to tell the story through the garments. Japanese enlightened me with the force to go beyond the border, to skype the ordinary and stick closely to the theme. Conceptual mind is something that is evident in my creations, and “Ria Keburia Gallery” is the only way to put my mind on stage. Well, my style is slightly European, with Japanese flow in it. But mostly, I can say that I have a distorted perception of reality, rather than style. My characters became too obvious. This is no longer fashion.

“Yes, I’m also a curator, a collector, the one who merges the artists and who takes care of them. Leading further!”

M.T.:  You established your brand in Paris in 2012 and developed captivating collections that struck professionals, media and the audience. Why Paris? What about all these last years, going through these experiences? 

Ria Keburia: Oh yes! I settled the brand in Paris and I directly grew my company. During the next two years, I have gained the experience for another ten years: I have faced the whole commercial system of the fashion industry in real time. That’s where I understood that my imagination would never meet the system, which would never understand my imagination. Paris was a big lesson for me ! I started to estimate myself from different prospectives: I put faith in my creations of my illusionary world.

M.T.: What are your womenswear codes and theory? How to explain who is your (ideal) woman?

Ria Keburia: I have no ideal woman in mind. I am not the ideal woman, as I mostly create characters who represent me in different atmospheres, passing throughout the different stories. The spirit of the collection is the reflection of my mental statement – that’s why I state myself as a storyteller. Homosexuality and gender roles has been following me for many years. I guess that’s just the common interest I have in mind. 

M.T.: How valuable were your studies at IFA Paris?

Ria Keburia: Very valuable. I grew up on stage, and I could face my vision only on stage. But without the support of Jean-Marc Chauve (Creative Director at IFA Paris) and Lise Parmentier (Lecturer in Fashion Design), I would have never started to perform.

M.T.:  You also developed many collaborations, with brands, artists, creators. Which one(s) where the most memorable and enriching?

Ria Keburia: With Fakoshima eyewear. It was a collaboration with a huge investment, in which my name was pushed wordwide. Risky but succesfull!

M.T.: Could you tell us more about your new “Gallery concept”

Ria Keburia: Gallery Concept is indeed my new strategy. With this Gallery Concept brand, season by season, I push my vision into reality. Every designer artist have his or her own signature. I create a story and choose the brands according to their signature (village, sport, minimal, technologic). I never had a signature – I always had been a storyteller. Here, I perform as an illusionary creator and spiritual artist, giving direction to each designer, until the story is done. I give the role to designers and they become the actors of my illusionary plot. They are happy to be there, because my Gallery Concept is an illusionary art space, and I stay pleased because I do portray the message by talking through them. I open pop up stores, temporal illusionary spaces, where I do installation and transform space into the temporal fairy tale. My aim is to persuade people that these garments are pieces of arts. The idea is to put the value on clothes, to give them a soul, and sell them to the people who can feel the arty side of it. Yes, I’m also a curator, a collector, the one who merges the artists and who takes care of them. Leading further!

For more infos on Ria's brand: http://www.riakeburia.com 

And to know more about the program Ria studied at IFA Paris, please visit: https://www.ifaparis.com/courses/undergraduate/bachelor-fashion-design-technology

Below are a few pictures from a fashion collection Ria did while studying at IFA Paris: