West Australian-based label Zhivago is rapidly building a reputation for their signature fusion of impeccably tailored ready-to-wear, avant-garde separates and show-stopping red carpet gowns.
Co-designed by longtime friends, Lara Kovacevich and Lydia Tsvetnenko and meaning ‘daring’ in Russian, Zhivago was launched at the 2012 Perth Fashion Festival to widespread critical acclaim. Both designers earned their fashion stripes at tender ages; Lara learned the art of costume via her sister’s successful label that was patroned by many of W.A’s most colourful personalities. While Lydia, demonstrating an early entrepreneurial streak would sew and then sell clothing to her family and friends.
While she completed her degree at WA Institute of Art Design and Media, Lara continued to pursue her passion for music and performance working an Events Manager in the West Australian music scene. Upon graduating, she honed her technical skills working for some of Perth’s best-known labels and learnt the practicalities of designing for a large-scale retail/wholesale brand. Lydia enjoyed a successful career in retail management, restructuring a number of high profile businesses while she studied fashion design part-time at Perth TAFE. After completing her degree, Lydia then moved to LA for a short period to support her husband’s business growth. In LA, Lydia established a small atelier creating custom made eveningwear for a small group of clients.
In April 2013, Zhivago made their debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, closing the New Generation show with their S/S13/14 collection. Titled Suspended Animation, the cohesive 12-piece collection was a juxtaposition of influences that included athletica, body con boudoir-luxe and their signature high-octane eveningwear. The response from retailers was overwhelmingly positive, with deliveries selling out nation wide literally within a matter of weeks.
Over the past 3 years Zhivago have dressed an enviable list of international and national celebrities including Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Giuliana Rancic, Dej Loaf, Leslie Grace, Liz Trinnear, Jennifer Hawkins, Dannii Minogue, Delta Goodrem, Samantha Jade, Jesinta Campbell, Nicole Trunfio, plus many, many more.
April 2014 saw Zhivago show to positive reviews at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in their first Individual Collection Show. The West Australian described the S/S Equilibrium presentation as ‘a cohesive, definitive collection’ with ‘high-voltage sex appeal’.
In September 2014 Zhivago were invited present the closing show at the prestigious Perth Fashion Festival. The show was a futuristic reimagining of their MBFWA show and was critically acknowledged as festival’s best show’
For their second solo show at MBFWA, saw the label present a highly acclaimed Egyptian themed collection, titled ‘The Eye of Horus’ and cemented their status as one of Australia’s most electrifying and diverse labels. Lauded by both media and international retailers, Nasty Gal buyer Lauren Pomykala said, “If Maleficent and Cleopatra had a lovechild, the Zhivago collection would fill her closet. I loved every minute of it”. Buyers from US retailer, REVOLVE were also very impressed by Zhivago’s runway outing, throwing their support behind the label for the first time.