It’s official: Chopova Lowena is having a serious moment. The brainchild of co-creative directors Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena, the London-based label has entered cult territory, garnering an impressive roster of international fans that includes the likes of Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, and Willow Smith. The stand-out piece that’s grabbed everyone’s attention is their distinctive pleated mini skirts. “We definitely didn’t expect this level of attention,” Chopova tells British. “It’s been a slow build, but so lovely to see that people can genuinely relate to our work,” adds Lowena.
Inspired by traditional Bulgarian dress – a nod to Chopova’s heritage, and rock climbing – a passion of Lowena’s, the pleated skirt is a trademark piece that the designers dreamt up for their MA final collection at Central Saint Martins (they graduated in 2018). Originally, the skirt featured vintage folklore fabric from aprons found on auction sites in Bulgaria. Iterations of the sell-out item have since been made in various delectable shades, textures, and lengths. But what always remains the same is the thick leather waistband, as well as the way the fabric is suspended from carabiners. “We’ve both always loved wearing fun skirts, so it made sense to create one together,” says Chopova. “It’s important to us to sustainably source materials, as well.”
Today, the immediately recognisable skirt is a coveted wardrobe staple sold on Matches Fashion, Browns, Ssense, and Farfetch. Worn by editors, influencers and TikTokers alike, the piece is also beloved by an eclectic range of famous fans including Rosalía, Celeste, and Madonna. Who else do the designer’s hope to see wearing their skirt? “Our childhood favourites like Kathleen Hanna, and Bianca Casady of CocoRosie, but Billie Eilish would be incredibly cool, as well,” says Lowena.
Next season, Chopova Lowena plans to present its first ever runway show on the London Fashion Week schedule. Not only that, a signature shoe is en route this year, as well. “Think a hybrid of classic Mary-Janes and hiking sneakers,” explains Chopova. Something to look forward to.