Maia Bergman

Tell us about yourself.
I am a 24-year-old Argentinian designer who is based in London. My work involves everything necessary  to make my ideas a reality.

What is beauty to you and how do you define beauty?
Beauty is when people make their work transcendent in time, it’s the little ‘god’ inside us. For me, beauty is almost a synonym with satisfaction. This means to be to be satisfied and proud with who you are, where you came from, who are your loved ones, where you belong. All this shines through our skin.

How did you get from Argentina to Central St. Martin’s School of Design?
I had applied for another school elsewhere, but a last minute thought – ‘You should aim for the highest’ – made me change directions.

Congratulations on being named a finalist for the H&M Design Award 2013. How did you come to get nominated for this award?
Thank you! I got to know about the Award through CSM. I applied – last minute, as always – and got selected for the semi-finals in Stockholm as one of the three designers representing the UK. A few weeks after they called me to say I got selected to the final, which took place in London.

It’s no secret that you love beads. Why? What attracts you to this medium?
I like dots and repetition. I think is important to find a strong technique and stick to a simple idea and make good use of it. It is stronger than a mix of different things going on in the same collection. Editing is a crucial part of designing, often underestimated! Beads are fun, as simple as that. And plastic is a pop, democratic material. I don’t believe the best collections are made with extravagant materials. My beaded collection was ‘fast couture’.

Your collection (S/S13) was originally inspired by bacteria growth, and then eventually Stephen Sprouse. Simply put, your inspiration is derived from anything and everything. How did you widdle down your massive stream of thoughts into a more defined mood board to create your collection?
There is always something in particular that inspires you from the main source, so it is a matter of figuring out what it is.  Bacteria = repetition, Stephen Sprouse = Plastic, free-styling, Versace 90’s= pastel colours. So it is pretty much like blending inspirations together to make your own style. But since fashion is a business, the most important was to listen to my friends’ opinions. ‘Would you wear this next weekend? YES!’ ‘Could you find this anywhere else? NO!’ I want to make my clothes highly desirable.

How much is research and educating yourself on other designers’ work apart of your process? What designers and looks do you constantly find yourself reminiscing?
It is very difficult not to get influenced by what other’s are doing. I certainly don’t look into contemporaries to find inspiration, but it’s always interesting to understand what they are referencing to. That is what shapes today’s culture. I like Versace, I like ‘things’ that make you smile.

Color is a huge component of your work. What role does color play in your work?
Could you imagine a world without colour? I can’t imagine anything in black and white. It’s tragic.

You tend to attract to lighter nudes and pastels. Is that your feminine side coming out or is there a more significant intent behind your color choices?
I was using pale tones because when you work with more than five colours in the same collection it becomes very difficult to harmonize them. I needed a big spectrum to create the ‘gradient’ effect but still be subtle.

Since you showcased your collection, your name has blown up in the industry. What have been some highlight moments in your career thus far?
Definitively the Argentinian Harpers Bazaar September 2012 cover was the happiest moment so far. It was unbelievable to have a copy of the magazine in my hands, but to see stacks of them everywhere was a big thing. Ana Torrejon, Editor-in-Chief, was very supportive and it was a pleasure to meet. It also makes me extremely happy when students write to me asking if I need help or I have a place for interns. Also getting Tim Blanks’s feedback at the H&M Awards and having a coffee with Imran Amed (Business of Fashion) where two moments when I almost had to pinch myself.

Where are your favorite spots located around London?
My favourite coffee shop is All Press, near my flat, in Redchurch Street (Shoreditch). A hidden gem is Lounge Bohemia on Great Estern Street, and they have only six tables. If you go try my favourite, the ‘Edison’, which is made of 100% vol spirit and charged with ‘mystery ingredients’.

What songs are on your personal playlist?
I am currently listening to Lady’s debut album, they are an R&B duo. Next Wednesday I am going to the These New Puritans gig, and I also got tickets to see Danzig, so I have quite an eclectic taste. This is a playlist I did for Jen Hanley, author of my favourite blog, Gnarlitude, which has a bunch of my old-time favourites, rocker version.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?
1. I am addicted to running, but any strong workout that gives me an adrenaline rush is welcome too.
2. Hopefully I will own a vineyard one day, but it won’t be a very profitable business.
3. A lot of my dreams already came true.


For more of Maia’s work, check out her website.