Long Walk With Mila Ateva

14 April 2011 text Dima Chakurova, photos Angel Kotzev Studio
You will know her by the clothes. The designer Mila Ateva creates wonderful dressed, fairy skirts and a lot of other clothes that with one movement are turned into something else. From 5 years she is professionally in the fashion business where everything appears to be very personal. Actuated by this dictum, her lablel Sassa Björg releases models in only one number – a conception which demands a little more work and huge dozes of inspiration. Do not expect to see Mila at rest – her life seems to be a series of signs and events, sometimes so weird that they are not for telling but if you peek at her everyday urban route you will definitely know what you need about her.

Feminine gambit
I am professionally involved in fashion in the last 5 years but if we include the time I spent learnning how to do it, they become 10. During all these years I realised that unconciously I imitate my mother’s wardrobe. I grew up in very feminine company with my mother, my sisters and my aunt. My older sister showed me Sofia and its night life from very minor age and around her I got acquainted with very interesting women. Then, while I was studying I had two very strong female personalities and at some time I realised that somebody has to combine them in one and this is how Sassa Björg was born. The name comes from Scandinavian languages – björg is help, support, because very often I get help from various people – just like this. By the way, I am doing it too and at some point it started to come back to me.
Fashion for men is very different story. My best friend is a designer with Agresia and when she comes to my atelier, she starts hunting the stalls and confesses – I don’t understad women’s fashion and she is a woman herself, haha. The difference is great. I really like the idea to sell somtheing that is unique and only one item is produced. Me, who is going out in jeans and t-shirt, I am against this all of us to be like night-tables and I know what is like to have one dress which differs you from all the rest and it is yours only. I don’t intend to leave this.

Meeting at the Pope
My places are the atelier, at home, among my friends. I want my relations with the others to be clear. Recently one of my sisters told me that I am too sociable. But my places are there where my friends are. I don’t lack nightlife but I am a person of polarities – I have periods of partying and moments of calm. With the Pope I am sentimentally connected because when I was little one of my sisters made all of her appointments there and I dreamed to go too because I couldn’t understand what was so special with this place. When I grew up and started going out by myself, I also appointed my meetings there. I have a dear friend of mine who lives on Grafa and overall I associate the Pope with summer Sofia, the blossomed chestnut trees, the surrounding sounds and the things on their places.

First steps
When I first entered the fashion, I went to see a teacher and a friend of mine who told me that the most important thing for the success is to be tenacious – not the talent, not the imagination nor some social skills but the patience. And that every morning I will wake up with the the thought that I am responsible for other people and how I am with some cash behind, haha. During all these years I saw how right she was and my tolerance has grown a lot.

Mila in Wonderland
A lot of strange things happen to me, I meet strange people, I get in unusual situations. Recently I made a tattoo and my mother was opposed even though I prepared her a long time, one day she just saw it. We went out for lunch together and I took off my coat, I was wearing only a t-shirt under it and Gustav Klimt just popped out, haha. My mother started explaining something and I asked her if she wanted me to have her name tattooed on me. And she told me that if I do it, she would give up on me by law, haha.

A handful of inspiration
There are moments when something just hits me. It happens mostly when I have rested or early in the morning. But if we should speak about the serious work, the thing that awakens me is the materials. And the colors. I love colors.

Mila Ateva and her clothes of Sassa Björg are in her atelier in 25, Angel Kunchev Str.


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