Authentic and valuable ethos is built slowly and steadily. It often stems from the desire to create something that will outlive our own sense of purpose. That philosophy is the foundation of House of ATANA. It has been applied stitch by stitch for over a decade when Aneliya, the Creative Director of the brand, was starting her internship at Alexander McQueen. She was introduced to the magical world of combining research and craftsmanship in the Embroidery Department of the fashion house, where she felt she truly belonged. Her love for the craft gained more power and know-how after a year of specialization in The Royal School of Needlework where, she would get to the essence of the technicality of the craft. 

“I vividly recall the electrifying atmosphere of the fashion house. It was thrilling to be a part of the team and work tirelessly to prepare for the upcoming fashion week. The rush of energy and enthusiasm kept me going, and I felt truly alive during those intense days. Despite the packed schedule, I loved every minute of it. The intensity of the work fueled me, and I found myself doing massive amounts of embroidery by hand. It was a skill that I had honed over years of practice long before digitalization took over the industry. My love for the craft has only grown stronger with time, and I'm proud to say that my bee embroidery video had been featured on Alexander McQueen's YouTube channel.”

Starting House of ATANA as Creative Director Aneliya knew that embroidery would sit at the core of the creative process. “To implement embroidery on shoes was no walk in the park - there is a very tiny surface to work on, and we needed to curate the embroidery as part of the detail so it takes the shape of it. The risk is to create embroidery that’s seen as decorative something placed on top. Shoe embroidery is not done very often - it is complicated because even a millimeter of difference may create a problem. The research process of how to implement it took us a while.”

Research is another core process in creating the brand - Aneliya would spend hours and hours on thrift markets to search for inspiration. That’s how the design behind The Fiorellini glass heel was born - she found an old French perfume bottle at a flea market in Sofia and decided to recreate its shape as a glass heel. “Flea markets are my playground - that’s where you could find symbols and inspiration to pull the invisible threads of stories to make the foundation of a strong design.”. 

Folclore is another prime inspiration behind every shoe model by ATANA. The primal symbol of the four-petal flower, for example, is featured on a number of ATANA styles and refers to the four cardinal directions of the world. Folclore also–inspired ATANA’ s signature boots made with sew-on socks seen on traditional outfit ensembles from the designer’s home country of Bulgaria. Her take is always with a modern twist and keeping the integrity of the collective reference she is nodding to. Storytelling and craftsmanship are intertwined in a deeply layered process connecting invisible dots so every product of ATANA represents an aesthetic fusion of past and present, to get you through your future with ease and style. 

By Elena Sergova
December 05, 2023