The latest health, lifestyle and pop culture trends delivered to you!

Fb. In. Tw. Be.

Alena Karakova – creative designer and founder of Salamander

Alena Karakova - creative designer and founder of Salamander

My name is Alena Karakova and I’m a creative designer and founder of Salamander, the authentic fashion brand channeling the always on vacation lifestyle.

 Our debut European Summer Swimwear Collection takes you back to iconic summer with Mediterranean sea at your feet through elegant swim silhouettes and unique patterns, with each piece of the collection pursuing truly meaningful fashion aesthetics. The signature style of the collection is “Salamander” One-Piece that’s been inspired by recognizable beach stripe umbrellas of Capri’s most fabulous beach club Lo Scoglio delle Sirene.

Our post-pandemic Bedroom-to-Street Silk Loungewear Collection was imagined as versatile and chic comfort separates that can be respected as ready-to-wear fashion as well. The loungewear designs are the product of collaboration with a local artist and therefore hand-made exclusively with the custom alterations option available to suit individual body shape.

Our second Encore drop ‘She’s like a wind’, invites you to the summer romance “Dirty Dancing” style, with vacationwear that’s ideal for hedonistic beach parties, backed by steep cliffs between a densely pined hillside and glimmering sea of Balearic islands, notorious for their clean-eating and slow-living community. 

We try to keep our swimwear collections limited to only meet demand, produce less waste and in-turn, less impact on our environment.  

Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand Salamander… 

I guess you can mark my journey starting with the decision to move to New York City. Coming from Russia with the background in business law, I chose to merge my gained knowledge with fashion studies, majoring in retail merchandising in college on American soil. While still in college I’ve already started working on building website, so by graduation time I owned a fully-run online store, where I carried products by carefully selected fashion brands. My learning continued with trying to better understand people’s needs and desires, because on the back of my mind I always had a dream to launch my own brand. And when I was ready, the Salamander was born.

 What has been the biggest learning curve since launching the business?

 As I mentioned previously, having online store and trying to accommodate my customers at my best abilities, I studied what exactly they want when it comes to making fashion choices. It appeared to me that despite the endless variety of fashion brands on the scene there are still people whose prayers wasn’t answered. I saw the problem in brand’s agenda to make profits quickly by offering hot trends when entering the market while still neglecting the gaps. I wanted to be different and work on creating fashion brand model that offers timeless silhouettes that look great on almost all body types as well as including alteration option for certain products to fit individual figure shape. There is much more to be done in the future, in my opinion.

How do you want women to feel when wearing your designs? 

Comfort is a key. That’s why my brand works very hard to deliver a perfect fit. Clothing should feel like a second skin, so nothing stands in the way of you conquering the world. It is also important to continue educating people on meaningful fashion and look at it as an investment by developing more of a relationship with the things we wear. 

Sustainability and timeless designs is at the forefront of what you do. Why is this important to you?

 To me timeless designs represent confidence. And I believe that true confidence isn’t loud. It’s calm and grounded, and doesn’t require making a point. Because when you focus too much on sending a message it feels way more like marketing. Speaking of sustainability, it comes out organically from being confident. Once you gain absolute respect for yourself and your life, you stop chasing the trends, that heavily fed to us by fast fashion.

In your opinion, what challenges the fashion market is facing right now?

Minimizing carbon footprints is my biggest goal from the very beginning of launching my own brand. As of right now we manufacture in Bali and take pride in the fact that our manufacturer donates 2% of its profits to clean the ocean, provides compostable packaging and sustainable fabrics, what helps a lot! However, going 100% into local workforce and regional sourcing without significant increase in production cost will be ideal of course.

What opportunities your business is facing right now?

I’d say that pandemic changed a lot of things in the world and not all for the worst. One of them being is realization that you don’t have to go to the office while pursuing the top of your desired career ladder. Having that in mind the admirers of my brand can be working from paradise locations while dressed in bikini and other vacation staples thoughtfully designed by Salamander while keeping their travel wardrobe light. Isn’t the ultimate dream lifestyle?           

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur?

You have to put in a lot of work and dedication while staying optimistic. A lot of time when you hear about the overnight success, what you sometimes don’t see is many years of hard work that lies beneath it. Great communication skills are must as well, which is logical outcome of learning respect for other people.

Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?

The only advice I would give to my past self is to be more flexible and don’t stress out when the things don’t resonate with the vision I’ve created in my mind. History shows that it always ended up coming out much better than my controlling self would imagine. I try to teach myself to let go.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe it as “always on vacation”. If weather allowed it, I would wear bikini all day. It also what keeps me sane in our turbulent times, because you never as relaxed and chill as when you are on holidays and my style helps me to stay in a happy bumble. Therefore I like transitional pieces to always be prepared for what my day can turn out into.

Talk us through an average day in your life…

My day starts early, usually with energizing smoothie. Then I jump right into emails from around the world and everyday tasks that required by running E-commerce business. After lunch I try to find some time to go through inspirational materials for possible designs, which involve some planning and perhaps zoom calls with manufacturers, depending on their waking hours to go through my ideas and best solutions to implement them. I like to find time to workout or take a walk at some point during the day, what always gives me an energy kick, that I kinda use as a meditation to keep my thoughts organized, while planning the next move.

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?

Due to the fact that my brand is very visual, social  media is playing a leading role in my business model. Such platforms like Instagram and even TikTok has already driven a lot of attention to the brand.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Zanzibar, Tanzania. I heard it’s the most romantic place on earth!

What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

I wouldn’t say it’s a quote, rather an advice. When I feel drained I like to unplug from society. Get out in the nature, walk barefoot, get balanced. Nature has always been my biggest inspiration. They say, that we don’t own our creativity, it is given to us by universe. I like that.

What’s next for the business?

I’m currently exploring the expansion into versatile accessory designs for travel girls. And also got some requests by male audience to create core wardrobe for their vacation needs. I can’t wait for my ideas to see the daylight already!

What does self care mean to you?

Nurturing yourself. Be your own parent. Make healthy choices. Because if you are not evolving, you are degrading.

Where can people find out more?

As well as on social media:

Follow our Instagram: @salamander_bikini_shop

MS, Durham University GP The work of a family doctor includes a wide range of clinical diversity, which requires extensive knowledge and erudition from a specialist. However, I believe that the most important thing for a family doctor is to be human because the cooperation and understanding between the doctor and the patient are crucial in ensuring successful health care. On my days off, I love being in nature. Since childhood, I have been passionate about playing chess and tennis. Whenever I have time off, I enjoy traveling around the world.

You don't have permission to register
.mkdf-page-footer .mkdf-footer-bottom-holder .mkdf-grid { width:100% !important; }