After a long rest, at the beginning of a new kind of life, MV launched her brand again, and invitae all free-soul women to join and enter the Breathtaking World of MV.
Model: Anita Jona Photographer: Ildiko Sopronfalvi @foto_by_ildiko Model: Nicole Nyisztor Photographer: Bartosz Piotr Tymoszuk Fashion Designer: Magdolna Veronika @magdolnaveronikahautecouture Hair Stylist: Anita Jankovits @jankovitsanita_fodrasz Photographer: Titusz Pándi Hair Stylist: Anna Kolada @koladaannahairdresser Makeup Artist: Luxe By Isabell @luxe_by_isabell
VERONIKA, could you tell us who you are and how did you get involved with fashion?
I am Magdolna Veronika Szebeni, owner and creative director of the Hungarian fashion brand Magdolna Veronika. Thank you for this great opportunity to introduce my brand, MV!
MV offers unique designer gowns in the spirit of haute couture for independent, confident women. We offer the women who choose us, our MV ladies, a sense of freedom, independence, passion, and appreciative attention. We emphasize their beauty and self-confidence as female qualities and lead them through a personal metamorphosis with each gown. We prove to women that it is worth it to be breathtaking. This is MV in a nutshell.
I did not choose this profession, it chose me. I really craved for a unique look even as a small child and would not dress up for nursery school until I found something new and exciting to wear in my closet. Later, when I became a teenager with long arms and legs I was not able to find any clothes to fit my strange, new body. All ready-to-wear dresses fit my older sisters well, but on me, they all just looked as if they were hung onto a thin hanger and confection clothes were just too boring for my taste.
After my father sewed a deep purple velvet cocktail dress for me to wear at the new year’s eve party during high school, something broke loose in me and I started making my own clothes. An enormous winter coat and unique skirts followed that first velvet dress and by the time I was eighteen I was already tailoring and sewing for myself. Wearing my self-designed clothes brought me a never before experienced self-confidence. I felt beautiful and special.
At 19, I began my studies in a private fashion designer school. I had a chance to learn haute couture tailoring and techniques and to show up on catwalks and fashion shows with my first collections. At the age of 21, I received an award as a national designer for my handmade, embroidered Kalocsai mini collection. In the following years, I organized my own fashion shows and I was a member of the Budapest Fashion Week for approximately five years. The production and professional presence were continuous.
In 2007 I came out with my „MV New Wave” collection with the model Nicole who became the face of the brand. It was a huge success. New fans applauded standing up beside the catwalk at the final show. We got very good reviews from the fashion industry. Soon I had the chance to negotiate with investors and the clientele of MV built up quickly and smoothly.
After the financial crisis hit the country, the fashion industry, and also our company at the end of 2007 I decided to try myself out in Italy. I moved to central Italy where I cooperated with a local boutique. After about a year, I returned to Hungary to finish my studies as a textile engineer in the light industrial university. Sadly, I had to close my fashion studio. I did not see the light at the end of the tunnel to continue the sales of premium products during those hard times.
Afterward, I made bridal dresses only for friends and family. I joined to textile-printing industry and spent seven years on the market in international trade companies. Understanding and experiencing the business side of the work gave me valuable experience which I lacked before.
After proximately nine years, my profession called me back with a never-felt strength. It is my vocation. Besides that, I do my job with all of my love and passion, I feel I have a mission as well. It is my strong intention to create quality in the Hungarian profession. Despite the pandemic closure, I have found followers quickly, and as we see our various appearances have motivated other local designers on similar topics. We do create fashion. I never copy the trend. We bring out many colorful, varied collections with the goal that many different kinds of women can find their self-confidence through our clothes.
As a designer, I am excited by new waves, I am looking for something different, something new, but I keep my creativity always within the borders of beauty. Calling a design to life, nothing less than an art performance. Of course, I also pay attention to practical wearability. With some boldness and a well-chosen event, each MV gown is absolutely wearable.
A woman who wore an MV dress before knows that she needs to be prepared for admiring glances and fans. She knows that she will be enriched with a lifelong experience and by expressing her beauty, she can achieve appreciation and new opportunities. She knows that it is worth it to be breathtaking.
How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out?
When I started to work in my profession, I learned haute couture techniques in parallel with IT-system programming. Social media was online marketing were walking only in “child-shoes” and there was no such thing as influencers. We showed our collections on the catwalk, the value was produced in the real space, not in the virtual world.
I can compare this phenomenon to the pop music profession. If you think back to the times of the Rolling Stones or the Beatles for example, the value was the new album, not only one, or two songs. Bands wrote songs for months and months, and they went to season-length concert tours worldwide with an album. Today for some singers a single song is enough to become a famous superstar with the help of the internet and YouTube. At that time, the artist created a value that has survived to this day. Today you can find anything on the world web. We share immediately the new products because continuous content is a must by now.
Covid 19 situation makes this habit just more natural and just like a few market, web sales became the first sales line in the fashion industry also. Today the internet is the zero point in visibility and sales too.
In the meantime, the fashion profession is going through enormous changes. Great attention is paid to environmental awareness and the protection of animals. Fur, animal skin, and leather were replaced. Polyester and polyamide threads are already formed in very different ways, many times the properties of a mixed fiber fabric are better than those of natural materials.
Textile dyeing and printing techniques have also developed tremendously.
The boundaries and price values between manual and automated production have also shifted. The manufacturing and fashion scandals that erupted in the early 2000s and the terrible industrial accidents that claimed many lives cried out for development and regulation! By now, there can see some spark of hope that fashion industry workers can work under better conditions all over the world.
I believe that fashion houses working in haute couture quality always show direction. They have a huge responsibility. What these brands show, for example, is coming to the market within the simplified version. This process must be strictly regulated.
And here is an important factor: the awakening of collective consciousness. Today - thanks to our influencers - there are much more conscious buyers, who choose clothes responsibly and who also treat those with responsibility later on: passes it on, or sells the used stuff on the second-hand market or put these used clothes down at some recycling collecting point.
And exactly this process gives a justification for the importance of high-quality products, which became more important than it was twenty years ago (when I arrived into the profession), or maybe it became more important than it was ever before in fashion history.
What do you want to achieve through fashion?
I want to provide a female quality where you can find all the beauty, tenderness, and subtle energy from which a woman creates body and shape. MV clothes help to find this top feminine quality. The woman who wore MV clothes before knows how uplifting it is to turn to that inner woman. And she allows herself to show herself. Confidently. Whoever wears an MV dress message with every footstep and every hip-swinging that is it is worth it to be breathtaking. I would like to show this class to all women. I am dedicated to raising this kind of quality and to the increasing demand for this quality by the style of MV. This is my personal mission.
Are there particular issues within the fashion industry that concern you? If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I don’t like to worry, I am a woman of solutions, at least in areas under my own influence, I try to set a good example in matters of concern as well. Focusing a bit on the local situation and market: one of the most worrying things for me is manufacturing. In Hungary, there are serious historical and economic policy reasons behind the inadequacy of production.
Cheap, non-quality goods broke into the market after the change of regime, and with the privatization following the change of regime, manufacturing plants and education were also downsized. Haute couture techniques and this kind of quality can only be understood by a very small layer of buyers for this reason. I am constantly struggling to create demand not only on the customer side but also on the side of its manufacturers. I accept higher manufacturing prices if I get the quality that I want to be paid by my own customers as well.
As I believe the path to success is not to produce and depress prices indefinitely. The path to success is certainly not from the exploitation of others, the production of mass products. Creating a high level of demand is the key to common and long-term sustainability. A slower and more costly but multi-rewarding choice.
I believe that by raising quality and expecting it to be respected on both sides (customers and manufacturers), we are also making a strong, positive impact on environmental sustainability.
I would like to believe that it is not too late and a new trend can be launched in which we respect the work and quality of the other. Incidentally, this is not only true for suppliers in the fashion industry. The fashion industry has a huge overall responsibility. Every trend is expressed first here, thinks creates images, ideas take shape, make an impression and successful campaigns “infect” even distant worlds. It really does matter what we show the world about the world. The appearance of the catwalks and the mood and sayings of the campaigns narrates not only the designer and the fashion house but also the direct effects which impacted them. As well the fashion warns the less sensitive people in an understandable way to pay attention to the urgent need of rethinking the world.
In your daily routine, what resources do you like to learn new things about art, fashion?
New information and inspiration can be obtained from everywhere. Before the Covid-19, I went to ballet performances for years, whereas I watched them dance, another performance spun in my head, dressing everyone up on stage again. The materials fluttered in my imagination as the dancers danced in front of me. The music is a huge energy, I store full performances in my head that I can’t wait to take to the catwalk. Relaxation, the most stress-free lifestyle possible, lots of travel, new worlds inspire and recharge me. I love surfing on Pinterest, online magazines. You can and should always learn. I am currently developing various craft techniques to make the repertoire of decoration options even wider.
And of course, finding the perfect model is always the muse of a creative mind. Mine is Nicole, who is the face of the MV brand. An indefatigable and inexhaustible resource, at the same time I take care of it, immersing myself in moderation only into Her magic to retain its exclusivity.
What's the most important thing you want your potential clients to know about you?
The MV brand celebrates the Woman. Its main message is that we dare to take on our feminine quality. The Woman who is flowing inside. The miracle we often don’t treat well. Let’s love her and let her be loved by everyone else. The man does not need more: if he can carry the Woman in his palm, He himself experiences a higher level of male quality and we can speak about a state of harmony. The message of MV is that it is worth giving our own selves, showing our most advantageous side, and living this higher quality. It is worth it to be breathtaking.
We pour these higher qualities of life into physical form when we bead a garment all the way through, or we cut 20-30 meters of textile and give it a volume that fills the space, vibrates, and flies everyone into a dream world.
If you could say one thing to someone younger who looks up to you, what would you say?
For a short time, I took an intern with me. We talked a lot in a few months. Perhaps most of the time patience and perseverance came up between us. You have to be consistent, which even I didn’t understand when I was young. This is very difficult, even when our basic nature dictates it: it’s easy to get tired and kick everything. You have to join, work with and move forward with similar people. If there is a problem, it will not last more than 3 days. The „Big Dream” comes back to You every night. All you have to do is nurture and respect it like you do respect fire, which warms and keeps you alive, but if you don’t take care of it, it can burn everything.
What's been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
Usually, each period has one memorable success. It was a great thing in the history of MV - for example - to appear on the well-known program of the national TV channel. Before, it was great recognition to become a national special award-winning designer at a young age. Later on, it was exciting to see and experience how the name of the brand spread, and when the first very influential client stepped into the studio it was a very scary but somehow grateful feeling. And surely, it is always exciting to negotiate with investors. They appear from time to time, but the most important thing is to keep your liberty. Without it, there is no new idea and the whole thing drowns. We are waiting for a real investor who takes itself seriously so who does not want to drown the designer’s freedom with money. On the other hand, it provides a secure, long-term basis for joint, fruitful cooperation. Until this agreement comes, we will solve everything on our own and in this way, every seemingly small success counts as a great moment in the life of the MV brand.
What does life look like for you now and where do you see yourself in the future?
The focus is currently on rebuilding the brand. In reaching a new, appropriate clientele. The buyers are Hungarians due to the pandemic considering that it is a personal service. In the future, we definitely want to raise the service to an international level. We are building a network, wishing collaborations with wedding dress salons in Italy and France to reach the target audience there. I have a big dream that I was born with. I am targeting to build up my own atelier, shoes, accessories, jewelry, perfume, and limited edition collections. Later maybe home furnishings, but in the main role with only artistic, special, handcrafted works. At the top of the whole frothy dream, the cherry will be that point when the MV brand is officially registered among the Haute Couture fashion houses. That's what we work for as the long-term vision.