With lavish leather shoulder bags and levelled-up sling-back Italian leather heels, Bulgarian-made label BY FAR has led a 90s renaissance.
Built by a trio of whimsical women, BY FAR is a brainchild of three creative minds working as one. Valentina, Sabina and Denitsa sit at the helm, bringing cool-girl appeal and covetable comfort to the wardrobes of the Hadid sisters to the everywoman. An international affair, BY FAR’s treasures are designed in Australia, made in Bulgaria and built from Italian leather.
This exquisite craftsmanship equals high-quality mainstay handbags and no-brainer, nonchalant footwear. Classic, charismatic and nostalgic, BY FAR’s accessories banquet is a proud addition to the HARROLDS trove. Today, we track the makings of the lauded label with one third of its creators, CMO and Co-Founder Valentina Ignatova.
BY FAR is a brainchild of three creative minds working as one
Walk us through the genesis of By Far. How did it all begin?
All 3 of us are very passionate about visuals and fashion, so the decision came really naturally. Planning Valentina’s garden wedding, we couldn’t find any stylish, yet wearable shoes to match our vision. So, we decided to create them ourselves! Once the idea was born, it was only a matter of time.
There was always a strong heritage of shoe craftsmanship in Bulgaria and when we visited by chance a small family-run factory, we really felt like it was destiny! We are still partnering with them but have expanded a lot. The idea behind the brand was to make cool shoes that are comfortable and make women feel like they can conquer the world.
They say two’s company and three’s a crowd, so how do you all make working together so dynamic?
We divided our responsibilities from the beginning. Denitsa is BY FAR’s creative director, I (Valentina) am brand’s CMO and Sabina is the CEO.
How do you stay relevant in a such a saturated market?
BY FAR is about emotion, not age or nationality! Our shoes and bags are classic, yet with a modern twist. Your BY FAR piece will demand the spotlight whilst being infinitely wearable.
How do you think By Far offers something different to the fashion circuit?
We create vintage-inspired designs which compliment any wardrobe, whilst combining comfort with an addictive contemporary edge. BY FAR has become the It shoulder bag brand. Our nostalgic baguette bags and minimalist, barely-there sandals are the core of any effortlessly chic outfit. We felt like the industry needed accessories that are desirable, yet not overpowering, without sacrificing quality.
In terms of ethics, sustainability and diversity, what strides are you taking as a brand?
At BY FAR, all our pieces are designed with quality and longevity in mind; we believe a circular approach to fashion lies at the heart of achieving a more sustainable future for all! Sustainability has always been of huge importance for BY FAR, it has never been a question of whether we should do it or not. We are continually reviewing our supply chain and manufacturing processes to implement environmentally and socially responsible practices in all aspects of the business. We are also optimizing our website to make all the information and production and design processes easily available for the customers as transparency and honesty are really key for us.
Soon, we are going to introduce several new partnerships with trusted repairs in our biggest hotspots around the world. We always design our pieces with the idea for them to be loved, worn and cherished forever and as anyone knows good care and maintenance of leather pieces is essential. Through these partnerships, we hope to help our community extend the lifetime of their BY FAR pieces with the help of the right experts. There is one way to fight consumerism and generate a buy less and buy better mindset.
We’ve just introduced our PF21 collection with a whole new product category, consisting of entirely sustainable pieces. This is our new line of knitted scarves. Made from an ethically sourced alpaca fibre with recycled polyamide, they will prove once and for all that nothing can look or feel better than sustainable fashion.
Who is the envisaged By Far customer?
The BY FAR woman is confident and travels the world, so she needs accessories that will match and compliment a lot of outfits. But at the same time, she likes to have fun, feel sexy, go out with her girls and dance all night long, and have long romantic walks.
How should By Far make its wearer feel?
The idea behind the brand was to make cool shoes that are comfortable and make women feel like they conquer the world.
What does 2021 hold for the label? And what did you learn as a team from 2020?
For PF’21 we introduced two new lines – knitted scarves and belts. Made from an ethically sourced alpaca fibre with recycled polyamide, BY FAR scarves will prove once and for all that nothing can look or feel better than sustainable fashion.
The belts are pretty much inspired by the 90s with gold plating that creates a stunning contrast with the leather and adds a beautiful focal point to any outfit. For FW’21 we are extending our product line even further, but we can’t share nothing more yet. As for the near future, we’ve planned so many huge things for 2021, and we have such an amazing team to realize them with, and we just wish to be healthy and well to turn 2021 into our best year yet.
Our team grew a lot in 2020, literally and figuratively speaking. We doubled our employee base while managing to sustain a trustful and friendly family culture where everyone is appreciated and supported. We are eternally grateful that we managed to create a “virtual showroom” and stay in touch with our partners via digital platforms. It was definitely a great experience, through which we discovered a lot, and grew both as a brand and as a team. We strongly believe that digital is a huge part of the future of fashion, and it is something that we will surely continue to develop. We also launched the BY FAR World feature on our website, where we share a lot of our little secrets. Go and check it out for some beauty and inspiration.