I’ve always liked clothing. Whether it was wearing good clothes or making sketches, but I never took my hobby seriously. At ten years old I enrolled into an art school dreaming about architecture but as it naturally happens, time flies and interests change.
Eventually, in 2013, grasping inspiration from some of my favourite designers, I decided to create something similar. The “Rottweiler” sweatshirt by Ricardo Tisci impressed me but I couldn’t afford a €600 Givenchy garment, which is why I decided to make my first print showing a Doberman in gold chains.
The sweatshirt I made quickly became popular among my friends, which was then followed by orders from acquaintances and strangers. This way, I made my first money off clothes and that’s when it hit me, I instantly knew that this is what I’d like to do. I continued making designs and producing more clothes, which sold out as well. I created the website and the brand image that was closest to who I am as a designer and believe or not, this was the time the streetwear industry was emerging. Streetwear was exactly what I like and what I wanted to do. I found my niche.
In just a year, I made enough to open a manufacturing space with the help of a small team of talented people, where create anything and everything in any quantity possible. A space of 70 square metres, three sewing machines, two drawing boards and a huge clothing closet.
My name is Daniil Malafeev, I am 24 years old and I established Chichi Maison in December 2013.
“We are not here to take part, we are here to take over!”
Since I was a kid, I’ve always known that I’d be doing something I love. As I got older, following the idea of Elon Musk, I decided to write down my personal secret master-plan that would be an overview of the vision for my future company and career in 10 years time; steps I have to take to realize my dreams. It turned out that my ideas go beyond a clothing brand, I dreamed of creating a youth culture, a movement, which would connect people worldwide and where I could share my passion. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, which university you graduated or how much money you make! If you are active, ready to grow and create, you’re with us!
It’s impossible to start a movement alone and this is why the first step in my master-plan was to:
1. Create a space for “my” people where we could gather together and create new things.
This means a lot to me. Every team needs to have a base, right? A team should have a safe space where a business is taken care of and only so, out of a small team, a small society and a culture, can emerge. A society with similar goals, ideas and dreams. To create something new, something special.
I love music and I even used to make basic beats in “Fruity Loops”, and writing lyrics has been a hobby of mine since year five at school. That’s when I understood that I don’t want to limit myself to just one area but rather participate in different types of art, which is why my next step is to gather:
2. A team of free-spirited people with the willingness to create something new. Each a master of their niche.
Step two is important because I want to connect numerous creative people under one roof to create clothes, make music and even furniture, sketch design, film videos and photos, open shops, cafes, bars etc. Anything we’d like! A conglomerate of companies that produce quality product.
3. “A client as the leader of the company”; this should be a part of everyone’s DNA.
Without quality service in every aspect, from clients’ criticisms to the nicest shop assistants, nothing will make sense. The customer spends money, which is why quality is so important. Quality that will exceed the clients’ expectations. It’s extremely important for a company to have a straightforward, two-way dialogue and relationships with its target market.
4. Chichi Maison shops in the largest and greatest cities in the world.
I think this step really is important. Only this makes it possible to be closer to the people who like and want to be closer to our culture. If step one talks about a safe space, then our shops are mini-bases for our people worldwide.
5. A special culture around the brand.
An emotional connection between people and the brand is important, as it can push them to step over their fear and do something new. That amazing feeling of fulfillment when you buy new clothes, come home, unpack it and put it one for the first time. You know that feeling that gives you confidence, right?
Events that will allow us to gather and meet up, that feeling of culture of which you are part of. When you are surrounded by people who share your interests, it’s easier to move forward and grow. You’re surrounded by a team that support you and your ideas.
All of the five steps of the master-plan are easy to gather into one main goal - create a strong brand that will be a supporting point to our upcoming beginnings. So that every person taking part in the life of this brand had a chance to share his or her ideas. So that each and every one was truly a part of a common interest; because I believe that this is the only way to grow and develop potential. Feel the importance of the decisions made and be responsible for them!