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28 Nov

Iva Čuljak – Ivachu Designs

The best part about creating is definitely creating a product that I think is super badass and seeing other women wear it and look like a million bucks in it.


Creator Profile:

Iva Čuljak + Ivachu Designs

Creator: Iva Čuljak

Company:  Ivachu Designs (@ivachudesigns #ivachudesigns)

Location: Zagreb, Croatia by way of Gunja

Website: IvachuDesigns.com

Words of Wisdom – Get out of your bed and start drawing your ideas. Then, create your first product, and work on it until you get to say ‘wow’ to your own piece.


My introduction to Iva Čuljak’s fashion line came via Instagram (@ivachudesigns & www.ivachudesigns.com) and I was immediately captured. While she states that her line is a cross between feminine, comfortable and sexy, I say she she draws out the inner classic 1950’s Hollywood starlet walking through Monaco meets contemporary BCBG Maxazria. I may not know women’s fashion, but I know how women look when they wear the right dress. I also know talent when I see it and Iva’s got it.

If you haven’t seen her on Instagram, please do so! I immediately approached Iva and learned that she comes with all of this talent at such a young age of 24. That, and she not only designs, but is a natural born creator – writing, photography and more. In fact, she’s a recent graduate for journalism. Not bad for a woman who can design at the level of Christian Dior or Yves St. Laurent.

As I began to ask Iva more questions about herself, I learned about her love of Croatia, obsessions with fashion, building a brand from the ground up and her advice to other aspiring fashion designers and entrepreneurs.


Ivachu Designs

Photography courtesy of Ivachudesigns

HDF: Thanks again for allowing me to interview you and learn more about your background and company!

Iva: Thank you so much for your interest!


HDF: So, tell me a little bit more about where you’re from and where you currently reside?

Iva: Well, I currently live in Zagreb, which is the capital of Croatia. My hometown, Gunja, is a small place in the Eastern part of Croatia, which had been recently hit by the major flood in May, 2014.

Zagreb is a great place to be. It’s a vibrant city filled with cafes. I love sitting at a terrace on one of the happening squares and watching all the amazingly dressed people pass by. That’s my constant source of inspiration.

That kind of describes the culture of this city, my country, as well as what I really love about it.


HDF: I’ve been to Croatia and I can tell you it’s just as you describe it. Let me ask you, how far back do your fashion obsessions go? Did you always know you would design your own line at some point?

Iva: As far as fashion obsessions, I can tell you that I have photos of me at my 6th birthday in a beautiful pink gown that I asked my mom to make for me. The dress was probably my first made-to-measure piece.

As far as me designing clothes, everything started when I was 8 years old. I adored cats and was sewing some beautiful clothes for them (or at least I thought they were beautiful at that time). I don’t think cats appreciated my efforts as much.

By the time I got to high school, I was buying fabric and creating my own outfits without sewing. I never thought I’d be producing my own clothing line, but I sure knew that I am crazy about clothes, as did everyone who ever knew me.

          Iva at the heart of her creations

                                Dress by Iva

Photography courtesy of Ivachudesigns

HDF: Wow, so it was really just a matter of time.. You seem to have a knack for creating. As an entrepreneur and businesswoman, what’s the best part about “creating” for you?

Iva: It’s definitely creating a product that I think is super badass and seeing other women wear it and look like a million bucks in it. When I know that a woman who wears my product will come out of her home and wow everyone on the street, in their office or at the event they are going at, I am the happiest person on Earth

Ivachu Designs Fall 2014

Ivachu Designs Fall 2014

Ivachu Designs Fall 2014

Ivachu Designs Fall 2014

 Photography courtesy of Ivachudesigns

HDF: I’m sure all those women appreciate it too, especially your attention to detail. And creativity doesn’t just end with you at fashion design, correct. You’re a journalist, a photographer and quite frankly, an amazing brander.

Iva:  Yeah, I am a graduated journalist and I love photographing old people. I started photographing them because I felt that almost everything in fashion is spinning around youth and beauty, and the older generations need to have their place in this world as well. Their wisdom and life experience is written all over their faces and that is beyond beautiful! I’d like to honor them in some way. I have an awesome idea that I hope to bring to life one day when I collect enough amazing photos.

Ivachu designs

Photography courtesy of Ivachudesigns

HDF: All of your photography online for Iva Chu Designs, and your brand in general, is attention to details. Do you do all of your own branding?

Iva: Thank you for the compliments. I have to say that my biggest support and my photographer is my one, only and unique sister Martina. She helps me with many things, including coaching me on business strategy and my social media.


HDF: Speaking of social media, how important has it played in the building of your brand to date? How important do you think it will be as you continue to grow it?

Iva: I think social media will be the key in growing my brand. It has helped me tremendously so far. I think that if you have something good in your hands, you only have to put it in front of the initial set of people and if it’s good, it will grow on it’s own (of course, you have to keep watering it).


HDF: That’s very true!! I found you online because your photos were quality, as well as your designs. Good content is good content. It will grow.

Iva: Very True!


HDF: Have there been any obstacles along the way, either at an earlier age or more recent, that taught you valuable lessons?

Iva: I think that the biggest obstacle is winning over yourself every day. When you have no one telling you what to do, it takes a lot of effort to kick yourself from the moment you open your eyes and do your best each day.


HDF: I can relate to this my entire “adult” life (Laughter). I give myself a daily ass whooping. What’s the best advice you can give to someone who’s just starting out in the fashion industry?

Iva: Get out of your bed and start drawing your ideas. Then, create your first product, and work on it until you get to say ‘wow’ to your own piece. Then present it to the world and see what happens. If people like it, you’ll figure out the rest.


HDF: That’s probably some of the best advice you can give. Most people wait for everything to be perfect before presenting it to the world, but then it may never launch if you do that. We can all be guilty of this at some point. You just have to put it out there, find out what people liked about it and grow with your audience.

So, final question – If you could meet any fashion designer throughout all of history, who would it be and why?

Iva: There are designers whose work I truly love and appreciate, but I cannot say that I have any idols. It’s more that when I see some person whose work inspires me and who is considered successful, it makes me feel that I want to get there as soon as I can as well. I would like to meet Iva Chu when her designs will be “wow-ing” millions of people daily.


HDF: That’s awesome Iva. Seriously, thank you so much for your time. I think what you’re doing is beautiful, classic and timeless. You’ve done an incredible job and I look forward to seeing it progress.

Chris: Thank you so much for learning about me and this wonderful interview!

Iva Čuljak

Photography courtesy of Ivachudesigns



Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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