I hope this letter finds you in good health. I hope you’re enjoying the summer and every minute of your day. I hope you can share some of your free wisdom with me…
‘Dear Freedom’ is a Lithuanian designer brand with a brand name that is meant to be an opening line of the letter to the loved one. Founded by Rasa Barkauskiene and Kristina Bausiene ‘Dear Freedom’ is an all-women team looking to change how fashion speaks.
Fashion Bloc: When and how Dear Freedom was born?
Dear Freedom: The idea of Dear Freedom was born almost 2 years ago counting back from now from a simple desire to do something that would feel great for the heart and soul. Kristina was on the way of searching herself in the art and fashion illustration. Rasa was searching for something new and challenging with a focus on fashion. One evening, we met for a girls’ dinner and started talking about the future plans. One of our friends has loudly expressed her admiration to the gift that was handcrafted by Kristina, it was a fashion illustration drawing. At this moment, we came up with an idea to transfer the paintings of Kristina on the clothes by digital means. After that, a long process of brainstorming, mind mapping, strategic thinking and creative painting followed until Dear Freedom was born.
FB: What’s behind the name of your brand?
DF: We came up with the name after a small daydreaming activity as a part of a team building exercise that we had as a team. We had to imagine a nice summer day, with the sun shining brightly, us in the beach. The beach is empty but it has two sunbeds to lie down, to feel the heat of the sun; we are wearing white t-shirts and there is something written on the back of the t-shirt. What is it – the question was. One of us imagined “Love”, the other one – “Freedom”. That very moment we realised that the name of our brand will be “Dear Freedom” as if an opening line of the letter to someone you love.
FB: Who are the people behind the company?
DF: Kristina and Rasa, two great friends and co-founders of Dear Freedom, and Jurga, a girl who believed in us and joined our team in the early stage. Kristina is our designer and creative hand. Rasa is our strategic head and planner. Jurga is our digital muscle.
FB: Where do you manufacture and source your materials?
DF: We look for high quality and natural fabrics. Our materials are coming from Italy mainly, however, for the upcoming autumn and winter collection we will be using wool produced in England under the heritage of over 230 years. In the future, we would like to introduce eco-friendly materials. All of our pieces are cut and sewn locally in Lithuania by a professional family-run manufacturing company.
FB: What is your big vision?
DF: Our motto is “Start small, dream big”, so our vision looking from the current perspective is really big – having thousands of our brand admirers and ambassadors, leading in innovation, supporting ethical fashion, well recognised in the world but still cosy inside. At some point, a collaboration with Alexander Wang.
FB: Why are you special?
DF: We focus on unique design, artsy details and high-quality products. We create for the soulmates who trust their gut to look truly original.
FB: What are the challenges that a young fashion brand faces in Lithuania?
DF: The usual challenges that any young creative brand faces: such as entering into the market, building brand awareness, earning customers’ trust. Fashion specific challenges are also finding high-quality materials for the reasonable price, sourcing original, specific and quality accessories such as buttons, zippers, etc. One more challenge is to convince the customers that high-quality items and exclusive designs create additional value and are worth paying for.
FB: Are Lithuanians into local fashion brands?
DF: Currently, fast fashion dominates in Lithuania because it offers trendy clothes affordable to everyone. However, we believe that there is a new tendency for the Lithuanians to support local fashion brands and other local businesses. Probably, a number of new Lithuanian fashion brands founded each year just confirm this. In our opinion, eventually, more and more Lithuanians will value, love and enjoy buying Lithuanian fashion.
FB: What is your ethos or vision?
DF: The fundamental values of our brand are:
- Develop creativity in order to impress;
- Uniqueness is essential;
- Inspire for inner freedom;
- Enjoy your work
FB: If your brand was a movie, what would it be?
DF: “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona”. We have Cristina as our designer and Barcelona is our beloved city.