Meet Anna Khanova, mother, founder and creative director of Opportinique London.
Opportunique is a high-end London-based fashion brand best known for its unique patterned designs. The brand was founded by London St Martins student Anna Khanova in 2016. The company has successfully grown and established itself as a provider of sophisticated clothing with an ethnic twist made from luxury fabrics sourced from across the Central Asia, supporting local artisans and talents in a number of locations.
What inspired you to start Opportunique London and what was your vision for the brand?
First things first, Opportunique London is a niche brand. Our product are special and unique as our clientele is. It emerged from my passion for art and culture when I realised there was another path for an emerging designer besides searching fabrics from conventional manufacturers. I discovered there was a whole world of underestimated silk textiles that were still being hand-woven and hand-dyed by highly skilled artisans, using the same meticulous process that was used thousands of years ago.
Can you tell us about your design process and how you come up with your unique patterned designs?
Our design process mainly depends on the operated market. What works for Cannes and St Barth wouldn’t work for London or Paris.
We tend to come up with resort wear for the former and urban wear for the latter. Our patterned designs are attributed to the cultural heritage of the country of origin, we pay special attention to sourcing and ordering only premium and luxury textiles, not compromising in the quality.
Can you speak about your commitment to slow fashion and how it influences your business practices?
Our commitment to Slow Fashion is core to our manufacturing process which results in 2 drops per year. We know personally every single individual involved at each stage of the supply chain and we are committed to pay them fairly.
We are proud to be supporting local artisans working with small family-owned businesses, helping spread the word about their cultural heritage and make sure it is not vanished and gone.
How do you balance the demand for unique one-off pieces with the need for scalability and growth in your business?
As smart global consumers become more discerning in their choices, brands should be more thoughtful, championing craftsmanship, provenance, and originality in their luxury offerings. Thus, we see more and more brands in the upper segment celebrating the idea of manual skills. Today Opportunique London operates in the upper premium segment as the price of high-quality natural raw materials is too high for mass production. The brand is proud of its client portfolio of successful creative women who seek to diversify their image with original outfits in a unique style to bring resonance and attract attention. Some choose our one-off pieces as collectibles to pass to next generations. Others buy their favourite piece in every colour to accessorize with matching shows and handbags. So, whilst the product seems to be complex, it’s in high demand.
Can you discuss any challenges you've faced in running and growing Opportunique London, and how you've overcome them?
It goes without saying that we faced lots of challenges on the way to scaling up. During the pandemic in order not to completely stop the production, we had to choose vertical expansion, searching for new points of growth. So, we started producing silk velvet ikat handbags. Today Opportunique London is expanding horizontally again. That is to say, we increase volumes through the wholesale while removing Made-to-Measure option.
What advice would you give to aspiring fashion entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own brand?
Even though fashion industry forces you to adapt constantly plus the ever changing market conditions. I would recommend finding a unique selling proposition and building their brand around it.. Staying true to your design essence is key.