Olga Vilshenko was raised in the mountain region of the Soviet Union. From a young age
she began honing her sewing skills, learning from her accountant mother. Her mother was a
talented seamstress and, craving beauty, would make clothes for herself, her daughters and
close friends. Despite the difficulty of buying the essentials like zips and buttons at the time,
Vilshenko was quick to acquire the same skills. This mini atelier allowed the family to barter
for other luxury goods including art history books, international fashion magazines and
opened their eyes to a world beyond the USSR. By the time she was a teenager, Vilshenko
could design a skirt in the morning, and wear it out that same evening.
After finishing her degree in accounting, courses in fashion design became available in
Russia. As a newlywed, she embarked on a stint at Chelyabinsk Humanities Institute, which
in turn led to a course at the prestigious fashion school, the Istituto Marangoni in London,
which she completed while simultaneously raising her young family.
By now, Vilshenko was 26 and fell in love with London.Within a couple of years, she
realised her dream of launching her namesake label, splitting her time between London and
her Moscow studio. Her debut collection was an homage to her heritage, its muted colours
brought to life with cross-stitch embroidery, the collection was strong and it landed her a
place at The New Designers showcase at Paris Fashion Week for the Spring/Summer 2011.
“The Vilshenko woman wants to wear something that is unique, classically stylish, beautifully
made, without sacrificing her comfort,” she explains. “Vilshenko is about elegance and a
delicate style, but with an independent spirit.”