After the #girlpower with Stellarissa, next in our March list is the most stylish duo: founder and designer Dena Rachman and its co-founder Anggie Kinanti Akbar of DRAMA shoes!
Both met during high school and their solid friendship has proven to stand the test of time. When we first interviewed Dena last year, the conversation was limited only to the brand. And now we were lucky enough to have both of them to be our list in this Women’s International Day month.
So what’s new with you, guys?
Dena: “It’s still all about Drama shoes. I’m a bit busy because we want to launch our two newest collection soon this year. And recently, DRAMA shoes also supported Bunga Citra Lestari concert. There’s also some post-concert activities that need to be done.”
Anggie: “Well, besides Drama, I’m currently busy with organization-based activities and also other works.”
About the brand, could you share to our readers about the lovely shoes?
Dena: “Personally, I always wanted to have my own business since I was young. And I happened to love fashion growing up, so I learned more about it. After I graduated, I worked for agency, that’s where I dealt with various fashion events, fashion brands, and also designers. From time to time, I finally realized that my passion has always been in fashion. And I always thought that when you do something from your heart, you will earn a better result. Afterwards, I finished my Masters in fashion business at a university in Italy.”
“When I got back here, many of my friends have their fashion line. Though the competition was a bit tight, but I found a big gap in shoes. Not many of them owned shoe line. So I thought to myself, why not fill the gap. Good thing I love shoes – well, heels to be exact. I hold on to this philosophy that you can wear anything you want, but when you wear the right shoes, it will complement your whole look.”
Dena: “Shoes is a very essential part of fashion for me. I asked Anggie to join the business, I develeped the concept around 2013 and it took one and a half year to find the exact formula. A simplicity with a bold twist was my definition of an ideal shoe. We finally launched our first collection in 2015.”
Anggie: “Basically Dena and I were a high school bestfriend and we both are in love with fashion. Then Dena asked me to join her brand. At that time, I thought no local shoes brand have a strong game in the fashion industry. People often bought high-end pair of shoes which are mostly from overseas. We wanted it to be a middle class brand with a competing price. We cooked the right idea and formula for years. And I trusted Dena a lot because she studied fashion bussiness in Italy. So we shared responsibilities: Dena as creative director, whereas I work as marketing director.”
Inspiration wise for the collection, where does that come from? Because DRAMA has various designs from chic to edgy ones.
Dena: “Everywhere, even from unexpected places. Like when I strolled around, or based from my own personal preference. I would do sketching first, because that’s when the most part of the idea happen. From the random and raw sketches, I got the gist of what I want, which then translated to technical drawing.”
“Though sometimes not all sketches can be translated into technical drawing, but that’s a part of trial and error process. I also put personal touches to the brand, for example, as I was born on the 30th, the number “3” has an important meaning that I loosely translated it in the collection.”
Dena: “Either it’s triangle corner, 3 stripes, Pyramid-esque form, anything. For the second collection, I participated in JFW with Urban Asia as the theme. I was inspired by big cities in Asia, and I happened to love the uniqueness of Shanghai. I was also inspired by the classic and modern European architectures. Recently, the inspiration came from paintings, so the approach is more artsy and abstract. But that’s the creative point of view, but when it comes to business, I realize that we should take a consideration on how to sell them, the commercial point of view. That’s where Anggie steps in, giving me the marketing view on what the consumers would look for in shoes.”
Anggie: “I leave the designing part to Dena, and I try not to interfere the design wise as much as possible. But I do give her insights on what’s good or not for the market.”
Any memorable moments throughout the process?
Dena: “Mainly it’s related to redesigning shoes. Like Marylin, I wanted it to be strappy looking, but at the end of the day, we must adapt to anatomy structure of a foot and its ergonomics side, especially since people don’t have the same anatomy.It took time to turn it into something that I like. And if the result didn’t make me happy, I had no doubt to cut it and make a new design. From all the collections, I love the first ones the most. I put myself a lot in it. The first collection is simply suitable for every occasion. It is definitely Drama’s core collection.”
Anggie: “We faced ups and downs and took a lot of time to find the right materials for our shoes. We searched it in every place in Jakarta and Bandung, but we still didn’t find it—we found it in China. After we customized our signature heels, I thought it would be more easy. But it wasn’t. That time I thought maybe this was the reason why there weren’t many shoes brand in here (laughs). Unfortunately, our signature heels was copied in China after we produced it there.”
Sneakpeek for the upcoming collection, please!
Dena: “While the first and second collection were more classic and shopisticated, I want the third to be more casual. We are planning to launch platform sneakers and kitten heels, or probably flat shoes. Just wait for it.”
“Yes, we are trying to embrace the young ones and for daily wear. Because our heels market was more to working women, and we’re trying to tap in to teen market.”
What would DRAMA like to accomplish in 2017?
Dena: “A more established position. We’ve only been in the fashion industry for 2 years, the brand is still young and we need to learn more. So I hope we can be an established brand down to the little details like the production, demand, and supply. We’re also trying to expand our market.”
“I really want DRAMA shoes to participate in the Fashion Weeks. We’re planning to join New York Fashion Week this September, here’s hoping we’re not gonna jinx it! We had our show in Jakarta Fashion Week, but our goal is to join fashion week in four fashion capital cities.”
Beside your brand, name us other brand that best represents you.
Dena: “Yves Saint Laurent, Balmain and Lanvin. I love their strong characteristic, they’re bold and sexy. They have a twist part that make it more interesting.”
Anggie: “I also like Balmain, Givenchy and Chanel.”
How about your favorite designer?
Dena: “Alber Elbaz, Raf Simmons, Olivier Rousteing and Victoria Beckham. She can transform herself from a pop-star into one successful fashion designer and entrepeneur.”
Anggie: “Olivier Rousteing.”
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Denna: “I want DRAMA to become a mother company for smaller companies. And it’s not only for shoes. And I picture myself as the CEO the company. (laughs)”
Anggie: “I have the same goal with Dena. We want DRAMA to turn into a mother company with other fashion brands under it. More like a company group, I would say.”
The Drama Facts!
Check out the Behind The Scene video in our YouTube channel!
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Photographer: Vicky Melly
Videographer: Iqbal Syafei
Stylist: Hilarius Matthew
MUA and Hairdo: Nadia Renata
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Graphic Designer: Rusdah Ulfa
Wardrobe: ATJC, Lovo, and Epershand all available at BrandOutlet.co.id
Accessories: Alenka&Margo and NOHO, all available at BrandOutlet.co.id
Shoes: DRAMA shoes, available at BrandOutlet.co.id