Milena Nacheva
IVAN ASEN 22: A rose is a rose, is a rose, is a rose

Bulgarian fashion talents showcase creations in Sofia.

Bulgarian Designer Salon Exhibition IVAN ASEN 22:


For over 10 years, designer Neli Mitewa has staged the unique creations of independent, young Bulgarian fashion designers twice a year in Sofia. She is not only the curator of the exclusive exhibition, but also the founder of the only conceptual designer platform in Bulgaria:

After a fashion show opening in Tokyo, Japan, IVAN ASEN 22 is now presenting a series of rose-inspired creations in Sofia, Bulgaria. This year’s summer edition is entitled ‚A rose is a rose, is a rose, is a rose‘ and takes place from June 1st to June 30th in the exhibition rooms of IVAN ASEN 22.

IVAN ASEN 22 chooses the rose as a source of inspiration because it affects the senses on so many levels. The rose presents itself in a true richness of colour. The palette ranges from white to bright yellow, coral, scarlet to deep wine red. Likewise, the variations of the pink so characteristic of the rose are very multifaceted. They range from very light rosé to orange-pink, strawberry-pink to noble grey-pink or ash-pink. Each shade brings its own vibrancy and passion into play.

In addition, the aroma of the rose is unique. The iconic rose oil has made Bulgaria famous around the world. Not only does it have an enchanting aroma associated with harmony, romance and joy, but it also possesses invaluable therapeutic properties.

Prototype 23
Nicole Hagedorn

“IVAN ASEN 22 chooses the rose as inspiration because it uniquely affects our senses on multiple levels.”

Neli Mitewa, designer and founder of the designer salon Ivan Asen 22.

The focus is on the rose and its complex structure. Layers of light, ethereal fabrics like tulle that create light volumes are reminiscent of the layers of flower petals. The rose is considered in its entirety and in all its components. Blossoms, petals, stems and leaves are expressed in the creations – each individual element with its characteristic individuality and symbolism. Different types and shapes of roses inspire the development of different silhouettes.

The rose and its beauty in impermanence refers to the Japanese aesthetic of beauty in all its dimensions. A symbol of Bulgaria touches the philosophy of Japan to let designers‘ imagination run free.

The creations show a lot of three-dimensionality. Rose structures are picked up by appliqués, as are textures. Designs include abstract, three-dimensional and oversized oval shapes inspired by flower petals. Transparency and botanical prints play an important role in fabrics and patterns. Vanitas, the beauty of the fading rose and impermanence, is an inspiration for prints and patterns.

Vintage Sofia
Maya Karanesheva
Dilyana Cholakova
Yuliana Yanukova

The exhibiting Bulgarian fashion designers are Georgi Florov, Anelia Antova, Maya Karanesheva, Milena Nacheva, Slavina Petrova, Yuliana Yankova, Polina Sotirova, Dilyana Cholakova and Inna Gabrovska. Supplemented by the labels Ham&Eggs, Prototype 23, nelmit, YOD by Yana Dvoretska, Dinka Kasabova DK, Diliana Ivanova-YEDA, EUGENIO, Vintage Sofia, M.Point and OXN. Also taking part in the event are the talented graduates of the New Bulgarian University Eli Nenkovska, Militsa Milanova, Kristina Ljubenova and Edzhe Dervish, as well as Nicole Hagedorn as the ’new name‘, fashion student of the NBU.. The jewelry is the work of Velislava Bozhinova, Boryana Dankova, Katya Lazarova, Kalina Filcheva and KENNA Jewelry.

In the run-up to the exhibition in Sofia, the creations of the Bulgarian designers and newcomer brands were presented at a fashion show in Tokyo, Japan. As part of the first ‚Bulgarian Art and Fashion Days in Japan‘, the protagonists of the Ivan Asen 22 platform showcased their works in the Residence of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The exhibition ‚A rose is a rose, is a rose, is a rose‘ by IVAN ASEN 22 is being realized with the support of BIODERMA, Bulgaria. Visits to the designer salon can be made by prior appointment by phone 0888399506, messages on Facebook and email to The doors are open on weekends: Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

photos: Elena Spasova
with the participation of Irmena Chichikova
makeup: Hristiana Teova
hair: Stanimir Barutchiev-Miro for Kevin Murphy
styling & set design: Anelia Antova
graphic design: Georgi Florov
interior design: Diliana Ivanova