Olya first began to design clothes with her twin sister in 1991 when they were struck by the grey monotony in post-communist Russia. They started redesigning their mother’s clothes to stand out from this monochromatic existence. This vibrant awakening led them to open up a fashion design atelier in Moscow which they ran for 10 years. The most popular designs were custom-made sheep skin outwear and leather jackets, where they applied experimental zero-waste pattern cutting techniques by draping the skins on the stand to see the garment as a three dimensional object.
During this time, Olya studied fashion, art and design for 5 years in Moscow’s top universities then went on to graduate from London-based Central St Martins where her graduate collection was highly acclaimed. She continued to hone her skills and knowledge with renowned ateliers including Erdem, FrostFrench, Michiko Koshino, David Koma and Mary Katrantzou prior to launching her own label in 2010.
In parallel to her own brand, Olya launched a collaborative women’s wear line in 2011 with a fellow graduate from Central St Martins. The collaboration ‘Xsenia & Olya’ was a success. Today, Olya is expanding into her own brand under the Olya Shishkina label.