Gabija – the designer
Meet Gabija. She is the headline of many bright and creative minds that design and make the fraze. clothing.
We chatted with Gabija to get a little insight into her background as a designer, her aspirations in the ever-changing world of fashion as well as how working with the fraze. impacted her career and what she sees in the brand’s future.
For a few decades now, Gabija lives and breathes fashion. As a creator, as a successful female in fashion, and as a proven designer she plays leading roles in creating collections and individual pieces for the fraze.
Her main responsibilities are designs, fabrics, and colors.
But there’s a whole lot more than just fabrics and colors about Gabija. Her source of inspiration, personal and professional aspirations as well as future visions for the fraze. can amaze and captivate your imaginations. Time to get acquainted!
Biography and experience in her own words
Q: Tell us about yourself. Who is Gabija? How did she get into fashion?
A: First of all – I am Kaunas-born and raised. It all sort of started when I began studying clothing design at the higher A.Vienožinskis school.
From there, I continued learning about my passion in Vilnius Dailės akademija, and finished my studies at Vytautas Didysis university with a major in Art History and Critique.
Soon after graduating, I became immersed in the world of fashion. My first job was with a team of designers at E5 mode, designing pieces for the Lithuanian market.
I was always eager to take on new challenges, so I kept moving and expanding my horizons, working with numerous studios, creating clothing for foreign markets all over the world. The highlight from that stage of my career and something that stands out to this day is my time in Shanghai.
Right now I’m much more experienced than when I started, but I wouldn’t be where I am now without these… Humble beginnings, shall I say.
Q: So, your journey as a designer began after your studies?
A: Yes. My intro into the world of fashion was E-5 mode, which had quite a few stores open in Lithuania at the time.
Being there acquainted me with the ins and outs of mass-market fashion. It just so happened that there was always room to grow and improve this environment. At least I feel this way.
It’s a magnificent space for self-realization. This is a huge reason why I stayed in fashion and have been doing this for more than 20 years.
Q: Being where you are now, was it difficult to get to this point? The world of fashion is known to be competitive and challenging.
A: To be frank. It wasn’t difficult. For me, at least…
I guess I just love what I do.
I can’t also ignore the fact that a lot of my experience is around mass-market. I often work with a team and do my job not for myself, but for clients. I have to tailor my knowledge and my experience to turn the client’s idea into fashionable, chic pieces.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that I work with clients, as a designer, and as a creator for the fraze. I want all my pieces to be unique and find their true “owners” so to speak.
Q: So, does that lead to where we are now? Exactly how did you begin working with the fraze.?
A: Me, and Lina (founder of the fraze.) were colleagues at one point in time. We knew each other from back then but haven’t been collaborating on mutual projects.
One day, however, she reached out and offered the opportunity to contribute to this fascinating vision of the fraze. It sounded exciting, and tickled my ambition so I agreed to give it a shot! *Smiles*
Q: Happy that you did give it a shot! During that working collaboration with the fraze., could you list some highlights, pleasurable moments?
A: I would go as far as not even calling this “working” per se. It’s more like a workshop, brainstorming, generating ideas at the highest level.
It all took off during the pandemic and has been a blast since. One of the things that I can’t take for granted is that I know everyone on the team from my past. They all deserve their praise because they are true professionals.
So, for me the fraze. isn’t just another client. We are bonded by our devotion to our ideas. It’s why every piece and model is made with love. That everyday devotion is the highlight for me.
Q: So, then tell us about your latest collection for the fraze.?
It has everything, from geometric militarism to modern classics and sport coats. So it’s definitely something!
Q: Working with such unique and diverse designs, what ideas do you try and present or accentuate the most?
A: Relevance and contemporary. We live here and now. This is reflected in our collections. They’re adapted to the challenges and trends of this day.
It’s just what fashion is. A set of shapes, colors, and trends that are adapted to circumstances that surround it or are impacted by them. I sometimes like to reflect on the history of not just fashion, but art, in general. You can see vastly different clothing and associate historical or cultural context with the fashion of the time.
Q: So what items, then do you think best reflects our current times?
A: Well, obviously it’s the newest collection from the fraze. *laughs*
Q: And what about personalities? Is there anyone who inspires you?
A: Of course and there are quite a few. But rather than inspire, I would like to say “fascinates me”.
Tilda Swinton and Veronique Tristram come to mind first. I am simply enamored with their fashion sense. They’re brave and their looks are unique. I love it.
Q: Any fashion houses?
A: Schiaparelli, COMME des GARÇONS, these two are my top two right now. Their pieces are like works of art. I personally very much like to see unexpected combinations and matches, something that deviates from the standard, what isn’t casual or vanilla.
But, I can’t say that I only like those designers. Quite the opposite. There are many who’s creations I often find myself admiring or liking. Jill Sander, Celine, Yohji Yamamoto to name a few. They’re modern classics.
Q: A lot of fashion designers and artists say that their influences, inspirations, or even muses are linked with nature and their surroundings. How about you? Do your inspirations come from nature or the environment?
A: For me, the first line and the main source of inspiration is the fabric. I need to see the fabric, its color, structure. Touching and feeling is super important. Is it soft, thin, coarse, rough? It has a certain vibe and energy to it.
Once I get a sense of the essence, I can begin visualizing what could be made from that fabric. A coat? A cocktail dress? A sporty tracksuit? It all depends.
Q: Sounds fascinating, but that isn’t always enough, right? Working with so many designs, you must have times where your creative flow is blocked? How do you get over that?
A: I like to let my ideas grow, mature, and become ripe. At first, it’s usually just a bunch of disconnected or scattered thoughts. I like to organize my thoughts into mind shelves and allow them to settle.
Of course, I do have those lightning in bottle-type moments when something gets conceived in a second, but actually, I believe that those ideas were already matured and ready for consumption to begin with. There are also moments when more time to make things happen is needed. If I feel like my head is banging against the wall, I like to step back and just remember that it isn’t time yet. I need a bit more patience.
Designs for the fraze. and the future
Q: What can we expect from the fraze. collections in the future?
We are eager to expand our range and we will be adding a line of lighter clothing. It will include dresses, blouses, pants, etc.
We are sincerely hoping that this upcoming summer will allow us to breathe, travel and be happy easier. It should expand our horizons and give sensations of feeling free. This is why our collection will be dedicated to lightness and freedom. It should be clothing that is easy to be with. Easy to go to work, easy to travel, easy to party… Easy to live, as a whole. It’s all about light materials, comfy, free silhouettes.
Q: You must feel really proud seeing your ideas making it to store shelves, windows, being visible in photoshoots, etc.?
A: Yes, that is all great, but what’s even better is seeing your clothes being worn. Being able to create something that creates synergy between the wearer and the piece of clothing, when one enriches the other, is what drives me most.
I personally am amazed to see how the item changes, depending on who’s wearing it. As you know, wearing it right is sort of an art-form. It can look perfect on one person, but completely out of place on another…
Q: Interesting. How do you envision the fraze. Clients? Who you dedicate your clothes to?
A: I like to think she loves herself and life. She should be confident in herself and always looking for ways to be happy. The main ingredient in my work is love, so I sincerely hope that what I conceive is delivered into loving hands.
Q: A huge part of what makes the fraze. so unique is the brand’s message. It praises self-discover and self-care which is super important for the people of our time. From your thoughts we can see that your ideas are close to those of the fraze. Is saying so accurate?
A: Absolutely! These are areas which connect us the most. I am very glad that the brand wants to be unique and exclusive in this particular way. We both want our clients to feel comfortable, confident, unique and would be able to wear clothes in order to express themselves.
As I like to say, we don’t create clothes. We create pieces to fall in love with. They’re worth falling in love with and worth wearing with love.