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Denista  Avramora

Plymouth’s undisputed Queen of Fashion bares all to Plymouth Community Reporter Janice Gordon, including celebrity clients, bug bears and why she is still in business when so many contemporaries have folded. 
Denista Avramora owner of Identity Fashion. 
Photo of Denista taken by Margo M photography  

We first met about 12 years ago when Bulgarian born entrepreneur Deni had a shop in Totnes High Street, her mother was an already established fashion designer in Bulgaria and had supplied her with some one-off pieces to sell. 

I remember being in the changing room trying on at least four. I loved the quirkiness and the classic cut lines.  Danista was that wonderful mixture of European high energy and that down to earth honest chatter box. 

Denista first came over to the Uk to do a course in Theatre and Performing Arts at Dartington, near Totnes. Luckily for her she was picked to extend her residency at Dartington Hall and that took her down a path to living in The South Hams permanently. 

Roll on to 2024 and she is the only Independent Fashion house not only in Plymouth but also in Devon. Set in trendy Royal William Yard with an extremely opulent flagship store, that is big enough to house not only clothing, but also homeware and accessories, is Identity Fashion, running into its 9th year. 

If you haven’t been, its big enough for a trip out and they encourage as much trying on as possible because there is a long red carpet rolling down to a giant tall mirror which is perfect for strutting your stuff. 

In our interview Denista says this really works for the social media selfies and adding some movement to the clothing. 

We agree that the two words to describe her clothing are ‘classic’ and ‘quirky’ – which to my mind make the perfect creative ensemble, in anyone’s wardrobe. 

She has taken over her mother’s reins and now works with fashion designers in Bulgaria to create the seasons statement pieces as well as the traditional favourites.  I asked her why she thought she was still going strong when many female designer labels had folded such as a contemporary of hers Karen Millan. She thinks it’s to do with not expanding too much and being ambitious with what you already have, but not with having more business outlets: “We only ever produce small numbers of styles and that is both great for the customer and the setup of manufacturing. We avoid any fashion trends we stick to classic lines with a little twist, this might be with an unusual hem line, a standout button or a cut on the bias.” 

Her bugbear? Salespeople today! I am grinning and nodding my head, as I don’t know why but there seems to be quite a gulf between the joy of buying on holiday and at home (just saying). 

“I train my staff in everything, the cut of the styles, what size women they will work with and how to help people shop, not too pushy but always honest, and engaging, this is very important to me and the business.” 

She most definitely has her own following regionally as well as some interesting celebrities, such as Dawn French, Samantha Womack, Sharron Davies and Natalie Cornah the presenter on Spotlight. 

Denista does like to support students and she often invites photographers from Plymouth Art College to take part in her fashion shows as well as inviting people to model as well. 

Denista loves mentoring as it empowers and supports aspiring Fashion students, and it can often be an essential stepping stone for their future.  

So when Shelby Nolan –Hoare  who is the photographer on the fashion shots on this blog won the prestigious British photographic award, Denista couldn’t have been prouder. 

Shelby was in year 2 of her degree when she was lucky enough to work at Identity Fashion. She could photograph commercial photo shoots and experience a fashion show, she took PR shots when Identity Fashion was declared the National Muddy Stilettos Winner for Best Women’s Fashion in 2023. So, if there are any budding fashionistas out there, check out the courses available in Plymouth.  

Interestingly enough the Level 3 Diploma in Fashion and Textiles at Ivybridge School is an interesting alternative to A levels and will count towards university. This course covers the full spectrum including textiles, digital embroidery and fabric printing. 

Fashion is one of the biggest employers in the Uk and we just happen to have one of the best Universities on our doorstep. Plymouth Art College has amongst its courses these 4 relevant Fashion qualifications.

BA Fashion Design…they had me at the mention of attending Paris and Milan Fashion Week!  

Ba Fashion Media and Marketing has an online first year and covers a wide range of skill sets such as social media, advertising and branding. 

Commercial photography As our World spins on a digital axis Photography will be covering just about everything that you see online. 

MA in Jewellery Design is aimed at creatives who can already show themselves as designers. Carly Hitchen did an MA to further her career as a Jewellery Designer  at Plymouth Art college and won a prestigious award and the title of Gemstone Guru. 

Plymouth’s undisputed Queen of Fashion bares all to Plymouth Community Reporter, Janice Gordon, including celebrity clients, bug bears and why she is still in business when so many contemporaries have folded. 
Plymouth’s undisputed Queen of Fashion bares all to Plymouth Community Reporter, Janice Gordon, including celebrity clients, bug bears and why she is still in business when so many contemporaries have folded. 

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