Hlaotvee is a compound word which is made up of the words ‘hate’ and ‘love’ combined together in a single written entity. Also known as hatelove, Hlaotvee refers to the state between hate and love - a state where these polar opposites occur simultaneously - a state we experience when we love to hate, or hate to love.
However in its physical form, Hlaotvee manifests as the coolest Designer x Vintage store in the shopping heart of Limassol, Cyprus - Anexartisia’s St. The store houses a mixture of international fashion labels such as Wildfox (which is exclusively distributed by Hlaotvee in Cyprus) along with selected pieces from up-and-coming fashion designers and vintage clothing. Hlaotvee would be incomplete without its army of kitsch and cheerful accessories, which range from seashell purses to clutches containing unicorn magic and tribal inspired necklaces— to name a few. Undeniably the space exudes a glistening aura which inspires people to view clothing as a means of personal storytelling.
An integral component of Hlaotvee is its dual disposition: apart from a fashion store Hlaotvee is also an art space. Founder of Hlaotvee and Central Saint Martin’s alumna Josefien Heich explains how her vision for the space encapsulates the close relation between (fine) art and fashion and blur the lines that exist between the two disciplines.
The space showcases Josefien’s personal hand painted portraits which depict female characters drenched in colour, painted with fluid lines in an expressionist reminiscent style. The emotionally charged paintings are exhibited alongside a vast collection of fashion photographs that capture dramatised tales of youth and flamboyant teenage dreams - surrounded by Hlaotvee’s fashion collection. Some of Josefien’s work is framed and hung on the wall, whilst other pieces are arranged in stacks on the floor, following a laid-back mantra which coincides with the everything goes aesthetic of the space. In this way Josefien establishes an alternative way of curating contemporary art, which is heavily inspired by the realms of fashion and theatre and is infused with drama and passion.
Apart from Josefien’s personal work and fashion photography collection, Hlaotvee also presents a body of work from young artists still in secondary education as well as artworks created by children with disabilities. Josefine has enlisted a range of charitable youth organisations such as the Theotokos Foundation, as creative collaborators, in her efforts to support their work whilst also stressing out the importance of the creative process in the daily lives of children with disabilities.
Most importantly Hlaotvee is a space the lonely souls can call home. A rebellious space where being an outcast makes you a cool kid. A space uniting artists from wildly diverse disciplines that inspires them to be unapologetically creative.