“Golden Needle 2023”: Inspiration, Traditions and Sustainability in Fashion

“Golden Needle 2023”: Inspiration, Traditions and Sustainability in Fashion


The Academy of Fashion, chaired by Prof. Lyubomir Stoykov, organizes a stylish and exclusive event for the awarding of the most prestigious award for fashion in Bulgaria Golden Needle 2023.

At the 29th awards ceremony, the chairman of the Open Space Foundation had the honor to present the statuette to Dr. Rositsa Rangelova from the fashion house RoRa, who was awarded in a new category for the competition: “Children’s Fashion”. Her approach to children’s fashion not only elevates style, but also emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the development of children’s sense of beauty.

“Dr. Rositsa Rangelova’s collection focuses on the child, who also needs to be noticed – says Pepa Veleva, president of the Foundation. And probably the choice of the Academy of fashion to personally present this award is not accidental. Timidly and recently, our team enters the world of fashion and seeks the attention of designers. Personally, however, for me the discovery of this year’s ceremony is the young designer Lia Kamenova and her Reflet brand, awarded with the “Best Young Designer” prize. The denim collection is also fresh and exciting. Her inspiration from the 60s to the 90s is visible in every garment. Her approach to fashion is not only stylish, but also environmentally conscious, giving new life to forgotten fabrics and fabrics from Bulgarian warehouses and workshops. It’s great to see that such models manifest on the catwalk.”

Another designer who deserves applause is Albena Aleksandrova from “Рошавата гарга“, awarded not by chance with the “Unique Fashion” prize. She presented a completely different dimension of fashion, weaving Bulgarian traditions into her vision. Her collection not only captures the beauty of the sukman and the faithful details of Bulgarian folk costumes, but also their symbolism in Bulgarian culture, combining tradition with modernity.

Here is what Albena Alexandrova shares: “I am inspired by the sukmana women’s garment (the short wedged version of the sukman) with rope pieces, mainly in the skirts, descending from the waist, as well as the striped vertical decoration, characteristic of the Rhodope costume, elements that are symbolically woven through the various directions of the white and black stripe, which brings a sense of modernity. In the deep bottom of the trousers, one can recognize the pattern of the black robe men’s costume during the Renaissance. The more dipli the poture had, the higher the social status of its owner.”

“I admit that I am impressed by the fantasy and creativity of the designer – says Pepa Veleva. Her work is in line with a project we are currently working on: ECHO Academies, in which Bulgarian cultural heritage serves to inspire young fashion designers. I thank Prof. Lyubomir Stoykov for finding the sense to present a video from our event in Smolyan with the projects of 10 young designers from Bulgaria and Europe. The video material was displayed on the wall, alongside the partners and sponsors, so our participants were part of this extremely important ceremony for the fashion industry.”

We cannot express our admiration for Prof. Lybomir Stoykov, who the last 30 years has managed to organize the award ceremony without compromise and with great love. The Academy of Fashion is an institution significant not only for Bulgaria and Bulgarian designers. It makes it possible for our designers to develop, be noticed and boldly stand next to the world names in fashion. The Academy of Fashion is celebrating 30 years since its inception, and the Golden Needle Awards are a symbol of excellence in the industry. We hope that in the future we will see more fashion trends that take inspiration from cultural heritage, combined with the preserved aesthetic and responsibility towards sustainability. This annual fashion festival showcased the magic that the fashion industry can create while preserving our values and heritage.


1/. The Academy of Fashion / Petur Stanev

2/. The Academy of Fashion / Anton Markov

3/. The Academy of Fashion / Petur Stanev

4/. OPEN SPACE foundation