After moving to NYC in 2016, Lirika Matoshi debuted her namesake line of hand-crafted accessories at 20. The Kosovo native first gained popularity on Etsy for her choker necklaces before moving on to glittery dresses, hand-embellished tights and socks, and intricate crystal-covered blouses—all of which she created without any formal fashion school training. Lirika learned the art of fashion design and how to source embellishments and luxury fabrics as an emerging fashion brand from her Kosovo-based fashion designer sister, Teuta Matoshi.
Lirika Matoshi, based in New York City, has grown to include a wide range of accessories and apparel. The brand launched a successful pop-up shop, and its showroom features all current products. The Lirika Matoshi brand is now made up entirely of women and operates out of factories in Kosovo and New York City.
Learn more about Lirika Matoshi’s history and various styles by reading on.
History of Lirika Matoshi
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Matoshi moved to the United States in 2016 to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. When her application was turned down, she continued to design independently from a studio in the Bronx.
In 2017, Lirika Matoshi hit the headlines when she embellished a pair of tights. Matoshi began selling variants of the tights after receiving requests after posting an image of them on her personal Instagram page. Multiple fashion bloggers shared the image, and Matoshi began selling variations of the tights after getting requests for them. In 2017, singer Elle King wore one of her designs to the Grammy Awards.
Another of Matoshi’s designs went viral in 2020. The dress, made of tulle fabric with a pattern of glittered strawberries, resulted in a 1000 percent increase in sales for Matoshi.
Matoshi’s design was dubbed “the summer dress” by Vogue. Before becoming famous, plus-size fashion model Tess Holliday wore the dress to the Grammy Awards. She later chastised members of the fashion industry for criticizing the dress when she wore it before embracing it when it was seen on straight-size/thinner women.
The Strawberry Dress
Tess Holliday, a model and makeup artist, debuted this dress at the Grammy Awards in January, and it quickly went viral. The dress received a negative response at the time, which, according to Holliday, was due to fatphobia.
TikTok recorded a surge in popularity for the strawberry dress over the summer. So, how did a once-forgotten look become the hottest fashion trend?
The beautiful and silly strawberry dress is a breath of fresh air in a world devoid of enchantment and whimsy. It represents an escape from the pressures of society today, back to a time when one could live in a flower-filled cottage all day, baking delectable treats. The strawberry dress provides people an excuse to dress up, go to a flower-covered field, and pretend to be a strawberry fairy.
This dress also contributes to the cottagecore craze, romanticizing the simple lifestyle of homemade recipes, crafting, nature, and cute little farm animals. The strawberry dress fits right in with its puffy sleeves, pastel colors, and swinging skirt. It has a carefree, relaxed charm, like the outfit you’d wear while biking around a small town, buying cheese, baguettes, and flowers.
How Lirika Matoshi Is Taking Over the Internet
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Lirika Matoshi began her brand in 2016 by selling hand-crafted chokers on Etsy. As her business grew, she began to diversify her offerings to include hand-embellished socks, fish-net tights, and, eventually, dresses while having no professional fashion experience.
Matoshi’s brand is defined by dramatic silhouettes of vibrant tulle and surreal prints and patterns. Her most well-known creation, the Strawberry Midi Dress, virtually took over the internet. Hundreds of glittery strawberries are hand-stitched onto layer upon layer of baby pink tulle in the dress.
The Strawberry Midi Dress became popular nearly one year after it was created. The garment was seen on celebrities like Marzia Kjellberg and Tess Holiday before going viral. Anime fans, cottage-core fans, and fashionistas alike were seen drawing, posting, and wearing the dress—so much so that Matoshi created a black version.
Sales skyrocketed due to the social media uproar, which was the exact opposite of what Matoshi expected. More celebrities have been spotted wearing Matoshi in night outs, music videos, and promotional events, including North Kardashian West, BLACKPINK’s Jennie, and Joey King.
Lirika Matoshi’s clothing is frequently composed of dreamy silhouettes with pastel colors and large, airy sleeves. These clothes frequently debut ideas that scream innocence and naivety, which are widely achieved through designs such as embroidered cherries, mushrooms, and cloudy skies with vibrant colors.
She does not, however, stop with the design of the clothing. Lirika Matoshi employs fabrics that only serve to enhance her vision. She demonstrates this by using more dynamic and lighter fabrics like organza and tulle.
Lirika draws inspiration from her childhood, emphasizing the idea of having no societal or physical constraints on what you can or cannot wear. Lirika even collaborated with Disney on a collection that celebrates Cinderella and the wistfulness that comes with Disney Princess movies everywhere.
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Matoshi’s products are all made sustainably. Her team comprises women based in New York City and her homeland, Kosovo.
This practice of valuing others’ work is frequently overlooked by fast fashion brands and even designer brands. For an indie brand to adopt this approach is refreshing, and hopeful that these practices will continue.
Lirika Matoshi, at the age of twenty-four, has accomplished what many aspiring designers do not achieve in their lifetime. The designer has established a solid reputation for herself and her brand, solidified through her actions.
Matoshi’s Strawberry Midi Dress provided the fairytale touch we needed during a difficult time. No matter where they were, those at home were able to flee reality and enter their world when they tried on the dress.
Because Matoshi’s brand is so reminiscent of our childhood, which most of us will always yearn to return to, it will continue to have an impact on us and test the limits of our made-up restrictions of what we can and cannot wear as we enter new environments or grow older. These are the fantasy gowns that we can wear when we wake up.
Want to know how to work the many Lirika Matoshi dresses you own? Check out this ultimate guide to dresses!