Galina Sobolev is originally from Russia, her family moved to America to seek a better life. Galina ended up fulfilling the American Dream – getting married, having 3 children and living in a house with 2 dogs. She is also a heavy hitter in the fashion industry – dressing the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria and Fergie. The story of how her fashion empire was built is as enchanting as a modern day fairy tale.
Years ago on Christmas Eve, Galina and her friend went to a Russian restaurant. Her friend was determined to be a matchmaker for Galina, who was single at the time. Her friend was unsuccessful in finding a good match and soon gave up. A man walked in and caught Galina’s eye at a neighboring table because he was speaking Russian to the server. As the server made her rounds to get Galina’s order, Galina inquired about the man. The server ironically became the matchmaker and introduced Galina to Michael Sobolev. They eventually got married.
Michael attended USC and earn a MBA in finance. He was primed for a major position in Wall Street, but he refused the offer to stay with Galina. He belived in her talent and in SINGLE so considerably that he sold his car to subsidize SINGLE. The brand became a smash hit and the rest is history.
SINGLE Dress is a brand that empowers women and supports the local economy. With its “Made In America” philosophy – SINGLE manufactures in Los Angeles, employs there, has a quick turnaround, enables ethical production and provides a higher quality of product.
The bubbly and upbeat designer tells us in her own words about SINGLE:
Hello Galina! Tell us about yourself.
My story is one of “dreams come true”, I came to this incredible country as a teenager, and had the excitement and the privilege of living in NYC. In the late 70’s, and early 80’s when NY was the epicenter of all things fashion, disco music, and excitement, I met such incredible people such as Andy Warhal and David Bowie. I danced at Studio 54, and Danceteria.
I modeled for the likes of Norma Kamali, Willi Wear, and Michael Kors, and walked the runways of NYC next to Iman, and Pat Cleveland.
I attended FIT and graduateed with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree. I moved to LA for a job assignment as a Design Director for Carole Little, and have been enjoying my life in LA since 1988.
In 1995, my now husband and I started our own clothing company “Gala, Inc.” and in 2001—our brand SINGLE was born, the rest is history.
Can you explain the inspiration behind the name of your brand SINGLE Dress?
SINGLE Dress brand was created in 2004. It is not about being single at all, in fact women who buy and wear dresses from Singledress.com rarely remain single! Its about being one-of-a-kind, singled out. Not a wall flower, and its about confidence! Single in our translation is “The Only One” and the only fabulous one indeed!
What is a typical work day for you like?
My work Day is 24/7 because I am always on the lookout for inspiration, I do love coming to work, playing with fabrics and exploring various trends, some of which I have seen come around for the 3rd time already in my lifetime as a designer. I am constantly inspired by various factors: the influencers, the fashion Icons of the past – such as Tina Chow, and Audrey Hepburn. In my book they are my all time favorites. The work of a designer never ends. It is a constant creative process, almost like that hampster in the wheel –which keeps on turning!
Name some characteristics you think make a great designer.
Some of the characteristics that make a great designer are, first of all, an ability to tell a beautiful story. A vision. Then the ability to translate that vision into a gorm of commercial eearable art, which we call clothing today. A great designer must always re-invent oneself, and at the same time stay true to the core of their vision. I love creative forces and truly respect the longevitly of Ralph Lauren. I love the awesome commercial success of Michael Kors. I also respect the Italian Designer Maria Grazia who is now designing for Dior.
What is your proudest achievement with Single Dress?
I have so many exciting moments, and achievements that have happened to our SINGLE dress brand. I loved the excitement of seeing my creations on celebrities such as Taylor Swift and JLo. I loved doing the conclaves in Dallas at the Neiman Marcus headquarters, when we were shipping over 1.2 million worth of dresses to the Neiman’s dress department!
Getting Awards from The FIG (Fashion Industry Guild in Dallas, and The Atlanta Apparel Mart) for Fashion Innovation. But most of all, I am proud of the charity work which we do with the Aviva center for underprivileged girls, every year we donate clothing to the 36 Young women in residence at Aviva (which also has a high school) and I am very proud of being able to provide something fabulous for those girls to wear.