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Saul and Abraham Maslavi of Jovani Fashions on attiring Miss USAs and celebs they would like to dress up

The Maslavi brothers talk about the fashion industry and and how they are doing their bit to empower women and letting them shine confidently
UPDATED FEB 14, 2020
(Source: Getty Images)
(Source: Getty Images)

From starting out as a 10-person business to over 2,000 stores worldwide, fashion designer Jacob Maslavi along with his sons, Saul and Abraham, have been able to show the world what talent looks like. 

With a vision of creating a glamorous world of designer dresses, the trio founded the brand Jovani Fashions in 1980 and till date, it is a growing empire which makes sure that it attends to every fashion aspect of a woman’s life.

Their unique styles and creative twists on the classics is the reason Jovani as a brand has managed to win the hearts of millions. The main focus of the company is to provide the customers with clothes that give you value for money and their designs bring out the inner beauty of all women who wear these fabulous dresses.

After the demise of Jacob, Saul became the company's president, chairman, and CEO, while Abraham became the vice president, director, and CFO. In an email interview with Meaww, Saul and Abraham revealed how they got into designing and what they are looking forward to in Miss USA 2018. 

1. What led you to the field of fashion designing?

A desire to unleash a sartorial creativity, to empower women with beautiful clothing, and to reach people on an emotional level. How they feel when they wear a Jovani design is an important factor.

2. What is your favorite aspect of designing? Could you walk us through your process?

One of the best parts of the process is pulling together a variety of ideas to create something that is fresh and unique, but that continues the brand's voice. Inspiration can be as wide-ranging as travel, eras gone by, catwalk trends and the red carpet. Color is also important and Jovani designs often use strong yet flattering tones. 

Once these ideas fuse together into a cohesive vision for a collection, they are sketched out into looks. These can become more detailed and evolve through the process, as the first samples are made and they are tested for the perfect fit. Fabrics can change everything, and it's important the right one is chosen for the particular look, to get the silhouette to sit beautifully throughout the body. 

3. You have been very vocal about the strong women who have been around you throughout your life. How have your interactions with them affected you professionally?

Every interaction can have an impact, especially when I hear personal stories from women who have been through revealing or unique experiences that have empowered them, or that they've learned from.

Jovani designs are all about empowerment. They're about unleashing the strong woman within and enjoying letting that confidence shine through. The inspiration I receive from strong women just adds up to more motivation to design pieces that allow everyone to feel that sense of power within themselves, along with pride and beauty.

4. If you had to design for any three people in the world, who would you pick and why?

Beyonce is every designer's dream to dress! In particular, she embodies everything that we stand for at Jovani. Her glamorous style, her strong stage presence, and gorgeous curves represent true femininity, class, and elegance. To see her in a custom Jovani dress would be incredible. 

Meghan Markle would also look fantastic in Jovani. Her transformation into royalty has been amazing to watch. Her style is so polished, refined and chic, but there is also something personal and warm about the way she dresses. It would be amazing to see her wearing a Jovani gown to a red carpet event! 

It would be a wonderful experience to dress an Oscar winner such as Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer is such a down-to-earth woman and her personality speaks for itself. She always steals the show with her glamorous and classic take on style whenever she hits the red carpet. 

5. You are an outspoken advocate for empowering women. Could you tell us a little bit about your activism and what your goals with regards to this in the future?

Jovani loves to see a diverse range of women shine, all over the world, from different backgrounds and celebrating many personal milestones. The best part is seeing people's personal photos of events, and how women really revealed in their own special moment - be it graduation, prom, a wedding, etc.

One of the latest projects that we worked on, was a big prom dress donation. We sent enough dresses to outfit every teenage girl in the Yonkers public school distinct. Each teen was invited to come and choose their own dress. It's important that prom-goers get to fully experience prom night, and that should mean being able to pick out that dream dress. Prom dress shopping is a rite of passage!    

6. What was the journey like, going from one store to more than 2000 now?

Jovani was founded in 1980 as a family business. Even though it has expanded exponentially since then, it still continues to have a feeling of a family, with close relationships and a tight-knit team. To see everyone's hard work pay off is the best reward when there are so many who go above and beyond to make sure Jovani is always on top. The journey has been beyond anyone's wildest dreams, and it's still crazy to see such a long list of retailers all around the world! 

7. As for the upcoming Miss USA pageant, what rounds in the competition are you most excited about? Which ones do you have the highest hopes for?

It's always exciting to get to know the contestants better through the rounds. To see aspects of their personality and how they set themselves apart is always amazing to watch, and is definitely the highlight of the event. Seeing the dresses everyone chooses is always fun too!

8. Have you worked with any of the contestants in the past? If so, how was your experience?

Many Miss USA contestants have worn Jovani pageant dresses, both at the pageant and to other events following. We were so excited to see former Miss USA, Olivia Jordan wearing a Jovani gown at this year’s Miss Universe competition! We also spotted Kára McCullough wearing a hot pink velvet Jovani dress to Miss Connecticut USA 2018. Miss Montana Dani Walker has been to the Jovani LA store to enjoy a day of pageant dress-shopping. We can't wait to see her hit the stage! Cara Mundi wore a Jovani gown when she won her crown at Miss America 2017, along with many of the other contestants who also choose our designs.  Working with these inspiring women is always fun. They know what their style is, and what they want to wear on stage to stand out.