Runway Realway: Lirika Matoshi

By Hannah Pridemore

Staff Writer

The iconic strawberry dress: everyone knows it, everyone’s seen it, and celebrities and animated characters alike have all been drawn wearing it. But what about the designer and the other pieces she’s worked on?

Lirika Matoshi, born in Kosovo, relocated to New York City and started her fashion career in 2016, when she began selling her handmade accessories on Etsy at just 20 years old. She started with chokers before expanding to dresses and socks with sparkly add-ons and the detailed embellishments she’s known for. Matoshi is a great example of learning by doing, and that formal training isn’t necessarily needed to succeed.

There is a Matoshi pop-up shop in New York City that rotates the showroom displays with current products. Every piece is made ethically, and pictures of the products can be found on Instagram (@lirika.matoshi).

Dreamy and romantic, these soft outfits with a hint of sparkle here and there are marking their place in the world of fashion. Matoshi’s style is easily recognizable, and after adding masks to her portfolio to match her brand’s best-selling designs, there are even more ways to wear Matoshi.

Now a cottagecore staple, the $490 strawberry dress comes in a light pink or black with a deep v-neck, ruffles, tulle, and, of course, the sparkly strawberry pattern. There are some DIY tutorials on how to make it on YouTube, but it might be easier for those who aren’t as skilled in embroidery to try to find it secondhand if the price is way over budget. There’s also a strawberry shirt available for $160.

There’s much more to the brand than the strawberry design, though. Matoshi has patterned pants, embroidered face masks, and loud extravagant dresses for any occasion (even if the occasion is just dressing up to feel better about being in quarantine.)