Can you tell me your inspirations for your Fall 2012 collection?
The collection is called ‘Balkaria’, and the inspirations are taken from the actual place. That’s were my mum’s from, so it’s kind of where I’m from. It’s all based on taking ancient buckles and fastenings and using them today, creating the look from the very masculine coat that’s used in the national Balkarian dance and mixing it with women's clothing from the dance. So there’s a mixture of masculine and feminine plus traditions.
What did you study?
I studied Economics actually, in Moscow! It wasn't really what I wanted to do from the very beginning - it was kind of a basic education from my parents (laughs). After I graduated from my BA in Economics, I moved to London. I first got into Saint Martins, and I did a few different courses. I did a foundation then designing, then print, textiles and so on.
Did you enjoy it?
Yes, and then I moved from Saint Martins to London College of Fashion. That’s were I spent three years. I did my BA in Surface Textiles.
Did you always want to be involved in fashion?
Yeah, I always wanted to be a designer - that was my dream since I was about seven.
You travel a lot, but where do you consider your home?
Well, I was born in Moscow, and I am in Moscow at the moment. It is were I have my little showroom and atelier where we do hand-sewing and hand-embroidery, which I then included in the collection. I also have some private customers in Russia who come there.
Are you opening a store in London soon?
Well, hopefully in the near future I will have a little showroom in London – it’s a long way until I open a proper store! (laughs)
Do you have a favourite out of London and Moscow?
I have my family in Moscow, so that is the main reason I spend my time here. At the same time, I love London; and the more I spend time there, the more inspiration I get. I only design in London. When I’m there I can actually concentrate on work properly - on my designing, drawing, going to museums - because it’s so multicultural, you know? And I get my inspirations from all sorts of people I meet every day.
Moscow is different, very different. It is more about the actual handwork there, embroidery, but it’s not about designing here that much. So when I produce my collection, all my designing - I do it in London, all the creating I do in Mosco. Then the production is divided between London and Moscow.
Do you plan to show at London Fashion Week?
Yes, we are looking at that…I've decided to show a couple of seasons in Milan and then hopefully get to London because that’s where the brand is based. We had a presentation last season during LFW for my 'Balkaria' collection in London, but it was just a small event. So maybe something like that again this September - a little presentation. But I can't be quite sure because of the all the dates and the preparation needs to be done!
Do you have any advice for young designers?
The hardest part is not to be afraid. Everyone makes mistakes - we get all our experience from them. So don’t be afraid to try out things. If you think something’s going to work and everyone is telling you it's not going to work, you have to go for it and prove it is going to work - otherwise there is no point in doing fashion.
Who is you IDOL?
That’s my mum! She’s supporting me all the time, and that’s important to me.
Interview: Luke Taylor