How did you start a career in design?
It all started just a year ago. Having extensive experience in showroom management and collaboration with various brands and designers, together with Markiyan, the co-founder of ETNO, we decided to create our own clothing brand. “Why not?” we thought. In fact, at that time, we had formed a large base of regular customers, and creating clothes, even more — style, is really cool. We thought back then and still do, that when there is an opportunity and some basis for it, then it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. At first, I created a men’s shirt. Probably because the women’s clothing range in ETNO was wide enough, but the men’s was much smaller. Men’s shirts can also be very different and cool, and so that is how the first men’s embroidered shirt with floral ornaments was born.
Describe your collection for ETNO LVIV. What is its main message?
To start with, I create clothes that I would wear myself, which is obvious, isn’t it? As for me, I have been a supporter of minimalism in everything, so I wanted to create a laconic capsule collection. That’s why gray is the main color. For me, it is always relevant and versatile, very basic. Above all, I wanted my clothes to be practical, so-called ethnic-casual.
Why are national motifs in clothes so important? Is it just a trend or something more?
Because it is background. It is important for our team and particularly for me to answer the questions: “Who am I?” “Where is my home?” It is a question of national identity. Ancient Ukrainian clothes, authentic embroidery, a variety of ornaments and natural materials impress me. It is exceptional how people could have had a strong feel for color and composition without any “arts education,” books and works of art, simply inspired by nature, family, values, and original culture. I’m inspired by them and their great legacy that was left for all of us. Of course, I can only agree that ethnic motifs in design have been trendy in recent years. Art is cyclical; now and then all artists go back to their origins, to their heritage. This is my favorite trend.
Which materials were chosen for the capsule collection? How did you select them?
In the new collection we worked exclusively with natural fabrics: linen and cotton. In summer, people prefer the most natural textiles from a purely practical point of view. Secondly, linen is perfectly suitable for embroidery. In addition, its mechanical properties are the most appropriate to the visual concept of the collection.
How long does it take to create one thing? What are the stages of this process?
The creation of a single item takes weeks. This process begins with a sketch, and then a team of experts is involved in embodying it: a constructor, a cutter, a seamstress, and a designer, of course. Each model is created as based on my personal requirements for clothing. It has to undergo several fittings, during which final changes are introduced. Sometimes the final result is completely unexpected. At times, the thing in which you’re not quite sure about, turns out to be incredible, sometimes on the contrary, we have to correct, to finalize the details. Anything can happen, we only learn, but try very hard to have everything done professionally.
Work with folk clothing requires thorough knowledge. Where do you find your ideas?
My expertise comes from studying at the Lviv National Academy of Arts. The final stage was one and a half years of experience in the showroom amongst this sea of beauty. I am inspired by everything around me, especially by people and cities. I like to travel, even alone, to discover new cities and meet people who live there, to feel the rhythm.
How does the perfect image look like? When can you say that a person dresses with taste?
My years studying at the Academy gave me a sense of color, composition, and aesthetics. Most often I am guided by my own senses. I can subconsciously feel what is cool and what is not.
Are there any taboos for you in design?
Plagiarism is my only taboo in the work of a designer.