A designer in our time is such a multi-tool. He often has to do everything from casting to PR. The division of labor is great, but it all comes down to money. If you have the money to hire the right people - and the right, professional people cost a lot more - then you hire them. And since today I have nothing to pay all these people with, I have to combine many professions and do everything myself. It is clear that my friends help me as much as possible, and those who work for me often do more than they should. A lot of things rest on enthusiasm and the hope that all this will turn into an invested enterprise.
Filming of the SS 2011 lookbook. Photos: Maxim Emelyanov
The history of Russian design is about games in fashion, and even then in "fashion" in quotation marks. You can make money on this, but this is not a year, not two or five. Even according to the Western model, it takes a long time - the brand gradually acquires accessories, perfumes, it joins a large company, a group that pulls up resources and distributes them to five to ten companies. And it is important to find a normal investor who will not advertise his wife, but believe that your product is a business that requires investment of money and time in order for this money to fight back. Unfortunately, Russia is a country where everyone needs to quickly. Why do you need long-term investing if you can quickly get huge money in other areas?
Our buyer has little patriotism. He has an abundance of Western-style things, and he believes in Russian design last. The buyer just wants to get the result - a beautiful finished product, from display to clothes on a hanger. His problems should not be of good interest to him, it is the business of the state, which is obliged to invest in the industry so that it brings money. But the state does not need this either, so it turns out that only the designer needs it. And the designer is left to grope his way in Russia alone with his personal enthusiasm.
“One of the sources of inspiration was Musical Theatre, which Koolhaas agency built in Dallas. It happened unexpectedly - I was choosing fabrics, I came across this building on one of the sites, and it somehow entered my idea. I just started thinking about colors, I liked the combination of concrete, glass, and I did everything according to the same principle of combining heavy and translucent fabrics. Also this time I have a lot pleated skirts, similar to the stairs from the same theater in Dallas.
And the look with bell-bottomed trousers is from the 70s. Rock'n'roll. The main inspiration, of course, Robert Plant, who just performed in such pants. I have a long-term love for Led Zeppelin, I use their songs in most of my soundtracks. Perhaps not very good to repeat, but somehow they fit into the musical accompaniment of my shows. And then I took the clothes."
The Russian consumer will be interested in you only when you become famous in the West, because the Russian still looks to the West. It happened so historically, for hundreds of years nothing has really changed here. In an amicable way, this is correct: we have never dictated fashion, these are not tanks or weapons, so we look there.
I do not give up the idea that I could be a guest designer in a western house. I have every chance for this and many years ahead. The same Elbaz was in Geoffrey Beene, and in Yves Saint Laurent, where he was not thrown, and he took root in a brilliant way only in one house. Moreover, he is not so few years old. A young designer at 35 is real. So I still have a lot of time.
You can try to simultaneously work for a western house and make your own line - there are such examples. The same Galliano, for example.Of course, big houses require a lot of commitment - I don't know how Stefano Pilati could have combined work at Yves Saint Laurent and parallel lines. Here's how it goes. I will make my own brand, and then how will it come out. I don’t lose my name. Olivier Tiskens, who is now making a line for Theory, can always go back to where he started under his own name. So all the time that I work for my brand, I still work for my own name and for the feeling of what I, in principle, represent myself.
Most of all, I would like to develop my brand into a full-fledged business that will eventually bring in money. It is clear that I will not bring money to an investor with my line of several dozen beautiful high-quality couture dresses. The first line in the luxury brand brings the least money. This is the face, the advertisement, the brand feeling, this is what is worn on the red carpet. Everything else brings income - the second, third lines. So mass production is the logical next step. This is a huge potential for the future, where consumer goods, accessories, perfumes, and so on will have to appear. And now the problem is to find a person who would believe in it, and not have got some kind of toy for himself. It is clear that the creative director should keep track of everything, he selects and approves sketches that the second line designer draws, for example. But making only 25 pretty dresses is just silly. It is not viable today, it will be such a fashion game. I always say that to every Yves Saint Laurent - according to Pierre Berger.
Event: Vika Gazinskaya show at Look At Me