Lidia Kokowicz is a fashion designer who hails from Poland – she’s a graphic designer by education. Fashion has been with her since she was a child; from illustrations to changing into different outfits and shoes that were lying in her mother’s wardrobe – even then, she knew that she wanted to create her own projects. She won a scholarship at the Polish Fashion School, and she actively takes part in nationwide and international competitions – she has been published in various fashion magazines and has won many awards and distinctions. At the moment she’s working on her graduation collection at the School of Artistic Fashion Design in Krakow to obtain the title of fashion designer.
Her designs are appreciated by stylists and artists from all over the world. She transfers geometricity to her new fashion ideas, she deviates from patterns, and she likes large forms and interesting textures. She also paints clothes by hand and remakes shoes.
Some of her accomplishments include being asked to participate in the Cracow Fashion Awards fashion shows as a stylist, working with Karolina Płocka from the “Top Model” program – Polish edition, appearing in several publications such a Horizont magazine, Edith Magazine, Imirage magazine, Scorpio Jin Magazine and Malvie magazine. She has also been featured on the global American platform NOT JUST A LABEL based in London and Los Angeles, her artistic mask has been published in the Argentinian catalog of Centro Argentino de Arte Textil, and she won first place in the Polish Talent Support 2018 international competition in the FASHION category.
Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Lidia to discuss her journey in the fashion world and here’s what went down:
How did you get into the fashion industry?
Since I was a child, I dreamed of entering the world of fashion. I was blessed with talent, I kept drawing dolls and characters. I bought a lot of fashion magazines, read interviews with designers, watched beautifully styled stars, and photo sessions. I decided that after studying graphic design I want to do a second school – Fashion. I managed to take 1st place in an international competition for my own collection, and the prize was a scholarship at the School of Artistic Fashion Design in Krakow. This is how I started creating dreams.
What do you like most about being a designer?
I know I’m in the right place, people like what I do. First of all, I combine work with passion, develop my own creativity, and meet a lot of interesting people. I love the moments when I get a lot of nice messages, questions, and requests for loans of my pieces. However, what I love the most is when, after completing the entire project, I am fully happy with the effect I wanted to achieve, even though it sometimes lasts all night. I know that my effort and fatigue were not wasted.
Downside to being a fashion designer?
If you love what you do, you don’t see any drawbacks in it, but in this profession, you can’t allow yourself to drop in form – you have to endure criticism and believe in yourself. In this world, one should be strong and confident. Stress keeps me motivated.
What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?
My first fashion show for sure! I was accompanied then by various emotions. I really wanted my styling to be perfect. I remember standing backstage waiting for my model to perform. I couldn’t believe it was happening, that I was there. Eventually, it hit me when my projects suddenly appeared in the public eye. I was very touched, to the point of tears. The second such situation took place at the Final Gala of the International Off Fashion Competition 2021, when the well-known and Polish fashion designer Marcin Paprocki, from the Paprocki & Brzozowski duo, personally wrote a message on my Instagram recognizing my projects. That was the second time I was so excited. For a novice designer, it is a great honor to read such words from a respected personage in the world of fashion.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
Certainly, stylists who dress other interesting artists. This broadens your friendships. It’s also important in this world, it’s good to show yourself. I also have fond memories of my collaboration with Karolina Płocka, a participant in the Polish edition of the “Top Model” program. She accepted my invitation to a photoshoot with my projects. That day the whole team couldn’t believe how I managed to convince Karolina to come. After all, we all knew her from TV before. As I mentioned earlier, my designs were also assessed by well-known Polish designers from the duo Paprocki & Brzozowski in the Final of the International Off Fashion Competition 2021. In this profession, it is important to be able to meet such people, above all not to be intimidated of it.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.
I learned patience and humility. I go ahead and do not look back at others. Some situations were supposed to happen, some the time would come. Always do your best. I remember many times when I couldn’t cope with fatigue and stress. However, I did not give up and I was rewarded for it. The fashion industry is for persistent and stubborn people. Another lesson is taking your own initiative. It bears fruit after a while. It all shaped my character and confidence a lot.
Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?
My family is a huge supporter of my work. They always cheer me on and enjoy my successes. In my case, everything happens very quickly, my mother can’t keep up and grabs her head with joy, because at one point, she wanted to be a fashion designer herself.
They appreciate my work, which I devote to the implementation of projects. My mother often advises me when it comes to sewing various elements of clothing because she has experience in this. It gives her pleasure.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would change anything. Studying computer graphics, which I finished studying first, helps me in knowing programs, and these, as you know, are useful in fashion designing. In fact, the pandemic brought more creativity and energy out of me. I could spend more time on self-realization and showing myself as a fashion designer. I have a very positive response from my audience. I am at the right moment in my life, I am very happy with all my achievements, and I am going up. Even more and more interesting challenges come to me, I love what I do, I just continue to make my dreams come true.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
A lot of work, a lot of work, and a lot of work again!
I like it when the things I create are fully original and refined in every detail. Sometimes I prefer to make one great creation than ten bad ones. I am fully involved in my work as a designer, sometimes it involves some sacrifices. There are days when I spend the whole day working on projects, while my family or friends have a great time. I always reward myself for those days. I am used to the fact that working on continuous ideas is part of the profession of a designer.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
At this stage, I’m in the process of creating my graduation collection.
In the meantime, I have designed my own collection – you can follow my Instagram profile @kokowicz_lidia, and you will soon find out where my collection will be available.
In addition, I would like to start cooperating with an interesting sewing room, because I am thinking of designing my own footwear. I also hope that I will have the pleasure to dress an interesting red carpet star in my clothes. Of course, in the future, I intend to open my own brand.