Emerging Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Lidia Kokowicz

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.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Incredible Luom Ousby

Luom Ousby is a luxury minimalist at heart. The Vietnam-born and New Zealand-raised designer first took up needle and thread as a child, designing and sewing her first garments with her mother at just 8 years of age, and setting her on a course that would take her to fashion college and culminate with a Diploma in Fashion Design & Textile in 1996.

Her distinctive signature style was recognised the following year when she placed as runner-up in the prestigious New Zealand Smoke-Free Fashion Awards, collecting a slew of high distinctions in the process.

Fashion designer Luom Ousby walks runway with models at the close of her show Luom.O collection fashion show, for Fashion Palette Australian Evening & Bridal Show Spring Summer 2016, duing New York Fashion Week Spring 2016.

In 1998 Luom relocated to Sydney and by 2006 she had set up shop in fashion-hub Paddington, bringing her vision of luxury minimalism to life by catering to brides and special event customers looking for style well beyond the mainstream. Her form-fitting gowns have become her staple and have been worn by many celebrities.

Over 20 years of working with brides, in particular, has provided Luom with unparalleled experience into what they really want and what makes them happy. “My edge as a designer is my insight into the women who embrace a minimalist aesthetic and how they want to convey their identity on a day when all eyes are on them.

Designing is telling a story. My designs are all about the woman wearing the dress, rather than the dress wearing the woman. I believe a woman should ultimately look and feel sexy in whatever she wears. My definition of sexy is about not being obvious – it’s about being subtle in order to create mystique. Revealing less, whilst hinting at more through form, is the key to being alluring”

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Luom to discuss her journey in the fashion world and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I knew from a very young age that fashion would be a huge part of my life. I was always very creative, whether it be sketching clothes, writing stories, drawing, or painting.

Growing up I was a little quirky, or they say the black sheep in the family. But looking back at some of the clothes I was wearing then as an 8- 10 yr old, I could say I was ahead of my time?

All my clothes consisted of me designing them and then spending the weekend sewing with my mother. There were some questionable designs in the early stages! (laughs)

The time spent with my mother learning how to make patterns and going to fabric stores was such a favourite pastime.

That period of my life was a very special time with my mother and our love for making clothes created such a close bond. One I still remember 40 years later.

That’s what I love about fashion! The connection that it can create between people!

What do you like most about being a designer?

Freedom. That there is no right or wrong when it comes to being a designer. Fashion and Art are individual interpretations.

Designing has always given me creative freedom, and I can’t imagine my life without having this creative space available to me.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Aside from the pressure and high expectations we put on ourselves, there really isn’t a great deal to say negatively about being a fashion designer.

I feel very privileged and fortunate to do what I love most. I think a lot of designers would agree with that.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

There are a few memorable moments to recall, but the one I have the fondest memory of would have to be showing at New York Fashion Week 2016.

This was a wonderful experience, purely because I had to push myself to a new level of pressure to make it happen. It was an extremely tight deadline, having just come off Australian Bridal Fashion Week. Trying to put together a NEW collection and coordinating a team, all within 5 weeks was a lot of work, to say the least.

It was a challenging time, but we did it! The value of having my husband, my sister, and close friends by my side right to the end was so important and unforgettable.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

A celebrity would be a cliche to name, but for me, I feel this would have to be some of the clients I have been lucky enough to have met and have created a bond with.

All the women over the years that I have had the pleasure of working closely with and designing gowns for, have taught me a lot.

Sometimes as designers, we don’t give ourselves enough credit, and I have found that through my wonderful clients, they have shown me such immense appreciation for the work that is achieved.

Working as a designer especially when designing brides their dream wedding gowns, we help bring to life their vision.

The joy I get to see amongst their families, and all the interesting stories that are shared is what I value most.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Evolve with the industry, otherwise, you will be left behind! Grow as a business, and move with the times.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes. Extremely supportive. It has been detrimental to my career having their support and knowing they have been behind me 100% (especially my husband).

I definitely could not have done it alone.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

The advice I would tell my younger self is that it is okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. And learn from them quickly!

When I started my fashion label (2004), I wanted to do it all. I worked in the business, rather than on the business.

I finally realised one person can not do everything, especially if you want to grow. Learn to have the right people in the places to help grow your business.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

In any business, learn to delegate to free up your time so that you can use your expertise skills the best way possible!

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

In the current conditions with Covid, we have shifted the LUOM.O brand to meet the demands of the preferred choice of online shopping.

Before all this, our brand had such a strong custom-design clientele, where clients would come in for 4-5 fittings. This area of designing is barely a thing now.

We have re-focused on how to provide for our customers by creating a strong online presence.

Most importantly we continue to support our customers in many ways by making sure the customer service level is high and does not differ from whether you shop online to shopping personally in-store.

We look forward to having those one-on-one experiences and creating some custom masterpieces in the near future!

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Yeaji Lee

Yeaji Lee is a 22-year-old fashion designer based in South Korea. She started her design adventure quite early; When she was eight years old, She was a gifted art student through the 20-1 competition rate at the Seoul Arts Center’s Art Gifted Academy.

When she was 12, she only prepared for four months and got into the most famous art middle school in Korea called Yewon School. And then, when she was 15, She entered Seoul Arts High School, Korea’s highest private art high school, in third place. During high school, she used to rank first and second in a major in design. Currently, she entered the Department of Fashion Design at Ewha Woman’s University and is taking a leave of absence. During her leave of absence, she worked as an intern in Münn Seoul, a high fashion brand in South Korea, for three months. After that month, she is preparing for her brand; the name is “it’s Yeah.”

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Yeaji to discuss her journey in the fashion world and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I got into the fashion industry when I was 20, only a few days after entering Ewha Women’s University. Until I was 19, I wanted to be a visual or space complex designer, and fashion never crossed my mind. So I never thought to get into this. But I didn’t get accepted into the department of design at the university I wanted. So I applied unintentionally to the fashion design department with my parents’ persuasion, and then I got in.
I was very depressed to go to the fashion design department first time. But there’s a twist! When I was in college, a few days later, my senior called me to help her at a major fashion event.
I became a helper for various brands during Seoul Fashion Week which was held in a huge complex Design Space, made up of fashion shows, visuals, music, and models. It was the perfect way to express all of the designs. The excitement of being part of such a world made me interested in fashion and now I’ve got my heart set on the fashion industry.

What do you like most about being a designer?

From the stage of coming up with creative ideas to the design process and the results, the whole design process is the most attractive thing to being a designer.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

The disadvantage of fashion designers is that the first starting point in the fashion industry is mostly passionate about pay and exploitation. These things are taken for granted. Also, I think it is not easy to grow into a fashion designer in South Korea. I hope there is strong support for designers in other countries.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

My most memorable experience was when the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 Fashion Show was held at the hangar of Incheon International Airport, South Korea, and I was contacted. I thought it was really a dream. Can a high-profile fashion brand really contact me who was just a helper without any connection?? Fashion and I are meant to be! As a result, on October 31, 2019, it was an opportunity to see and talk to the people behind a top fashion brand. Louis Vuitton’s employees, stylists, and local top models, as well as Louis Vuitton’s exclusive models. The scale of the fashion show and the production of the video were incredible – and I was only 20 years old so it was my most memorable experience and I’m grateful to them.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Currently, the most interesting and respected person I have met is Han Hyun-min, a creative director in Munn Seoul. He is a leader in our country’s fashion world. It is the first Korean brand to enter Milan and London Fashion Week and is recognized abroad. Before he majored in fashion design, he majored in graphic and photography design, and I also studied visual graphic design before majoring in fashion. I’m making him a role model because his life, style, etc. are my favorite directions and feelings. I’m currently working for his brand and I’m very happy to work for it.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or yourself.

In Korea, I took gifted art classes at the Seoul Arts Center when I was in elementary school, and went to Yewon Scool when I was in middle, and hen went to Seoul Arts High School when I was in high school, getting advice and valuable classes from excellent teachers and friends. It’s really hard to choose just one. But if I can choose the most valuable lesson, It might be a lesson my parents told me. They always said “do your best in everything if you want to succeed” and “invest generously in your major.” THIS would have been the most intense advice and help in my design life.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

My parents are fully supportive. They always helped me if things are related to my major. Without support, I would not have grown this much.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

If I go back to the past, I think I will continue to walk this path and I would have a more external experience like exhibitions, performances, and trips, not textbook studies. Oh, there’s an anecdote I remember. It was April when I was in my first year of high school. My family was supposed to travel to Dubai for a week. My parents told me to give up studying for the exam and go on a trip, but I disagreed. I said to them” I can’t go! I have to study. The midterms are important. This midterms grade is related to the university I wanted so I must study, and not travel around.” Except for me, my family went on a trip and had a great time (laughs), I didn’t go on the trip so I should get a good grade right? Nope! I didn’t do well on the test. Screwed up and had no sexual impact on going to college (laughs), I think I should have had more valuable experience since I was young and not studying school textbooks all the time.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Best advice, “You’ll be good at whatever you do. I’m always rooting for you.”

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I don’t want to succeed as a fashion designer. I’m very interested in directing that encompasses vision, hearing, and spatial. Right now, I took a year off from University. I want to work under the creative director Han Hyun-min, who I mentioned above, to improve my social experience and skills. I have a dream of making a personal high-profile brand or becoming a high-profile brand like Dior, McQueen-style creative director.

I want to be a career woman who is superb in the world.

Emerging Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Celeste Tran

Celeste is a 20-year-old fashion designer who’s currently a student in the Bachelors of Design program at FIDM in Los Angeles. She started designing relatively early all the way back to high school and she comes from a legacy of people in the fashion industry – she felt like it was part of her DNA. She’s currently doing her best to put her work out there and she’s hoping to grow her brand.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Celeste to discuss her journey in the fashion world and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I was fresh out of high school with no idea what I wanted to do. I attended community college for a year and suddenly decided- “I’m going to fashion school!” I’d always loved fashion and I had thought at the time- why not? I have time… and it was the best decision of my life.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I think the best part about being a designer is that once you get past caring about the judgment of other people-it is freeing. The ideas in your head are yours and yours alone and when you choose to share them with the world-its really special. I love to see these ideas come to life.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

I think one of the downsides to being a designer is the constant comparison I have in my own head to my peers. I see the potential and already existing beauty and revolutionary new designs and I think what I do isn’t good enough. It’s a huge mental hurdle because we live in a digital world constantly exposed to the best and most exciting parts of everyone else’s lives. It is hard not to be intimidated when I’m just trying to find my own little corner of the world.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

So far, as of this article, it would have to be the SHEIN X program. I applied really early on to be part of it and it was amazing. On the other hand, I’ve worked for and with amazing designers and I would never trade those experiences for the world.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I think the most interesting person I’ve met is Denise Focil, I worked for her company as an intern and it was amazing. She took on a mentor role for me and allowed me a chance to design for her even though I had just started fashion school and I knew nothing.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

A lot of my friends would probably say that working for free is something you should never do-I don’t agree. I happen to think that it’s a beneficial experience because it teaches you hard work without expecting anything. It teaches you to treat all opportunities like gold. The most valuable experiences that help you grow are the ones that you don’t pay for.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yeah, I mentioned above that I come from a legacy of fashion people. My great grandfather ran a clothing factory when he was alive, and my grandmother is a professional tailor working with high-end brands. My family has always supported my dreams.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I probably would not change anything. I think I’m lucky to have had the experiences I’ve had even though it might not seem like much-I’m very grateful.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Trust the process. I’ve always been about that and I think some things in life you don’t need to question too hard.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I will be showing a runway collection at FMC’s LA Fashion Week on October 19th. It’s going to be great.

How To Choose The Perfect Little Black Dress For Every Occasion

By Chi de Jesus

This item is uber essential that it deserves its own article. The little black dress, chicly known as the “LBD”. It’s little because it’s streamlined and advocates simplicity. It’s black because it’s elegant and yet accessible, mysterious and yet powerful. It’s a dress because it celebrates the female form and delicate nature. Everyone would always refer to the LBD made famous by international fashion icon Audrey Hepburn in her 1960’s movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” but the LBD came much earlier – 1926 to be exact when fashion innovator Coco Chanel published a photo of a short, simple black dress on American Vogue dubbed “Chanel’s Ford.”

However, it’s not a maxi dress or a one-size-fits-all kinda item. It’s the concept of simplicity, elegance, mystery and accessibility that has shaped this fashion item from an “essential” to a “must-have” or even a “should-have.” So how do you now choose the best LBD fit for you?

Follow these steps and come out fabulous.

STEP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT CUT

This will mainly depend on your understanding of your body. Know if you are top heavy or bottom heavy – to know if you would need an empire cut or pencil cut, mermaid or flowy even asymmetric. Then work on the concept of highlighting your assets. This will give you an idea of what you would have to consider when it comes to the length of sleeves, depth of neckline, and the type of skirt.

STEP 2: LENGTH OF THE DRESS

The term “little” might have been used loosely since the LBD may come in different lengths – case in point, Audrey’s Givenchy. It may be daunting but you have to face the mirror once again and understand your proportions. If you have a longer torso and shorter legs, having a long dress might not be an option. The same goes if you are not so tall.

STEP 3: CHOOSING THE RIGHT FABRIC

I do understand the term “suffering for fashion” but if the decision is solely up to you, comfort may be the best way to go. Given your country’s climate and the possibility of using more in certain seasons, you might need to choose a versatile fabric that can not only give you comfort but also the functionality.

STEP 4: FINALISING THE DESIGN

Remember that one of the key elements of having a little black dress is its simplicity and elegance. A streamlined design will work to your advantage as it will complement you and not overwhelm your look. If you are thinking of an accent, choose one element of the dress with the same concept – a belt, translucent sleeves, an off-centre flowing fabric, or even a laser-cut detail near the face.

Always remember the rule of thumb – if it doesn’t highlight who you are, it may not be the right dress for you. People would want to see you and not just your dress. When you find that LBD meant for you, it might just be the best thing you’ve ever worn.

Source: The Australian Filipina

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Emerging Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Anna Kim

Anna Kim actually got started in the fashion industry by reading fashion books and learning fashion words used for sewing, designing, and styling. She was initially a student of Seoul National University – her major was International Relations while her second one was European studies. She was curious about fashion and she wanted to be part of that world. It attracted her so much. However, she could not give up her studies and it was quite intense at the time, so she had to learn about fashion all by herself during her free time that she almost did not have.

One day, she attended Seoul Fashion Week where she realized just how much she really wants to be a part of the Fashion world. There were several ways to become closer to the industry that she could do during her undergrad. One of them was to become a fashion journalist. She found a job looking for a journalist and she started to write articles about Korean fashion and events and every week she went to different brands to interview Korean fashion designers.

After her undergrad, she wanted to learn fashion design at a university and get a master’s degree. However, she was not allowed to enter because they required an undergrad degree in fashion design so she decided to study at Yonsei University Korean studies and concentrate on Korean costume instead. All her researches were about the history of Korean costume and women of 1920-the 30s. When she graduated she got a diploma with a “Master of Korean Arts”.

Since her approach to fashion started academically, after finishing her master’s, she wanted to learn the practical part. She wanted to learn how to sew and create patterns and practice to become a professional designer and pattern maker. At that time she already had an idea of how to create her own brand. However, she had to go to China due to personal reasons and she ended up staying there for one year, learning Chinese.

She saw how advanced the fashion industry in China was so she attended more than 50 fashion shows, met lots of people from the fashion industry, bought books about sewing techniques, etc. She learned a lot and was even more inspired to create her own brand. When she came back, she continued to attend her fashion school but at the same time, she started to rent her first office in the fashion center of Seoul, near Dongdaemun Design Plaza. She studied and tried to apply everything she learned. It was a happy time for her, despite all the hardships. This is how she got into the fashion world.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Anna to discuss her journey in the fashion world and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a designer?

I love the feeling of creativity and freedom that you can create anything you want (from your own world). The question you have to sell is “how”.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Factories, production, control of the process. Dust. Neverending updates and sometimes crazy pace that doesn’t let you live a normal life. When you are young it’s okay but later on, it becomes harder.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

Meeting people and seeing how they feel happy when buying or trying on the clothes I made.

Another moment was when Coronavirus started, I had to adapt my business to a new format and I started to teach fashion in my studio in Seoul. Sewing classes, fashion illustration, collection planning, and students’ preparation for study at the fashion design department in South Korean universities. I was happy to see how my students are growing. Recently, I continue to teach and show Korean movies related to Korean fashion, read lectures dedicated to the history of Korean costumes online and offline.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

The most interesting people are my clients and in most cases, they become good friends.

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 have to think about every step very carefully and think about the whole strategy at the same time. It’s quite hard to keep all moments and control the situation, despite on notes or interns/assistants I have.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

My mother supports me a lot, while my father was dreaming about a different future. He wanted me to become a diplomat and work in the Korean embassy. However, I don’t see myself working there.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would not like to work with Korean producers, who invited me to their project (movie) to create clothes for the actors. I had to get a deposit in advance. That was my mistake and now everything is pre-paid.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My professor from the fashion school after I graduated recommended I continue to develop my own brand rather than go to work for a company. And now I want to say many thanks for this advice.

My advice to readers: Start with what you are afraid of the most.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I am planning to move to Moscow, collaborate with Russian artists, and continue my activities there together with my business in Seoul, Korea.

Meet The Rising Star Behind The Cover Of The September 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Arundhati Banerjee

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Arundhati Banerjee’s journey from a South Australian Women of the Year – Emerging Leader, performing artist, pageant winner, humanitarian services to being selected among the top 25 models in Australian SuperModel has been rewarding and fulfilling.

Arundhati also fondly known as Ari is a teenager, pursuing a first-year Bachelor of Creative Industries (Theatre and Performing Arts) from Flinders University with a vision to work and contribute to the performing arts industry.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently had a chat with Arundhati to discuss her journey in the industry plus her experience joining the Australian SuperModel of the Year competition and here what went down:

How did you get into the modelling industry?

It was at the age of 14 when I began my journey into modelling by enrolling with Tanya Powell Models. There has been no looking back since then, be it walking the ramp, being offered Cover Girl opportunities, being featured in various magazines, winning pageant titles, or fundraising for humanitarian causes like Domestic Violence by walking the runway for various fashion shows. The journey has been gratifying and I look forward to learning and contributing further to my future.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

What do you like most about being a model?

Modelling gives me a sense of freedom. The fact that I can be myself in front of the camera without any limitations keeps me loving it and coming back for more. The skills of poise and confidence I gathered over the years through modeling have also helped me transfer the skills to other areas of my life. The opportunity to travel to interesting places and meet fascinating people from different backgrounds, work in diverse projects such as sustainability, body positivity, and diversity is very fulfilling.

Downside to being a model?

The emotional, and physical stress is quite common in this industry given the requirement to look and behave a certain way. The need to achieve and reach your maximum potential at a very young age, given the life span within the industry is very less and limited, puts a high amount of stress, leading to unhealthy competition, mental health issues, and many other. The environment needs to be conducive; the industry needs to be regulated just like any other workplace.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

I have chosen platforms and sponsors who resonate with my values and beliefs of inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability. I am an ambassador for a multi-award boutique Bridal Fusion by Mascia in South Australia who not only believes but demonstrates the ethos of body positivity and inclusivity through her dresses. My association with Miss and Mr. Diamond International and Australia and now Australian Super Model of the Year also aligns with the values that I believe. Another memorable experience is one of the catwalks that I did which helped raise funds for people affected by Domestic Violence – it has been a truly rewarding experience. Each of these experiences has been memorable and I had learned from them that modelling is not just about travelling to exotic places, or meeting people, but making a difference.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I am very young, and I believe all those whom I have come in contact with, have taught me life lessons that can be emulated in modelling and as such every other career aspiration I have.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling/industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson that I have learned is that it is not necessary to fit into the stereotype – just be unique, be yourself, and take care of yourself and others. Collaborate and not compete as well as build sisterhood are some of the mantras the different platforms and mentors have taught me. Enjoy the journey and strive for excellence and not success.

Can you tell us more about ASOTY?

Australian Super Model of the Year (ASOTY) is a unique platform that meticulously selects its top models that can align with the values of the institution which are diversity, inclusion, sisterhood, and sustainability. Once selected, there is a series of sessions from leading industry leaders on diverse topics such as sisterhood, fashion, sustainability, resilience, mindfulness, and networking. These sessions have aided my understanding, and appreciation, of collaboration efforts, building networks, and sisterhood.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

Why did you decide to join ASOTY?

The Australian Supermodel of the Year competition is not just a typical modelling competition. The selected contestants complete a series of activities over the next few months to acquire points towards reaching the finals. They include online training modules, mentoring sessions, social media content creation, photography, attitude, teamwork, collaborations, challenges, and working with the sponsors. I believe being part of this competition is about meeting new people and forming meaningful connections which allows me to promote diversity in the industry and the significance of sustainability in fashion. ASOTY believes in building Super Role Models for the industry and this difference in their framework is my reason to be part of it.

What do you hope to gain from joining ASOTY?

I believe that I have already started gaining through the series of sessions I have been attending the sisterhood that I have built within the institution and outside, change the perception of the industry, and seeing it with a different lens that is more productive and sustainable. Self-love, body positivity, sisterhood have been gainful takeaways so far and I look forward to every session in the coming weeks.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for models and beauty queens all over the world?

I believe the modelling industry is going through a change, where we will be seeing more of Super Role Models which an institution such as ASOTY is aiming to build. We need our models and beauty queens and kings to be influencers, working for the greater cause of society, as the younger generations look up to them. They can be instrumental in building a healthy and inclusive society.

Photographed by S R MEDIA / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

4 Surefire Tricks to Look Better in All Your Pictures

Posing can be a struggle both for the model and the photographer. This is because some of the less-experienced models tend to wait for the direction of the photographer before striking a pose. They normally freeze in front of the camera and are mostly clueless about what to do. This situation makes it difficult and troublesome for the photographer to produce good photos.

The preparation for any modeling job starts even before the photoshoot. You need to be aware of what kind of shoot it is. You can start looking at the related fashion magazine on the type of pose that they are doing. Not all of the tips here will work for everyone since the right kind of pose will vary in every genre.

1. Your Mirror is Your Friend

Stand in front of your mirror, take a pose and see how you highlight the shape of your body. The mirror is an ideal tool to show you the thing that the camera can produce. Consider the features and things that can be seen depending on the angle. For instance, in case you put your feet closer to the lens, then there is a possibility that your feet will look larger in the photo.

2. Create a Space on Your Limbs and Body

Squashing your limbs closer to your body will make you appear to look fat. Separating your limbs from your body will also create a slimmer appearance. This is a tiny cheat in the modeling world that can make a huge difference.

3. Understand the Light

For instance, in case you raise your arm on the light, it will basically look brighter compared to your face. There is also a possibility that it will cast a shadow on your face and body. A simple way to counteract this is by using your other arm. You may also adjust your arm backward to avoid the casting of the shadow. Having an understanding on how the lighting falls is a basic necessity in modeling. Ask the photographer about the key light and think about how you can work with it.

4. Elongate the Neck

In order to show class, poise, and height, elongating your neck would be a great solution. It is also one of the most difficult things to remember when modeling since this action feels a bit unnatural. Look in front of the mirror and stand in a normal position. Let your face come forward by rolling your shoulder backward. By now you have seen the huge difference in the neck’s width. You may even advance your pose by popping the jaw in front of the camera to create a shadow that will highlight your jawline.

Hopefully, the modeling tips that we provided above can provide some help for our aspiring models. These are just some of the tricks that most professional models wish they knew when they were just starting out.

In Pictures: Medusa Hire Fashion Collab

Check out the amazing photos from our latest fashion collaboration with Medusa Hire courtesy of George Azmy.

Medusa Hire is the world’s first and ONLY Versace tableware and decor event rental company.

With their creative eye for elegance, they have handpicked timeless plates, glassware, flatware, and other accessories that fuse together the most beautiful combinations to artfully set the table. Their Versace collection of tableware and decor makes every event one to remember and will undoubtedly elevate any event, creating an Instagrammable tablescape. Medusa Hire service includes a bespoke “White Glove service” where their highly trained decor team set up all the settings for any event personally and professionally.

All items from Medusa Hire are authentic Versace pieces imported from Italy. All of the pieces are made to be of the highest quality and are exquisitely handcrafted by specialist artisans, selected pieces have 24K gold accents to create a prestigious and exclusive look for any event.

For more information about what they offer, send an inquiry to the team at Medusa Hire and allow them to help you bring your event to a whole new level via this link.

Photographed by George Azmy

 

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Magdalena Nowak

Magdalena Nowak is a 19-year-old fashion designer and stylist based in Poland. She actually started her fashion adventure quite early; she sewed her first design at the age of 17 and a few months later, she had her first photoshoot. She initially started by posting photos of her creations on Instagram. After some time, a number of people started sending her messages and inquiries for a potential collaboration. She gradually gained more messages and requests for new collaborations and orders, etc… the rest you can say is history.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Magdalena to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I did not finish any school that prepared me for the profession of a designer. All I have achieved is thanks to hard work and patience. I have collaborated with many celebrity stylists via Instagram, Facebook, etc. One day they saw my projects online and they wanted to collaborate. I was very lucky. I am very happy that I work with so talented people.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I love that each day is different. No one decides about me. I hate my daily routine especially when somebody imposes their ideas on me. I also love that I can finally implement my crazy ideas. The implementation process for the entire project is very long, but it’s worth the wait! Imagine seeing a famous singer wearing your creation later or seeing it on the cover of a magazine. Priceless!

Downside to being a fashion designer?

The work of a fashion designer is not perfect, unfortunately, there are also downsides, but I’m trying to limit my complaints. The biggest downside is probably that the music labels don’t have the budget to borrow styling from a designer (or they just say so). Several times a week I get questions about borrowing clothes for a music video, of course, for free. Nothing beats commercial advertising without a budget. Recently, I’ve been offered an advertisement for a transport company, a modeling agency, and a university in Poland … Of course, all without the slightest remuneration. How would I benefit from this? I have no idea… I do not accept offers of this type and I recommend younger designers to not do it as well.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

It’s hard to choose one experience. I think all “first times” are memorable. I still remember the first publication in a magazine, the first cover, the first music video, the first try-on with the singer, etc. Back then, I was full of joy and a bit of stress. I love that feeling. Getting out of your comfort zone and breaking your barriers is great!

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Some time ago I started working with Sanah. She is the most popular singer of the young generation in Poland. I must admit that I am very happy about it and I am proud of myself. I am very glad that people from the industry trusted me and entrusted me with this task.

Sanah is touring right now and my dresses can be seen during the performances.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Fortunately, I’ve never had any unpleasant experiences. However, I will mention the contracts. Over time, I realized that it is worth signing it with everyone. No matter if it’s a good friend or a stranger. Stylists often keep things at home for a long time. If you include a return date in your contract, it will be easier to get it back in time. That’s a little advice from me.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

Surely my education would be different. I think, if I could go back in a time machine, I would choose another school in a different city. Besides, I don’t really regret anything.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Honestly, I don’t think I have ever gotten any advice, because I had no one to get it from. I put everything down to experience and from the slips of the designers, I observe on the Internet.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

After graduating from high school, I’m planning to start a fashion brand. I already have the first ideas for clothes, even the name. But we have to wait at least a year before my online store can take off. At the moment, I am saving money for this project.

I can tell you that I am working on a new collection that will be coming soon! It will be pink and shiny!