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.

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!

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Yvonne Baker

Yvonne Baker is a fashion designer to watch out for in 2021. From an early age, Yvonne Baker had quite clear ideas, she was a very creative child. She dressed her barbies, and she drew and played with her imagination. Growing up, she went to Art School with a specialization in Fashion. After completing her studies, she enrolled and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Fashion Design.

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

What do you like most about being a designer?

The imagination. Because being a designer for me means imagining, seeing colors, patterns, places, nature, everything that surrounds us to bring us ideas and create every day.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

I don’t think I have or feel any disadvantages about my profession. Surely every day I learn something to add to my wealth of experience.

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

Wow, in about five years of work/activity I can say I’ve had plenty of memorable experiences. I dressed a couple of people from show business, as well as athletes and TV stars here in Italy and it feels great to see my clothes worn by such prominent people.

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

I’ve met many people, but none that particularly impressed me. Otherwise, I would remember.

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

In high school, my fashion teacher Lucia explained how to finish garments well and how to build them in a tailored way. These are valuable lessons that I will always carry with me. Often he was amazed at me because in a short time I was able to create great works.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

As I read the question I smiled. Of course, they are the first to support me in everything. My father is my right-hand person at work and we meet every day to bring out my all-made in Italy brand.

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

Nothing. Because if I’m here today and the reason I got here is because of my sacrifices. I started my work by exhibiting in a gallery where every weekend there was a market. I sold what I created with a small sewing machine and a few fabrics. In the meantime, I was studying to give my degree thesis. Little by little I understood the mechanism of this work. I started getting serious. My first workshop was at home. When I started getting serious I moved and took a small workshop, the fabrics had become 20-meter rolls and the orders were starting to increase. In a year I needed to find a second laboratory even bigger and more spacious (where I am now). My business is online, I ship everywhere so that my tailored and super-comfortable garments reach everyone. That’s why I wouldn’t change anything about my path. I am happy and grateful.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

To always follow my dreams.

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

My future plans in my career and my life are all centered around my work. That’s why I dedicate myself with a lot of constancy and determination in what I do. I want to carry an important message everywhere, that of wearing handcrafted garments created and designed to dress all the physicalities and use them for every occasion. My line dresses all sizes, especially future mothers too. I play a lot with soft fits and tailored cuts. But above all, I pack my garments with high-quality Italian fabrics, because if we offer high quality made in Italy fabrics such as silk, linen, cotton, and wool we also reduce the waste of buying in quantity. I plan to bring ethical, elegant fashion that suits every woman.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Larissa Lampitelli

http://www.toddwhite.org

Larissa Lampitelli was originally from New York and her passion for clothing started at a young age when she began working in a specialty shop that carried beautiful, luxury lingerie. She quickly recognized the exceptional quality that these products had and developed a deep appreciation for this form of precision and craftsmanship. She found that this is where her love for lingerie began.

She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked as a designer for a licensing sleepwear brand for years. She recently started her own namesake brand – Larissa Kate Lingerie. The line features ethically handcrafted lingerie for the modern woman seeking luxury and individuality. She believes that women are a work of art therefore their lingerie should be too. With a strong commitment to providing women with self-empowerment, she has proven to her loyal following that lingerie can be for them to assist them in feeling beautiful inside and out.

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

How did you get into the fashion industry?

When I was young I worked at a specialty shop that carried silk lingerie and organic soaps. I was quickly drawn to these types of unique products, specifically clothing, and became interested in the story of each garment; Who made it? How was it made? Is it an ethical piece of clothing? All these things are a reflection of what you stand for and what you wear can become an extension of your personality. As a result, I studied design at The Fashion Institute of Technology and specialized in Intimate Apparel. I love the challenge of working with a small, delicate canvas and making pieces that are unique and versatile and the one wearing them.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I love creating! Being able to conceptualize a clothing idea and then the process of making it come to fruition is very rewarding. The process can be time-consuming and tedious, but when you are doing something you love, it can become quite therapeutic. It’s icing on the cake when a consumer is drawn to a piece I’ve made and decides to buy it.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

For me, it would have to be the business side of having my own company. I am very creative so for me to sit down and crunch numbers isn’t always fun. The cost of production can be daunting as well – I might have a few ideas and products I want to release but will have to scale down once I realize just how much it will cost for each idea.

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

My most memorable experiences would probably be all the pop-up shops I’ve done in New York City. Hustling and trying to get my product in front of as my people as possible. Ranging from having pop-ups in bars, the bottom of a mattress store (lol) to eventually joining another brand and selling for a summer at a storefront in SoHo. I now sell to specialty boutiques that appreciate ethical fashion and mainly on my website, but I still love joining a group of artists for an occasional pop-up and meeting new people.

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

I love meeting other local small business designers who are in a similar boat as me. Sharing ideas with them and being able to support each other means we all win!

I also love meeting my customers and seeing people in the clothing I make. When someone likes a product to the point they have to wear it out of the store brings me happy tears.

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

Push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. I am an introvert at heart, so it’s important for me to push myself and get out of my comfort zone to better the brand, excel, and also grow as a person. It’s important to not worry about what other people think of you. Go with your gut and follow your calling.

http://www.toddwhite.org

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes, my family has always been supportive of my dreams. They used to worry about me not having the security of a corporate job but once they saw I made a few sales and it was more than a hobby for me, they were in my corner.

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

I would say to intern for your dream company because that will most likely result in a foot in the door. I also think networking is key, you never know when or where a person you met along the way will be able to help you in your career later on. I remember I pushed myself to talk to one of my ideas at a fashion trade show and that resulted in her recommending me for a job.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Keep hustling. You have to do everything it takes to make the dream happen. Keep emailing those buyers, pushing your product, and make it happen! No one is going to hand your dreams to you.

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

My passion right now is my clothing line – Larissa Kate Lingerie. This past year has set my production back a little but my goal is to keep growing my business. I am currently working on a sustainable, size-inclusive new collection that’s made in the USA.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Züleyha Özgen

Züleyha Özgen is a 28-year-old Fashion Designer based in Berlin – she founded the brand Zsolea back in 2019. She started dreaming about becoming a fashion designer at a very young age but it took her a long time to make the first step towards achieving that dream. She worked for about 5 years in fashion retail where she gained a lot of experiences related to the industry before she finally decided to study fashion design at the age of 25. She eventually quit her job to become an intern for a fashion designer in Berlin and up to now, she feels that the move she made was the best decision she’s ever made.  

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

What do you like most about being a designer?

What I adore about being a fashion designer is that you don’t have to stick to any rules. I can put my creativity, feelings, and personality in one design to express my understanding of fashion.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

When you are working all by yourself, like in my case it’s not that easy to be constantly creative and productive. You need breaks, especially creative breaks so that new ideas new inspiration can arise. These times are always the hardest, you are trying but you have the feeling that nothing is working out as you imagine. It took me a long time to find the right handling for that. 

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

The most memorable experience in the fashion industry so far was the time I had as an intern abroad in Barcelona. I had the chance to participate in fashion week Barcelona. It was my first time behind the scenes of a fashion week. Everything was new and so exciting. Professional models, successful brands, the location, and organisation. A lot of new impressions and a great experience.

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

The most interesting person I have met so far related to fashion is Olga. She is a fashion designer of the brand Menchen Thomas. She was like a role model for me. Although things were not working out she was calm and still spread positivity. I remember that I was asking her how she can be that calm in difficult situations and still make jokes and things like that. She told me that we always have the decision of how we react to this kind of situation. When everything goes wrong why adding more negativity with being angry or making more pressure. When the team is fine and in a good mood you can conquer every fence together.

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

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is from nothing comes nothing. Even if it’s 10 minutes you are putting into your business or your self you should take that time. Every day doing at least one thing will open new doors. That’s what I’ve experienced. 

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

My family is my biggest supporter. I’m so thankful for that. They believe in me sometimes more than I’m doing, to be honest. To know that I have such a supportive family gives me strength and motivates me.

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

I think there is nothing I would do differently because every experience and lesson lead me to this day. I’m still learning and I’m still making mistakes and I’m fine with that, this makes my work more personal and authentic I guess. 

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

That small steps are important and okay. It takes time to get where you want to be. How you get there is more important than when you get there. 

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

My future plans are growing in the fashion industry as an upcoming fashion designer from Berlin. I would love to show my work all over the world and see people wearing my visions. 

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Erick A. Lemos

Erick A. Lemos is a fashion designer who hails from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At a young age, he has always been very curious. He has always liked creating things with his hands and experimenting in all branches of art itself. His first introduction to the world of fashion was in 2012 when he saw a Comme des Garcons show and since then it has been an adventure. But in 2017 was when he got his big break because he was able to break into the fashion industry after working backstage at various fashion shows and appearing in several editorials for magazines.

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

What do you like most about being a designer?

What I enjoy the most is the creative process behind a collection, researching and creating everything from scratch, like textiles and silhouettes. Also, the connections that can be made in the creative industry.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

I don’t think there is a downside, only that it is a very competitive industry, but on the one hand, it is good because it requires you to give your best.

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

I would say to be part of fashion productions in magazines and runaways with wonderful people. But also having met my classmates who have become more than friends.

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

All the people I have met have been interesting and important in my life. I have learned many things from them and I will always be grateful.

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

“All hard work has its rewards” no matter if it is in the fashion industry or outside of it.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes, they have always been, regardless of what I have dedicated myself to. From taking art classes to playing the guitar. I can say that I am lucky.

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 travel back in time to tell myself that I must be more aware of the moments that I have lived and appreciate them a little more.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“If it fits in your mind, it fits in your world,” meaning; if we trust in ourselves we can achieve many things.

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

The first thing I want to do is work with some established fashion brands, to get more experience and then start my own brand. I am clear that the future is uncertain so I will let it surprise me.