Emerging Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented XZOUIX

XZOUIX was born behind the Iron Curtain in 1986, in a country of Czechoslovakia deformed by normalization and visually molded by functionalism. From an early age, she observed her surroundings from a safe distance, curiously watching the world with wonder until she decided to shape it. Her love for nature and design has led her to become a fashion designer specializing in zero-waste design. XZOUIX is not only a person; it’s also a product resulting from the work of XZOUIX. It’s a garment or an object in which a zero-waste design principle merges with a juxtaposition of asymmetry and symmetry, deconstruction, and minimalism. It’s a human, and it’s a thing, and it’s a mood. 

It’s a long coat or a dress that flows around your body in a certain way and a mood that comes with it. It is just as particular as elegance of darkness, aesthetics of brutalism and transparence of functionalism. Watch it move. Let the garment whisper and flow. And follow along.

XZOUIX resides in private collections and wardrobes across the world. It has been shown in a number of national and international events, fashion shows, competitions, and exhibitions like Designblok in Prague, Czech Republic; Aspen AIDS benefit fashion show in Telluride, Colorado and at the international Arts of Fashion Symposium in San Francisco, California.

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

How did you get into the fashion industry? 

I studied fashion design at the School of Applied Arts in Ruzomberok. They taught me everything about the garment-making process, from r&d through garment construction to perfectly tailored custom garments. Later on, I continued my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, where I got my Master of Arts degree. 

What do you like most about being a designer? 

The creative freedom.

Downside to being a fashion designer? 

My brain is always in work mode. XZOUIX is a one-woman operation, which means I do everything from design and product development to sewing and post-production, including photography, website, and even marketing by myself, so going to sleep or taking a weekend off is often unthinkable. I am still learning to master the work/life balance and take a pause when I need it because I like what I do, and I always get inspired. My teachers used to say that my mind is a river. 

The inspiration just never stops coming.

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

Having the opportunity to travel around the world to show my fashion collections and seeing happy customers wearing my designs with confidence, beautifully matched with a smile on their faces.

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

People who love their work; the ones that are willing to pass the knowledge and share their creative drive. I love and admire that kind of energy because it makes sense and inspires me always to be moving forward.

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

No deadline is too tight. I learned always to take chances and never pass the opportunity to learn something new.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

I can’t say they are supportive, but they are definitely patient. 

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

Nothing, really. However, I would tell myself to follow my instinct and learn to recognize which idea is worth investing in and when to quit and move on to a fresh start. With the constant flow of inspiration that I have, no sheet of paper stays blank for too long anyway.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Learn to say “no.”

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

I am slowly transitioning from avant-garde fashion to designing functional clothing for motorcyclists. The paths we take in our careers rarely go smooth and straight as planned, but with open eyes and an “always inspired” attitude, even an unexpected detour on the road to the imaginary top can become an adventure with the potential to change our perspective forever. And in my case, keeping my eyes and mind open led to changing my career’s destination from shiny fashion runways to well-weathered back roads discovered on two wheels. 

I used to tell myself I should keep a distance between my design work and my other passions. Now that I’ve outgrown my teenage ambitions of unbound creativity and came to understand that my personal life and my work are always going to blend into one, I decided that the motorcyclist in me should be given more space to express herself more freely. I allowed myself to start building a second brand that will cater to the community I feel I belong to. And what better way to spend more time among motorcycles and like-minded people than creating protective gear for motorcycle riders? 

I had already found true meaning in recycling fabrics and leather, so with this, I am allowing myself to truly put my effort into something bigger than the need to create. Caring about the motorcyclist’s safety and at the same time giving a second (or third) life to leather means so much more!

 A “good design” is well thought out and leaves no negative environmental trace when it’s done. That is why XZOUIX aims to follow a “zero waste” design path. And yes, I know that leather = murder. Just let me explain why leather at XZOUIX matters and, in fact, the purpose driving XZOUIX forward. Leather at XZOUIX is strictly salvaged leather. It is either manually recycled leather or leftover leather, donated to me as a gesture of support from people who know my work. Animals shouldn’t be “raised” only to serve the purpose of becoming pieces of mass-produced clothing, be it fashion garments or functional clothing such as motorcycle jackets, etc. 

Recycling materials like abandoned leather is an idea that goes beyond a creative need and design love; it is what gives a sense to what I do. Over the years, I worked with different materials and media, but only recycling fabrics, particularly leather, gave me a deeper sense of purpose. We all need a purpose, especially when it comes to work. If I learned something from the world we live in, caring about the world we live in should correspond with creating the world we live in. I believe that whenever I save at least a few animals or a piece of cow by lowering the demand for new material, I help create a better and more lively environment. This is my purpose and a trace I want to leave. 

Emerging Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Mathilde Lhomme

Mathilde Lhomme is a small-town girl with big dreams.

After studying sewing and costume history, she left her suitcases in Paris and started working at the age of 19 for the Moulin Rouge workshop; this led her through the world of haute couture on the catwalks. Passionate about the world of haute couture and cabaret, she mixed these two forces to create an original, solid, and feminine fashion. For her, fashion is a real state of mind, art, and she’s convinced that a garment is so much more which can impact the person who wears it.

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

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I always knew I wanted to do this job before I even figured out what it was. I was drawing all the clothes I saw on TV and in magazines. I was doing fashion shows with my barbies /dolls, and I was very invested in my looks at school and carefully chose each of my clothes.

After my degree, I entered this professional field as a « petite main » (hand sewing) to help with the extra work before Fashion week. I was then 20 years old when I first worked on the catwalks of Chanel, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, and many others.

What do you like most about being a designer?

This work brings together all my passions, drawing, fashion, and sewing. I like it most because it constantly develops my creativity, and even if the job remains the same, it’s an eternal restart, each time you have to reinvent yourself and create a new theme, new shape, new fabrics. I like to develop a new universe each time to learn more and more about this profession, to surpass myself.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

It is a ruthless profession. There is very little room for a lot of talent. I want to develop this elitist side and make fashion more accessible to everyone. We do not all have the same emphasis, and some people work a lifetime without ever having gratitude.

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

My best memory will forever be my very first fashion show as a designer. In less than two months, I had to draw and sew my own collection for the final of the national competition for young designers in Paris.

I lived in a tiny apartment; there was fabric everywhere! On the floor, in my kitchen, on my bed. I fell asleep while working and then continued when I woke up.

I was surrounded by all the people I loved, and I was doing everything I fought for the first time. It was one of the happiest days of my life. For the first time, I had chosen everything down to the smallest detail, the music, the models, the hairstyles; for a day, I lived in my biggest dream.

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

I haven’t really spoken to him, but I have been very inspired by the work of Jean Paul Gaultier from a very young age. I had the honor of working on one of his fashion shows. I was able to discover how this humble genius of great kindness spread love and happiness wherever he went. It is the fashion that I want to see and that inspires me. He proves to us that we can be successful by being a nice person.

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

Ten thousand hours of work to excel in a discipline takes us from novice status to expert. Since that day, I have never stopped, and I don’t count my hours anymore. And above all, that nothing is impossible with work and passion.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

My family has been my biggest supporter! They have always encouraged me to make my dreams come true.

I told my parents that I wanted to be a stylist when I was 10; I think, since that day, they have done everything to help me. They took me shopping; I helped pick out the clothes for the whole family. My mother would print me fashion articles and stylist stories she found on the internet. They helped me find the studies that suited me and then helped me settle in Paris. And they’re always there to share my successes and help keep me hopeful. They always believed in me; that’s where my determination comes from.

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 could go back to that time and give myself some advice, I would tell myself to stop thinking too much and just go for it! And above all, believe in yourself.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice anyone has given me is that no one will do things for me, no one will come and push me, no one will go and do my work. No one will come and give me the job of my dreams. It’s up to you to do everything, create your own opportunities, and get started. It’s up to you to prove that you deserve your place.

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

I have always dreamed of having my own brand, this is the next step for me. I’m working on it, and I can’t wait to offer my vision of fashion, develop my own identity by mixing fashion and show intended for those who want to be the main character of their lives, celebrating differences and boldness.

Emerging Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Chrystel Anne Clasicas

Chrystel Anne Clasicas is a Filipina designer born and raised in the U.A.E. She began her fashion journey after being inspired by her aunt, Felicidad Tuviera, who used to sew clothes for her and her sister. Ever since then, she has always had an interest in drawing dresses and making sock dresses for her Barbies. Chrystel emerged from the College of Fashion and Design, Dubai. Where she won a full scholarship through a radio competition in 2019. Her Grandmother wore her very first design for her uncle’s wedding.

She started her business after her college closed down during the pandemic by selling silk masks as she was tired of getting ‘maskne’.

She explores ways to visually represent her vision by drawing inspiration from architectural monuments and her cultural roots. Each piece she creates exudes elegance yet stays true to comfort and can be worn on a daily basis.

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

How did you get into the fashion industry?

It started in 2019 when a friend of mine asked me to create an engagement dress for her. I also joined many competitions while studying, which led me to create one of my most iconic pieces, the ‘Felicidad’ gown. I relied on collaborations and networking to help me get into the industry. Collaborating with Filipino photographer Ace Reyes and makeup artists Mau Piodena and Pearl Delgado for my first clothing collection really started it all for my brand and me. Dubai is a great place to connect with other creative individuals within the fashion industry, which helped open doors for me for other opportunities.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I enjoy the creative aspect of it and seeing the happiness on my clients’ faces! Finding inspiration and researching is difficult, but it’s really where all the magic happens. You see the outcome of the idea in the final design, and that’s the best feeling.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

It’s a career that not many people will take seriously till you make something out of yourself. This can be tough when you are starting your career, so having a good support system is very important.

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

I think being invited to join New York Fashion Week has been one of my most memorable experiences. It stood out the most to me because it was one of the most stressful events in my life. My luggage, which had all the clothes for my show, got lost in Germany and was only delivered to me the day before the show! But in the end, it was an overall great experience as I got to meet the best models, makeup artists, and the production team backstage. As an emerging designer, being given the opportunity to showcase in an event like that is a dream come true. It validates my dedication and all the work I have put into making myself a better designer.

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

I’m fairly new to the industry, so every person I meet is interesting to me.

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 industry is very competitive. You can combat this by keeping up-to-date with trends and not lag behind in order to stand out. Brushing up on your skills as a designer is also equally important. Personally, I learned that the connections and relationships you make with people are very important as they are the gateway for you to navigate and network in the industry that can lead to more exciting opportunities.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

NO. They weren’t really supportive of the idea at first and said I should just do it as a hobby. It took them some time to really get on board with the idea that I wanted to do something nontraditional. I did not let that change my goal of pursuing fashion. I would say my sister, Chyrille and boyfriend played a significant role in supporting me when I was about to give up on designing. They really pushed me to keep going and not give up.

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 remind myself to be more confident in my abilities and practice, practice, practice. It’s because I lacked the confidence to put myself out there. I wouldn’t have joined that competition to win that full scholarship which lead me to where I am now. But thankfully, with the support of my siblings and friends, I overcame that.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

It’s okay to fail, so don’t beat yourself up about it. You live, and you learn.

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

I’ll just keep designing and putting myself out there in hopes of eventually having my own studio in different parts of the world. I also plan on hiring full-time tailors to help me bring my vision to life.

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.

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.