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!