Designer Zhanna Klimova: “I have been working intuitively for many years.”
Designer, actress, singer, former model – and all this is combined in one fragile girl with a strong character – Zhanna Klimova.
1. Jeanne, your new collection has a lot of blue and blue. Why did you choose this particular color scheme?
I have been working intuitively for many years, but this is not a professional quality. This is the quality of an artist. A professional brand must consider certain moments, trends, a trading grid, a region in which collections are sold. As for the cut, lines, use of textures, I already adapt to the market, demand, consumer. But what concerns color is a creative and intuitive flight. I have colors that I am fond of in a certain period. The indigo color has already passed for me in the second season, from the summer collection to the autumn-winter one. These are my inner feelings.
2. In one of the interviews, you said that the generator of ideas is a change of scenery. Where did you go before creating this collection?
A change of scenery does not necessarily mean travel. It is the most elementary form that man represents. The change of scenery is my very life, quite unexpected in every minute. Even your visit today is an unplanned event. New communications, projects, movements, people. Each person brings his own micro-cosmos, his own energy, and this is a change. Some events, shooting, parties. There is no specific binding. There was a trip to India before the collection, but this is an ordinary working trip and it did not affect the creation of this collection in any way.
3. This season you launched a men’s collection for the first time. Is this a one-time project or is it planned to create a men’s collection together with a women’s collection every season?
No, I want to do the men’s line. Because there is demand, interest. Men suffer a lot without designer clothes. This is a very serious omission on the Ukrainian market, and I have long wanted to occupy this niche. I took it for a long time in individual tailoring. There are categories of clients who dress with me. But people are not always ready to dive into the sewing process, they want to see, want and pick up. I am ready to develop in this topic.
4. There are ethnic elements in your collection. Is this a way to enrich clothes?
On the contrary, I try to get away from this, because city dwellers are more inclined towards minimalism, that is: black, non-wrinkling fabrics, a minimum of decor, because the decor suggests a beautiful exit, luxurious life. And not everyone can afford to ride in public transport with some kind of ethnic sewing on their coats and gold threads. I closely communicate with Hindus, Indians, and it’s all close to me, from nature and the earth. I try to bring this topic to the forefront. But, in the new collection, these are mostly black coats made of expensive fabrics, but the lining is still gold, with ornaments. The man opens his coat, and there is Mexico.
5. You recently had a new collection show at the Belgian ambassador’s birthday party, where non-professional models paraded. How often do you do such experiments?
It was an amazing evening. But, I will say that more than half of the girls have already graduated from modeling school and worked in agencies. Naturally, I look at the data, but it was a birthday, a closed “party” and there was no task of a professional presentation. The girls did a great job, they got into the atmosphere and I think that their modeling experience helped a lot in this. I periodically practice such experiments. But, if I take completely unprepared girls, then I cook them myself, I conduct a short master class. The most important thing is to get inside. If there is a creative beginning, then the girls will turn on. A gait is put in a couple of lessons.
6. Looking at your collection, your style can hardly be called purely Ukrainian. It is rather European and, somewhere, individual. How many ensembles come out in only one copy and how do customers compete for the piece they like?
I began to make the next line and the blue coats that you saw at the show are already the 2nd, and the 3rd line, in which there are more economical fabrics, for people with fewer opportunities, but who want to look creative. This line was supposed to be launched more massively, but, unfortunately, the sample collection from which it was supposed to multiply was actually completely sold out. It is difficult for us to restore it now, since there are only patterns, but no samples. She was supposed to go to several stores in Odessa and Kyiv, but has not yet reached.
7. Next year will be 10 years since you released your first collection. Perhaps you are preparing a special show in honor of such a date?
Oh yeah. Absolutely right! I just now learned about it from you (smiles). This is a very good idea. I’ll see where I’ll be next year and I’ll have to think about it.
8. You are a very versatile and creative person, and such people are quite demanding of themselves. Jeanne, have you achieved everything that you planned for this period of your life?
I can only laugh at such a sarcastic laugh now and say that such people are never satisfied. And the more they reach a certain level, the more they are dissatisfied. There is such a disease – perfectionism, I was recently diagnosed with this disease. This is the desire for an ideal state in everything, for oneself and others. This is a state of constant nervous tension, when you are annoyed by yourself, everything and everyone. And so, my progress is colossal, what I imagined 10 years ago, I have already passed all these dreams, they have come true. And when they were realized, I realized that I need to move forward.
9. Are there any global designers that you look up to and who inspire you?
Always liked, especially in his youth, YAMOMOTO. I like his traditional Japanese geometry, in principle, everyone likes it and is now very relevant, although this direction originated 20 years ago. Then it frightened and seemed too radical. Now it is again relevant and even a little trite.
And so, I love Italian, elegant classics. Because, after all, this is my school, because I studied in Rome and therefore I work with Milan showrooms. For me, Italian sophistication is an unsurpassed style in fashion. Last fall, I met my favorite designer Anna Malinary at a fashion festival – for me this is the highest sophistication.
10. In what cities, countries will fans of your brand be able to see, try on and buy the things they like with their own eyes?
In Ukraine, these are Odessa and Kyiv. There were proposals in Dnepropetrovsk, but so far something has stalled. Although, for my part, I am always ready to cooperate. Abroad they tried to work with Austria, but the European style is too simple in its minimalism, which is not at all interesting to me. Europe does not wear too complex a cut, although Europe is also different. But, this Austro-German part is very unpretentious about clothes. There were attempts to work with Paris, but now the situation there has become more complicated. Europe has become very restless and hard to work with. I work with Milan. And so, 3-6 months a year I live in Latin America and everything is going well for me there and the second laboratory has already been opened, which is already working with private clients. By the way, more with men than with women. Therefore, I suspect that I will develop more in Latin America. Maybe, I’ll go to the USA and see how it goes there. Well, for now, I’m on the lookout.
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