1. Leonid, when did you first get the idea that you need to create collections and dress people in something of your own?
I have been designing for a long time, since childhood. And the parents advised me to go to another profession – to engage in the production of restaurant business. When I graduated from an educational institution, I worked in a completely different field. It was a job in a bank. And I held back my true desires all the time. But, at one point, I decided to take part in the competition of young designers, where I won all the prizes. Only after that I realized that creating clothes is mine and I need to try and continue. And everything turned on the official level.
2. Most recently, the ELLE style Awards 2016 ceremony was held in Astana, for which you were nominated in the category “Designer – constant success”. Do you like to feel constantly successful?
“Mercedes Benz fashion week” also gave me participation in the Kyiv Fashion Week this fall as a guest designer. I guess I’m on the right track and people like the work I do. I understand that it’s not in vain that I come to work at 8 in the morning and leave at 5. I am pleased that my work and efforts are appreciated and celebrated in this way.
3. Whose style of world brands do you like?
I can’t single out a specific brand. Each of them has both ups and downs both in seasons and in collections. I used to like GF Ferre, but now I’m frustrated as to why he doesn’t continue like this. It is clear that the designers are no longer there, but many fashion houses continue to adhere to the original style. I like Prada, the latest Gucci collection. I can’t say that I’ve ever liked the whole collection. This season I like something from one fashion house, the next from another.
4. Are you critical of the people you see in everyday life?
I always pay attention to style, clothes are the costs of the profession. If these are my acquaintances, then I will definitely express my opinion, give advice, or, perhaps, we will do something especially for them. And, if these are strangers and unfamiliar people, then everyone has their own right to dress the way they want, like it. I am critical of myself and my work. For example, when we arrange shooting, I approach the preparation process very critically and reverently. When we create a collection and a few weeks before the presentation, I understand that several looks fall out of the general context, then we will definitely redo it. Although, this is stress for my entire team … (smiles)
5. A few years ago your collection was presented in Odessa as part of OHFW, what are your impressions of Odessa fashionistas?
Odessa women don’t even need clothes, because they are very beautiful – this is the first thing. Everyone knows that Ukrainian women have very good genes and you have insanely many beautiful girls. Odessa women definitely have taste, style, and I noted this for myself when I was in Odessa. He noted a large number of beautifully dressed people, among whom there were many stylish ones. But, I think that this is typical of all large cities of the post-Soviet space.
6. Recently, you took part in the Project_K project together with famous make-up artists and photographers, in which you selected girls and boys to present your new collection. What were the selection criteria?
We chose girls and boys from Almaty for this project, thus giving them the opportunity to become part of the real fashion industry. Some already have experience, some don’t. First of all, I wanted to find interesting types, personalities, rather than professional models. The project has not yet been fully completed, so I can’t reveal all the cards yet. I think that soon you will see everything for yourself.
7. How can I get a long-awaited bow from the ZHEREBTSOV brand?
Our boutiques are in many cities of Kazakhstan, as well as the official website and pages on social networks, so that customers are as comfortable as possible.
8. As a leading designer in Kazakhstan, how can you characterize the fashion industry in the country?
It is there and it’s good – that’s all I can say about it.
9. Often designers have a favorite model, a muse. Do you have one?
Usually these are those who have worked with us from the very beginning. At the last show, I had models that other designers did not select. I don’t know why it happened, but I saw some zest in them. Usually, the designer is selected only for models with long hair, almond-shaped eyes. But, I do not adhere to stereotypical standards in the selection of girls for my shows. And very often, in my practice, there were such cases when it was after my shows that models were noticed and this was a good start in their career for them.
10. So, a girl in the style of “ZHEREBTSOV”, what is she like?
Well-mannered, stylish, modern, purposeful, noticeable. That girl who knows what she wants from life and how to achieve it!
11. How will you please your customers in the fall?
At the fall-winter show, we presented a collection in the style of New York. Therefore, we will please you with a modern, urban style, such as New York style.
12. What is your formula for success?
Work, work hard. Get up early in the morning, do not be lazy and go do what will lead you to success tomorrow. You need to be useful to people, to understand that what you do brings benefit and joy.