NATASHA ZINKO: Exploring her unique design ethos, and how Ivan is following her footsteps

From her office headquarters in London we had this heartwarming and friendly interview with the Ukrainian designer, Natasha Zinko, whose personality is clearly reflected in her fun and dreamy designs. She moved to London at an early age and studied fashion design to build a name in the fashion industry, and she made it. Today, Natasha participates in London Fashion Week , and her brand is stocked at AL OSTOURA.

  • What is the essence of your brand? The philosophy behind it?

The essence of my brand is about Concept, Whimsy, Color and Femininity. I love fashion. It is the best way to escape, to have fun and to dream. My philosophy lies in the craftsmanship, which is the most important aspect for me. All of my pieces are designed as timeless as I love mixing my collection with other designers.

  • You started with Jewelry and moved into RTW, was it an organic shift, or you needed to re-define your mindset?

It felt so natural my evolution to RTW. I completed my studies at Central Saint Martins, CSM, in Fine Jewellery. A year later, I began designing a few RTW pieces for myself. My friends started asking me for them. It was definitely an organic shift. In June of 2015 I became officially a member of the British Fashion Council. One of the very first stores to stock my collection was Browns in London.

  • Tell us about the difference in inspiration between Designing Jewelry Vs clothes?

My process of creating my RTW collections is often inspired by my fine jewellery collections. I don’t ever think of them as separate.

  • The collection had the most impact on people; The bird, the fruits or David& Goliath?

My collections are like my family. I love them all :))

  • Why did you choose to move to London, what attracted you to this capital?

I was passionate about jewellery and RTW. I knew that if I wanted to seriously be respected as a designer I needed to train myself at best school in the world, CSM. I have always loved the quirky chic of London. Fashion is not a serious thing like politics or economics. I have the chance to express myself and my vision of the world. 

  • Being a working mother in a demanding industry, tell us how do you balance between work & family?

Balancing my family and my work feels very natural. My son just launched his first Boys Collection, DUO. My husband has always been very supportive of me. I live together in London with my husband, my son, my parents and my grandmother. Family is the most important thing to me.

  • We have seen lately your son with you in the fashion scene. What can you tell us about him?

I am so proud of my son Ivan. For several years now he has been asking to design his own Boy’s Collection. He worked really hard to understand trends, to find his own voice and understand how to complete a full collection. The collection is called DUO. He wanted his own label. As I worked with him each step of the way he decided to call the collection DUO as a creative collaborative of us both. He is 9 years of age and is currently enrolled at Wetherby School here in London.

  • What are you preparing him for? 

Balancing school, extracurricular activities, social life and designing a collection takes organisation, commitment and most importantly to accept the failure. It is a very challenging and exciting career path. 

  • How does your son inspire you creatively? 

I am so impressed with him. I wasn’t sure at first that he would be dedicated and responsible with his already busy life. He came to Paris and spent the weekend on the showroom meeting with potential clients. Harrods and TSUM both picked up the new collection. He also became an Instagram sensation during his Paris trip. Vogue.com wrote a long article on him. He understands that there is a lot of hard work involved and it isn’t just playtime.

  • Does your son have his personal views on your designs?

Ivan has his own personal style. He mixes his own wardrobe from TopShop to Vetements to Balmain to Gucci to Gap to Dior. I am so impressed with him.

  • How so? 

I never sat down with him and asked if he wanted to design a collection. He came to me and asked if he could and since that day he has continued to show me how sincere he is. 

  • Moving back to your brand, some of your designs have an obvious influence of your Russian heritage, is it intentional or subconscious?

My collections are an expression of how I see the world. It is definitely natural to see the heritage of the former USSR in my collections. I have a second home in Odessa, Ukraine, where I was born. I visit often.

  • The Natasha Zinko woman is full of fun and has an elegant sense of humor, from where you draw this aesthetic?

I have always been a happy person. I never take life too seriously. I am blessed to be able to dream and to have the opportunity to share this with the world.

  • What do you like the most about the Fashion Industry?

I love taking fabrics and distressing them in new unexpected ways; mixing denim with mink, washing delicate Silk Failles to give them a new attitude, combining unexpected shapes and controlled volume.

  • Tell us about your impressions of the Middle East market and specifically about Kuwait?

I was so excited when Mr. Ramzi Tabiat, Al Ostoura’s Creative Director, came to visit my showroom in Paris in June 2015 and picked up my collection. It was a dream come true to be stocked in the most important store in the Middle East. I have great admiration for the al Ostoura and the Kuwaiti woman. She is very strong, powerful and unafraid. My friends have shopped at al Ostoura for many years.

  • What shall the Kuwaiti women expect from your cooperation with Alostoura?

Mrs. Najla Maatouk, the founder of Al Ostoura, is an incredible woman. Her avant grade luxury style and dedication to fashion is extraordinary. I aspire to be like her: fearless and adventurous. I hope to be able to inspire Kuwaiti women just as she has and as Mr. Ramzi continues carry forward this wonderful tradition. 

  • What do you see in the future of your brand?

I am most proud when I see someone I have never met before wearing my collection. It is my ultimate joy.

  • Any last thoughts?

Always be happy and never settle for anything less :))

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