An interview with Anna K.

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Having just celebrated her 19th birthday, Ukrainian fashion designer Anna Kolomoets is no doubt one to watch. Already working between her home city and three major fashion capitals: London, Paris and Milan, she showed her Anna K. SS15 collection at not only one, but two fashion weeks. When we first spotted the young superstar in our street style photographs from LFW this past fall, we couldn’t wait to chat with her about her vibrant designs that are filled with bold prints and witty phrases. Welcome to her world.

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Hi Anna! When was it that you first become interested in fashion design and when did the Anna K brand start? Since I was a little child, I always dreamed of being a fashion designer. I wanted to create something special, something new – to impress the whole planet – I wanted to share my little world with everyone. And dreams do come true. When I was a little girl I used to paint all the time and studied at art school. At the age of 14 I started my fashion career as a model, so already at this age I managed to be on covers of magazines, and that’s how I got acquainted with the world of fashion. By 16 I showed my first collection at Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days.

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What inspires you when you’re working on a new collection? A lot of things. The way how other people dress themselves. Street style looks. Very often I find my inspirations in Paris; I do really like how people dress there. The whole process of creating a collection, from A to Z, when I start to think about it, is to choose the colour blocks, materials and small details. When I start to draw my sketches or when I am just simply inspired by different movies and cartoons to make illustrations. Afterwards these illustrations turn into a new collection. I can also be inspired when reading interesting fashion articles. The work itself is very inspiring..
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Your designs are incredibly playful and youthful. Can you talk to us about the specific inspiration behind ‘Fashion Circus’ and the phrases on your t-shirts? The inspiration comes from the breaking article of Suzy Menkes, where she describes the world of fashion. I founded it really funny but it’s so true. She inspired my collection Fashion Circus. In the end I am fond of Suzy Menkes, that woman is just a genius.
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Do you hope to continue making the t-shirts in future collections? Of course, I will continue to create funny and cool Anna K t-shirts. It’s already a core product of my brand. Very soon I will launch a new collection of Anna K t-shirts. It will be a collaboration of famous french brand LES (ART)ISTS with Anna K.

Which phrase is the most popular? I have already three lines of Anna K t-shirts, the very first one – Fashion Circus and other two that I have just launched recently – Fashion Dictionaries and Fashion Films. And I am not going to stop!
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Tell us about your recent experiences at London Fashion Week and your SS15 show in Kiev! What were both experiences like? In London I showed only 8 looks. There were a lot of very important guests, such as Sara Maino. During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Kiev I showed the whole collection – which consisted of 43 looks. Both times Nowfashion.com published my show, but in Kiev I had a great chance to speak personally with editor-in-chief of Nowfashion – Jessica Michault. It is very important, because in London or Paris these important people have to watch a lot of shows, so they can’t stay for a long time after your catwalk. In Kiev it’s different – people come to see the designers properly. As well the same day after my runway I organized an Anna K after-party in one night club in Kiev, all guests from my fashion show were invited – it was the end of the season. I had the pleasure to celebrate and to party with a lot of international guests such as street style photographers and my friends Adam Katz Sinding (le 21ème), Nabile Quenum (JPMV), Adriano Cisani from Vogue Italy and many other journalists from abroad who came to Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days and were invited in Kiev by Daria Shapovalova. We had so much fun.
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What has been the most rewarding experience for you thus far? The most rewarding experience was when I took part last summer in Pitti to show my Fashion Circus collection and there were a lot of fashion insiders who liked my collection so much so they started to propose their own quotes for it. And there was another pretty cool experience that I got during London Fashion Week SS15. Traditionally, I close my runway shows personally and this time it wasn’t an exception. I closed it wearing a pleated pink transparent dress and after my show I didn’t change and went to watch other catwalks wearing the dress. I literally became a street style star and was photographed probably 100 times by different street style photographers. Afterwards pictures of me wearing this dress were everywhere: in Vogue UK, Glamour Paris, Style.com, Daily Telegraph and etc. (We also have a photo of Anna in her dress at LFW here.)
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Where do you hope to see yourself and your collection 5 years from now? I will be older and I think my collections will grow with me in terms of style and main ideas. It means that they will remain this girly, funny and feminine style, but they will be for older cool girls and women.
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