October 9, 2014

Interview for www.afb.su

6 октября было опубликовано мое интервью для Оренбургского информационного портала afb (www.afb.su). Этот портал рассказывает о самых ярких и увлекательных событиях в сфере бизнеса, искусства и моды.
Русскую версию моего интервью Вы можете прочитать здесь.

My interview for Orenburg's information web-site afb (www.afb.su). web- site about interesting and exciting events in business, art and fashion.
The russian version of my interview you can read here.

Design is my vision and  understanding of fashion.

This interview is devoted to Marina Shinkarenko, fashion designer. She created her own brand, works for Chinese fashion brand and sells her collections on-line. Marina was born in Tynda, Amur Region of RF. There she developed her talents taking part in Fashion events of her city, studied at school of Arts and Fashion Academy. The higher education in “Fashion Design” she got at Orenburg State University. One year Marina spent working in Kiev, capital of Ukraine and then returned back to Orenburg. Among her achievements  – number of  victories at regional competitions for fashion designers, participation at professional fashion events with her collections. The main prize is a number of devoted clients which wear things created by her talent and her hands.
Today she has  works on development of her own brand “AQUAMARINA” and she actively blogs. Collections are sold in on-line stores and she works for a new fashion project in China. Among all this Marina tells us about difficulties of her profession and reasons that make many talented people choose another way. 

Marina, for how long are you in Fashion Design?
All the time that I remember myself! First set of things I did for my puppet when I was two years old. When I was ten years old I went to Fashion Theatre Club and then school of arts “Fashion Academy”. Those days my mother used to make clothes to earn our living and I helped her with her work. When I graduated from school I got the 4th class of tailors mastership and I was very proud of it. It was my greatest achievement that days.

What teacher influenced you most?
While studying at Orenburg State University my diploma coach Valentina Viktorova has taught me to concentrate my  energy on implementation of my ideas and reaching my goals.     

There are many young designers but only few of them stay in this profession. You are one to be still in it. How did you manage? And what are your professional goals now?
I work on new fashion collection and continue working with my clients. I thoroughly studied Slavonic type of figure that allows me to create perfect fitting for ladies with very feminine and masculine figures. Recently I’ve started to work with man’s clothes and in future it’ll let me to create collections in unique style for couples of families.

Have you ever tried another sphere of design?
 I used to try interior design, web design but still fashion is my choice. Sometimes I work in fashion illustrations – it’s like a dessert for me.

Who do you make clothes for?
Well, without making clothes for my clients I wouldn’t be able to make my own brand. I do not work with investors and it’s a necessity to earn money to implement my ideas.

Who are your clients?
People that want to look unique, those who appreciate their personality. They apply to me to have different kinds of clothes, for office, for relax or travelling but all of them want something unique and unrepeatable only for them.

Why some people prefer designer clothes instead buying in shops?
Clothes made by designer are better with its patterns, they fit perfectly. Even if designer things are made not for some person they are better then things from mass-market, because designers do not try to make  a thing cheaper and faster. They do it the best possible way. Of course it’s more expensive but it all comes back when clients see their looks in mirrors. Bad things make bad impression, good things make you feel confident and look great. Things that I design help my customers in business or in personal life.

Is it expensive to apply to you ?  How much is it for Business suite, dress and a coat?
Depends on person’s level of income. The price for business suite starts from about 250 US dollars, 100 US dollars is a starting point for evening dress and about 300 US dollars for coat.  These prices only for work without cost of materials.
The price depends on many factors such as materials, complexity, and decoration. Everything is individual but in each case I make my clients happy that they apply to me.

How do you work?
Well, normally my clients come to me after recommendation of my other clients. It’s very pleasant and makes me very proud of my work. First we discuss what my client dreams about and then I draw sketches. Sometimes it comes at once or it can be several days to catch my muse. Next step is to make measurements and prepare templates. If the thing is complicated I make a model from a special material not to spoil expensive delicate materials.  After trying the thing I make corrections to make it perfect, then I change the templates if necessary, this way I get very exact personal templates and in future it allows me not to spend much  client's time for trying while making next things.

Do you do all the work yourself or it’s just the idea from you and all the work is on tailors?
Well I’m happy to have a small team of two professional tailors. One is for hard materials and one for light ones. If everybody is occupied with something else I do everything myself. Though my team is not just doing what I tell, we are really a team and solve all the tasks together.  

Any personal preference in choice of materials? Or it’s completely depends on client?
Well, when it depends on my clients I’m usually satisfied with their choice. They normally bring Italian fabrics and fittings. If one doesn’t have own fabric we go together to the shop and choose the material. I always help my clients in this choice and I’m glad to see that they follow my recommendations. Only agreement between designer and customer makes a great result.

About AQUAMARINA.  How did you do it? What is the conceptual idea of you brand?
It was my dream since childhood. I watched Fashion shows  of Yudashkin and Zaitsev on TV and dreamed to have a Fashion House. I don’t have a Fashion House yet, but I develop my brand. The conception is endless perfection and eternal experiment.  I make experiments with materials, do everything to perfect the quality and in each case I underline the customers personality. My brand develops together with my experience. Four years ago I produced  collection  decorated with leather and spikes, today I deal with silk and wool, but revolutionary spirit of my character can be found in each of the collections. Every new collection discovers new fringe of my talent.

You told that your things are sold in Ukrainian on-line stores. How did they manage to find you?
We started cooperation when I lived and worked in Kiev. I produced first big collection, it attracted attention and my collections appeared in their show rooms.

How many copies of one model do you produce for selling?
Each designer makes as many copies as he or she wants. If a customer applies for the thing that is sold, designer can urgently make another one.

Where else we can see your collections? Can we buy it in Orenburg?
I tried to work with Orenburg business, but after adding business interest to the price of my clothes it becomes too enormous and shocks customers. Unfortunately there are no conceptual stores for designers where customers could come to find new ideas and high quality. Our customers still enjoy mass-market. Hope, that it will change soon.
A lot of my works you can see at www.lifelikestyle.com where I post them two-three times a week. There one will find a lot of mine from the past days and  what I’m working on now. Projects and collections, my view of fashion and my opinion. Soon I plan to start my own on-line store.  

What is design for you? What is your mission? 
It is my understanding of fashion. Designer today  is a prism that shows new vision of existing things. I’d call my mission is to take part in renovation of Russian light industry that is still ruined now. I’m glad that today a lot of young designers become famous and popular in Russia. It’s also great that Russian elite persons started to buy not only famous foreign brands but pay attention to Russian ones. I hope to offer my collections to them. The main idea is to prove that Russian designers are good and worth each penny of their price. Of course it's important to explain difference between a person who simply makes clothes to sell and who designs and creates pieces of art. Personal design is expensive and prestigious. Only in Russia it’s  more likely to buy ready mass market thing than to apply for personal style.   

What are the difficulties of the profession?
At first it’s all about the money. Hard to find investors, and when you finally find them they put you in strict conditions and terms and there will be no design and no new ideas. They usually want common things that easy to sell now and it is not for design. It’s sad.
Another hard moment is to find suitable materials for work. Good Russian fabrics are very few. Foreign fabrics after all the fees and taxes become very expensive. The same with fittings. This way it also influences upon the price of collection. With such prices of materials it’s hard to add worthy price of designer’s idea.   I only try to have back what I spend while I make the collection. 

Then what are the advantages of your profession for you?
I’m free in my opinion, ideas and my fantasy  lives without any limits. Unlimited fantasy  - is the main advantage of designer. That’s what I got from my profession. Since school days I was free from public and parents’ opinion. I wore what I wanted, I simply did it myself.  

Are there any other designers in Orenburg? Whom would you pay attention to?
There are. But many talented people leave this sphere in the very beginning when they face the difficulties I told you about before , they become stylists, photographers, they try to earn money. Not all of them stay in creativity. A lot of them leave Orenburg for big cities where they find ways to stay in profession.  
Opportunities of big cities give more customers, and designers can develop talents and feel needed. I didn’t leave my way because of my husband’s support. Now I don’t get any financial feedback from my profession and it’s hard. But it’s my favorite business and It will bring me success later.

What is the brightest episode of your career?
Definitely it is my business trip to China. I was invited as designer for  "Liliuuum fashion club" To get such invitation is very cool for every designer. It is incredible chance to show your talent and reveal potential. It’s a chance to be proud of being useful for real business, to create something that will be the best of you until you do something even better.  

How did it happen that they found you?
I made several collections which I presented in Internet and participated in designers competitions. And, of course, it’s my blog where I posted articles about Chineese clothes as well. Chinese companies used to send me their clothes and I described them in my blog. 

What was your goal in this project?
I had to make analysis of fashion trends, study the needs of future clients. After it I did sketches and discussed them with the project leader. During my work in China I visited enormous quantity of show rooms with samples of fabrics and fittings for new collection. After choosing the materials I made models.    
- Now the collection is almost ready for market. "Liliuuum fashion club" started it’s work with services of make-up, hair-do and stylist, in a couple of weeks they start selling fashion collection to China ladies.

Was it hard?
It was hard test for me. And I had to prove everything I can do. The hardest thing for me was the type of Chinese figure that differs much from Slavonic. I had to think hardly what advantages to emphasize on and what to hide. 

About inspiration. What Fashion designer inspires you? Whom do you choose to follow?
If I was asked this question a couple years ago I would tell you two or three names. Today I don’t. I’m who I’m and I have my own way. 

What else inspires you? Favorite music, books, persons?
Well, I’ve got my personal muse, one of my clients amaze me with her style and beauty. Together we created a project – “Ascent the sun” .My clients is my inspiration. They keep me in shape. They all are different but each of them is style Icons. It lets me be miscellaneous. And I like following Anna delo Russo – she is incredible! One can adore her or hate her but one can’t be indifferent.  She inspires me with her endless energy. I’d like to be the same energetic in her age.  While I work I like listening to ATB music, it keeps me concentrated. 

How do you relax?
I don’t. it seems to me that sitting on a sofa I spend time for nothing. One can do so much during each 10 minutes. My husband is constantly disappointed with this fact. When he becomes too tired of it he takes me somewhere far from my place and makes me have a break. I’m thankful to him for it, though I get angry at first.

Marina, thank you for the interview. What can you wish to our readers?
Thanks for your interest to me. All the dreams come true if you set them as your goals!

Interviewer Yulia Alexandrova

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Fashion designer, AQUAMARINA fashion design brand developer, bespoke master, stylist, blogger.

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