At what point did you realise that you want to be a designer?
I've always been attracted to drawing and all artistic, and when I didn't have professional skills, I really liked to redraw. Of course, I applied it in my work. I had an art book, there were models in it, and I loved to copy them. For example, I redrew a beautiful red-haired girl on paper and portrayed her in a variety of outfits. The idea of becoming a designer was born as a result. At first it turned out badly. The outfits were terrible, you know, with rhinestones, feathers... Little has changed over time, rhinestones and feathers have remained (laughs), but the outfits, I want to believe, have become better. Since then I studied, developed this talent, and in the end we have what we have.
As a designer, you are always dealing with beauty. Do you remember when you first realised beauty? What does beauty mean to you?
What does beauty mean to me? This concept is very complex and capacious, it doesn't have an unambiguous definition. Of course, there is some kind of objective external beauty that you look at and have that “wow” feeling. This is what the Earth gave to people: ideal proportions, body, nose, eyes... This all requires self-improvement, but less, there is a beauty of a different format when a person is so interesting to you internally that they seem to glow from the outside. And you turn a blind eye to some physical incompleteness and still consider them beautiful and incredible, because it's compensated. The phrase "there are no ugly people" is very controversial, but I'm sure beauty is something that can be acquired.
What do you like most about your work in fashion?
While working in fashion, most of all I like the opportunity to create my own world into which I invite viewers to give them an emotion that cannot be forgotten and which remains inside forever. I like to show the world, perhaps ideal to some extent, perhaps somewhere on the contrary, but very lively and real.
The Podium show (Ukrainian adaptation of an American reality television series Project Runway), in which you acted as a mentor for young designers. Did you enjoy being part of such a project? Were there any difficulties?
The Podium show is a huge fortune to me. Of course, I already had a lot of shooting experience, but there were no such long-term ones. This is unbelievable! You are not only a talking head, you really live with the participants their pain, resentment, feelings, try to help them, teach them not to make mistakes that you personally made. It was the opportunity to show them that fashion is not only for the elite, fashion is really about a dream and about the ability to show and prove oneself.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the world in which I live, my life and people in general. Nature and how everything is tripled in it inspires me. This is an incredible mechanism. Everything is so personified and detailed that you are simply amazed at how it's well thought out and exists in balance, how much everything acts according to invisible laws. I am inspired by the planet on which we live, and its inhabitants.
Everyone understands the word "art" in his own way. What is “art” for you?
For me, art is the ability to express oneself, not to be afraid to go against the tide, the ability and desire to be oneself, no matter the odds. To be free in one’s everyday lack of freedom.
What are you dreaming about?
I have so much more ahead of unfulfilled and so many dreams. I dream not to lose my grip, I dream to travel and help people, I dream that my country and people in it would live better than now, I dream about world peace, so that people would learn to understand each other without words and I dream that love should not be just a feeling, like in fairy tales, about which someone had heard somewhere, I dream that everyone could really feel love... with their hearts.
Peace and love!