INTERVIEW| Kiev Fashion Days: Ksenia Schnaider

Ksenia Schnaider founded her label in 2011 with Russian graphic designer Anton Schnaider and has since created unisex pieces that are both practical and stylish. The designer's garments, along with 8 more of the best Ukrainian designers will be exhibited as part of the Kiev Fashion Days today until 18:00 at our Freemason's hall.

How do you feel having your work exhibited at Fashion Scout?

I love it! I am amazed by the building, atmosphere and brilliant work of the Fashion Scout team. 

You started your label with a graphic designer - how does that feed into your designs?

I am responsible for cuts, silhouettes, general concept of the collections and Anton is responsible for digital part of the brand and special art projects. He's very busy with his independent projects but always finds time to discuss everything with me. 

How does being Ukrainian influence your designs?

I am surrounded here in Ukraine by ugly beauty and I can't close my eyes and pretend that I don`t see this bad architecture, lots of advertising in the streets, homeless dogs and long grey winter days...  But somehow I can find beauty in all this. But I don`t use this sources directly in my design. For Ksenia Schnaider collections we're inspired by clothes themselves and we don`t play with reality. We only work with codes, utility and history of clothes.

What inspired your AW13 collection?

For next season we work with so called 'telogreyka' or 'bodywarmer'. It's a quilted cotton garment for winter and was very popular in the Soviet Union. It was very cheap and almost every citizen owned one but not because it's fashionable, it was only about utility and that`s why I love it. It's an iconic garment and I transformed it into evening dresses, t-shirts, coats and other great items made from leather, velvet and silk. I bring more luxury into it.

How has this season changed from your last?

I have a logical strategy for our collections - is it always about clothes. For SS13 we worked with camouflage and disguise and for AW13 we work with bodywarmer suits.

And what does the future hold for you and your label?

I don't think we will have sudden succsess, we will work and work and work, keeping our line strong, and little by little the fashion audience will understand our philosophy.

Interview by Josh Walker (@josh_walker_)
Photos by Max Barnett (@MaxBarnettPhoto)