Maja Kikiritkova interview: a sustainable fashion designer from Macedonia

Maja Kikiritkova is a Macedonia-based sustainable fashion designer. Her creations are the perfect combination between design, creativity and elegance. She studied fashion design, has participated in the Skopje Fashion Week and currently teaches fashion design at the Goce Delčev University of Štip, Macedonia .

Tell me a little about yourself.
To wrap it up in five words: Young, energetic, enthusiastic, creative and fabulous. Just kidding. I’m a fashion designer, coming from Macedonia. I’ve completed my college education in Belgrade, finishing fashion design. Throughout the five years that I’ve been active on the Macedonian fashion scene, I’ve transformed and developed into an ambitions individual with goals to come of the shadows , of working behind the scene , and being taken seriously on the fashion scene. I’ve grown from working as a costume designer, to to reaching the mainstream fashion front , by displaying my designs on the fashion week held in Skopje twice per year. Currently I’m also teaching fashion design at the Technology and Technical Faculty at the University of Goce Delchev in Stip.

What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is an expression of oneself, a way to signify who you are, where you come from and what you believe in. Fashion is a lifestyle, style of thinking. It's an expression of my mood on a given day, chameleon-like, always changing and evolving.

When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
I remember ever since I was a little girl, the passion for fashion has been an omnipresent part of my being. My love sparked when I dressed my dolls in my own designs, made out of laundry detergent bags. But the moment when I fully realized that fashion is what I want and need to do in my life came out of the bloom , when my mother asked of me to redesign her wedding dress. At that moment I thought: hey , I have the potential to become someone in the fashion industry. If my mom was willing to sacrifice her wedding dress, than I had to have something in me right?

What matters to you the most as a fashion designer?
Happy clients who appreciate my designs. Proportion and fit are key for me. I review in great detail the fit of each individual garment to ensure that the specs are correct for production, before shipping to our stores/ / customers.

Why did you decide to incorporate sustainability in your designs?
I enjoy working with natural fabrics. Cotton, linen and silk are my main choice, but sometimes I also like to spice it up with some synthetic material, as details of course. They give an outfit surprising touch of edginess, which I always welcome with open arms. I bring out the rigidity of the creations with the usage of cotton twill, and I recapture the volatility with cotton or silk-georgette .

How would you describe the style of your designs?
Each of my collections has its own story behind it, its own parole and message addressed to the audience. I don’t have any specific style. I can go from diva like attire to collection with a sporty vibe to dark glamour, so it doesn’t get boring. Research is the first thing I do when I start planning a collection and it includes searching out the trends, colors and shapes, which are distinctive for the season. When the research is done, I draw the designs on a piece of paper, I choose the fabrics for the creations and voila, I start with the realization of course .

Where do you get your inspiration?
Mostly I draw my inspiration from my travels, books that I read, from the movies I watch. Everyday life and the people around me are my eternal inspiration. Salvador Dali is definitely the number one artist for me. That’s why I love Spain so much, especially Figueres, because even years after Salvador Dali’s creation, the town has futuristic vibe and it really reincarnates the spirit of what he as an artist left behind. Movies like Closer, Amelie, the Fountain and the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s have all had tremendous impact on my designs. The last movie that left enormous impression on me was The Artist .

Who are some of your favorite designers?
Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani …

Where can readers buy your designs?
My last collection you can buy on the online site for eco fashion ,

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Follow your ideas , your instincts. Do what you want, be own and original , be persistent in your work and only will succeed.

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