Monday, April 27, 2015

Nadia & Zehra Mustafa

Photographed By Marshall Heritage

HOW DOES ENGLAND AND ITALY FEATURE IN YOUR LIVES?
We were born and brought up in London. We moved to Italy to attend Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing in Florence. When we finished the four year course (one year foundation course and three years Fashion Design course) we moved back to London for a year to start our label Nadia + Zehra. Now we’re based in Bologna, Italy as all our clothes are Made in Italy and our producer and distributer, Angela Mele has her showroom and shop, Angela Mele Milano, there.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PORTRAYAL OF TWINS IN “THE SHINING” AND “AMERICAN HORROR STORY”, AND DID YOU WEAR MATCHING OUTFITS GROWING UP?
We think it’s pretty cool how twins are portrayed. Obviously it’s freaky to have two identical girls starring at you. We didn't really wear matching outfits that much when we were younger while our parents dressed us as they didn't want to get confused, but as soon as we could start to dress ourselves we would match everything up for fun.

HOW DO PEOPLE TELL YOU APART?
It’s quite easy to tell us apart, one of us is a little taller than the other.

WHAT’S THE BEST EVIDENCE THAT PROVES THAT A TELEPATHIC PSYCHIC CONNECTION EXISTS BETWEEN TWINS?
All we can say about this is; if you know, you know.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME FASHION DESIGNERS?
We were always very creative growing up. We had a strong interest in art and fashion from a young age. The older we got the more intrigued we got. We took the fashion route knowing that we could link art into fashion, which you can see through our collections so far.

WHAT’S THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND YOUR BRAND (BESIDES FLIPPING THE BIRD TO WHAT PEOPLE THINK)?
The philosophy behind our brand is simple; “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a fuck.” We want people who wear Nadia + Zehra to feel confident, free and expressive.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU AND DO YOU ALWAYS AGREE ON EVERYTHING?
When it comes to picking a theme for a new collection we always start of by saying random adjectives which will then lead into something much more amusing. We’ve not been in the dilemma where we haven't agreed yet.

HOW DO YOU SELECT THE MATERIALS YOU USE?
We select what materials we use through research.

WHAT KIND OF MOMENT ARE WE HAVING? 
Duende.

LESS OR MORE?
More.

Les Jumelles

Photographed By Marshall Heritage 

 Nadia + Zehra creating a ruckus with snaps of their their Fall 2015 "Whip It Real Good" Collection, shot in Vancouver, Canada.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Anna K

Photo Courtesy Of Anna K

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED, WHAT'S LIFE LIKE THERE AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
I was born by the Dnipro River, in a small Ukrainian city, surrounded by trees and lots of flowers. A city swamped in nature. There are a number of places to ride your bike in the summer or create a snowman in the winter. It's an idyllic place for the perfect childhood.

I’ve attended art school since the age of six. I also spent a lot of time doing sports as my father is a volleyball world champion. My grandfather taught me how to play chess when I was young and I’ve won a number of championships. I’m still fond of playing against people older than me just so I can beat them. After high school I moved to Kiev and started studying at the College of Technology and Design. I discovered the world of new interesting Ukranian designers. They liked my style and asked me to wear their clothes. And they would say in gest that I should create my own collection. Yet they were really surprised when I showed my first collection during MBKFD at age 16, and “Vogue Italia” called my collection the most promising among all the collections. Now I travel between London, Milan Paris and Kiev. I’ll probably stay in Paris for a long time. Or maybe in London. Probably not Milan. However, I love New York.

WHO WERE YOUR HEROES GROWING UP?
Lewis Carroll's “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland”; and by the way, in Nabokov's Russian translation “Alice in Wonderland” is called “Anna in Wonderland”;  “Le Petit Prince”, Kate Moss, Steve Jobs, Marley from "Marley & Me”, my Labrador is called Marley, Snoop Dog, Sponge Bob, Natalia Vodianova, also a small town girl, Coco Rocha, several fairy tale heroines and of course, Pippi Longstocking.

WHEN DID YOU START MODELLING?
I started when I was 14. But it was boring and not as creative as I would've wanted. Soon after I started doing the styling on my own and then creating clothes. Fortunately I was studying design at the time.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SIZE ZERO DEBATE?
I'm size zero, but these debates are empty vessels. All women are amazing no matter what size they are. What’s important is her inner world, sense of style, her goals and knowledge of fashion. My clothes are usually worn by celebrities like Linda Tol, Candella Novembre, Sofie Valkiers and Daria Shapovalova. No one of them are size zero. This I know for sure, and it’s the motto of my brand: Every girl is a model!

WHY DID YOU TRANSITION FROM MODEL TO DESIGNER?
I've always understood what my friends want to wear. And it's not always what the designers and the brands out there make. I want to tell stories to a generation open to new experiences.

HAVE YOU COMPLETED YOUR TRAINING?
I studied at the College of Technology and Design in Kiev. I'm thinking of studying in Paris although I still have to figure how I’m going to study and work on developing my brand at the same time. I have so many things I have to do right now.

YOUR CLOTHES ARE HIGHLY WEARABLE YET PLAYFUL, THEATRICAL AT TIMES, WHAT’S THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE LABEL ANNA K, AND DOES YOUR WORK REFLECT YOUR OWN PERSONAL TASTE?
Yes. Each one of my collections reflect a deep and personal experience. Legends. I dip into them just like Alexander McQueen dove into Atlantis in his last collection. That's why I don't always separate the pieces for the shops and for the shows. I frequently wear the creations myself, and I pair them with Comme des Garçons, Jacquemus, Miu Miu and Prada, Kenzo and with my Nikes.

WHAT'S YOUR PHILOSOPHY ABOUT THE ART OF FASHION AND HOW DO YOU BALANCE CREATIVITY WITH COMMERCE?
The art of fashion, is the art of presenting a fantasy. It's about putting that element into the real life of those who you understand and who does understand your dreams. Pure love and elegance is important for girls. Every girl is a dreamer and for this reason I've created the special hashtag, #AnnaKGirls. I've never chased after commercial success. It comes by itself. I really love communicating with the buyers and the owners of the shops like Sara Andelman from Colette, Andrea Panconesi from LVR, Licia Bonnesi from G&B Negozio or Kelly from Lane Crawford. They’re good people with a sensibility for taste.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF THE INDUSTRY?
I adore traveling. I spend a huge amount of time outside my home. I want to travel to Asia soon. Japan, China and Korea are countries with cultures my friends from Asia tell me I have a connection to. I've never been there so it’s kind of a mystical coincidence. I play chess. I collect pieces of cool designers. I paint a lot and I create the prints for my collections myself. I adore going to museums. My last love is RenĂ© Magritte. The play of straight lines and incredible choice of colours and shades appeals to me. I love driving my Fiat 500 By Gucci with my dog in the front seat. And this summer I plan to travel around Italy on my Scrambler Ducati.

WHAT'S YOUR GREATEST INDULGENCE?
I love sleeping. And I love eating sweets.

Final Walk Through

Photographed By Karen Burgos

Anna K, Fall 2015. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Zainab Hasnain

Photo Courtesy Of  Zainab Hasnain

DJ ZEEMUFFIN, HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN? START FROM THE CRADLE
I was born in Lahore, Pakistan and came over to the States when I was five. The earliest memory of an album I loved was probably “Dookie” by Green Day. I had a huge love for punk, indie and rock music, and then eventually fell in love with hip-hop when I was in middle school. It was N.E.R.D and The Neptunes that helped bridge the gap between rock and rap for me. I remember playing “In Search of.” and “Clones” over and over again. Then I became obsessed with G- Unit, De La Soul and so on. Not many people know this but I played viola for like 13 years. That was fun, but I really loved the drums, and picked them up when I was 11 or 12. Then I started messing around on the guitar.

I was always going to shows as early as I can remember. I was never the “cool kid” in high school and never went to parties. My sister and I would go to shows in the city instead whenever we got the chance. We would camp outside Bowery Ballroom for the Kooks, or get fake IDs so we could see the Arctic Monkeys at Hammerstein Ballroom- that was the thrill for me. When I got into college I wanted to learn how to produce and DJ but didn’t know where to start and also didn’t really allow myself to take it seriously because my parents were paying for me to study something “real”. After college though, I got a job in banking and paid for a class at Dubspot and then purchased my first set of turntables when I was 20. I just knew I wanted to express my love for all types of music by telling a story of how these songs and artists connected in my head. I’ve always been fascinated with telling stories through sound.

YOU’RE ALSO AN NYU GRADUATE, WHAT WAS YOUR MAJOR?
I majored in Politics and double-minored in Economics and Business Studies. I was an investment banker for a short period of time after school and held other jobs at startups after that. Needless to say, it totally sucked and I would always spend a majority of my time on music blogs or Wikipedia reading about music. I'm still very passionate about world politics though, you can see how opinionated I am on my Twitter.

WHO’S THROWING THE BEST PARTIES IN NEW YORK RIGHT NOW?
Man I still have to give it to Venus X. Her Ghettogothik parties are still one of the only authentic parties remaining in New York. I’m going to add in a little shameless self-promotion in here too. I just started a new weekly party with Jillioniare of Major Lazer, Richie Beretta and Jay White on Tuesday’s at Kinfolk in Williamsburg. Look out for that. It’ll be nuts.

YOU RECENTLY CREATED AN EXCLUSIVE MEDLEY FOR THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2015,  HOW DID THIS VENTURE COME ABOUT?
When I worked at a digital agency for a brief period of time, I worked on a project with Tribeca Film Institute for the Nas documentary, “Time Is Illmatic”. After leaving the agency I was still good friends with the folks over there since they loved my work I did for the social side of the film. A person high up there follows me on Instagram and reached out to me because he was loving my photos of Lahore. He told me he wanted to do something with them and Tribeca. I met with the Tribeca team and brainstormed on the piece together and the rest was history. I knew I wanted to do something with my experience there regardless, and I was lucky enough to have an incredible institution like Tribeca reach out to me and provide a greater platform for the story I wanted to tell through words, sounds, and photos. It was the first time I was able to combine many of the mediums of expression I enjoy and turn it into something meaningful and close to my heart. I think that’s really tough to do and Tribeca made it really easy, which I'm eternally grateful for.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MIX SET OF ALL TIME?
That’s a tough one! It’s impossible to pick a favorite mix - I have too many favorites. For the sake of brevity I’ll go with Jackmaster’s Mastermix from 2014. That was an insane mix and really showed me that you can pretty much blur the lines of producer and DJ if your song selection and mixing are on point.

WHAT’S THE MC's ROLE IN POPULAR CULTURE?
Well Kendrick has sort of set the bar to show us how someone can transcend being a rapper and become a voice for a generation. I really think America is going through another civil rights era/movement and “Pimp a Butterfly” is the soundtrack for that. He’s one of the most important voices out there period. Someone like that can show you how art can insert itself into the narrative of our present day culture and shift the conversations we are having amongst each other. MC's have the power to make the world more conscious of their own surroundings - not a lot of artists care about that factor or think it's "cool" to be conscious, but Kendrick has showed everyone how it's done. He talked about meaningful things and didn't do it in a corny way. King Kunta is deep, but it's also a banger. How many people can do that?

AS FAR AS DJs GO, WHO’S THE BADDEST BITCH OR MITCH IN THE GAME?
Baddest Bitch/es: Louisahhh, Jubilee, Anna Lunoe and Venus X. And Baddest Mitch: too many to pick from. Jacques Greene and Q-Tip are crazy good live.

WHAT’S ON YOUR PERENNIAL TO-DO LIST AND WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO OUTSIDE OF THE MUSIC SCENE?
Music is just the start for me. I want to write a book, direct a film, start a clothing line and build my own creative agency and record label. My mom always tells me I don’t have a focus. I think it’s because I just want to express myself in as many ways as possible! One thing at a time though.

ON A SEPARATE NOTE, YOUR SENSE OF STYLE NEEDS TO BE DISSECTED AND DISCUSSED. WALK US THROUGH YOUR CLOSET
Why thank you. For me, style is all in the details. I don’t think expensive equals stylish. I think it's all about dressing in a way that makes you feel confident and sexy, and that’s different for everyone. I used to buy trendy things but recently I’ve just been wearing a lot of sneakers, kimono’s and jewelry. I like to keep the clothes themselves simple but wear crazy sneakers, or a headpiece, or one item like a blazer that pops out. I love buying vintage things and pairing them with more modern items. Sneakers are everything.

WHAT SHOULD EVERY WOMAN TRY AT LEAST ONCE IN HER LIFE?
Every woman should try loving herself more. It’s the hardest thing to do. It’s also the most important.