In Conversation with Antoninias Smogavc
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
The main focus of my brand is about empowerment, to be who you are and to be accepted for who you are. My own personal story comes from that. When I was young I had a lot of health issues, the doctors had told me that I wouldn’t be able to walk, or travel, and a lot of other things. I refused to accept it, my parents did a lot to help me and get me where I am today. That is how I want to empower women, so they think they can do whatever they want.
That is the reason my clothes are so sexy, they are showing the body silhouette to be sexy and to feel good. So that no one can tell you that you can’t be sexy, so you can feel empowered and strong and do basically whatever you want.
Which past experiences would you say have shaped your work, design sensibilities, & aesthetic?
I think my past experience comes from my own body. For example, growing up my mom would tell me that you can’t wear an open back because you don’t have a nice back, she didn’t mean anything wrong. That influenced my design aesthetic, as I started doing clothes that I thought would make me feel good and showy.
What is your personal philosophy in life?
I believe that you attract what you do, how you think and feel. If you do good, good will come back to you. That’s what I personally think.
How would you define your personal style?
I love to change the roles in my life. It depends on what I feel on that day. I don’t have a specific style. Maybe one I want to be Barbie Chic, or maybe another day I want to be punky Dior style chic, so it really depends. That’s why fashion is here, to plat around it. To be who you want to be that day, to feel good in what you’re wearing.
What inspires your work?
My work is inspired mostly by women I would say, by their energies. By the whole world. I walk around and I keep getting ideas. If you are conscious in your life, and if you look closely at things and structures that surround you, from the leaves to the stars, everything is beautiful and you can get inspired by everything. I transfer that inspiration to women’s body silhouettes.
What is your vision for your work?
My vision is big. I see myself creating a whole Antoninias world in a couple of years. And it not only includes fashion, but it includes other things as well are good for mental health, women’s empowerment, to create a non-profit organisation through that, both for women and children. A whole Antoninias world. So if you step into a shop in Los Angeles that is not a normal shop, it would be Antoninias world.
Who are your favourite designers?
One of my favourite artists is Alexander McQueen. I love how he is transforming his ideas into runway shows, and not only for that but also movies, theatre, feelings. He was very interesting with his mentality, his inspiration, how he put it into everything. I also love Alexander Gaultier, with his perfection, minimalism, with his elegance with the woman at most spirited you can see on the runway. Those are very different designers, but I like a bit of both.
What is your favourite travel destination and why?
My favourite travel destination so far in Egypt. I have been to a lot of places already, I do love nice things. I love Dubai for example because it is so glamorous, big, and clean, but it’s so fake at the same time. That’s why I like Egypt, because of its history, because it is 1000s of years old. The people are so humble there and they have so much energy, they inspire me every time I go there. Whenever I go there, I feel like I recover my soul again. I take a deep breath and make sure I am aware of what is important in life.
Your favourite book, film, or music, that motivate & inspire you.
One of my favourite movies is ‘The Great Gatsby’. I love Leo’s character, very polite, very nice, and respectful of women. I love that. Everything that is happening in the film, from the architecture to beautiful sparkling houses, interiors, dresses is very fascinating.
I don’t read much, I’m a very visual person. But lately, I have been reading many spiritual books in Slovenian.
I like all sorts of music excluding metal and techno. Just like my style my choice of music depends upon my mood. Sometimes I can listen to traditional Slovenian, sometimes Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy, I fell in love with his music from Twilight, sometimes I can be very pop and commercial it really depends upon what I’m doing.
Tell us something about your brand.
My point of view is that I don’t want to be very commercial. Right now I have this person in charge of digital marketing who keeps telling me that I need to be more commercial. I never want to classify my collections as spring/supper or autumn/winter. I just want to create my own art and forget about the rules. People will appear to love it and change with time. Just to be a bit more unique.
All our collections are very theme based, we decide the fabrics accordingly. We don’t really go for the weather season thing right now because people travel and the weather is constantly changing. So we have pieces that can be for summer and winter in all the collections.
What value are you trying to create through your work?
The value that I want to create is to be fair, fairness. I am very protective about how people are treated and about following ethical practices and sustainability. I come from a very sustainable country and I respect a clean environment, and that’s why my collections are very limited as well. So for instance if I run out of a particular fabric I would not order it again, I prefer to go to the local market and purchase the colour that is available and create something new. It works as our collections are so limited. We don’t create a lot of waste, whatever waste is created is sent to schools where it is used for education. We make sure every last bit of fabric is used either for packaging, bags, and shipping. We don’t use plastic at all. When it comes to transport, we minimise consumption by sourcing and manufacturing everything locally.
Ethical as well as I do not support the idea of people being used. I want everyone should have the same opportunity and be respected for what they do. I only work with local women, for me, it is valuable as I can relate with them and for them, it adds value as they get to earn extra money which is supportive and good. This is how I want to keep on going, to show that all women can support each other, empower each other. To do good and get good back.