Fashion editor quickie: Lucija Biondic,


 How is different from other fashion portals in Croatia? is first Croatian fashion portal which started of 9 years ago. Right from the start we are following global fashion scene but from the start we have also set an objective to support and follow young Croatian fashion designers which we continued to this day.

We are acting as Croatian fashion designers media partner throughout their career via different columns (IT pieces, custom fashion editorials etc.) on our portal where we always give local designer advantage over foreign ones.

Other then fashion news and trends globally you strongly support Croatian fashion designers, what kind of relationship do you have with them?

As the name of our portal saids – we are and it is normal that we are first and foremost supporting Croatian designers; we are pleased to say that they have recognized our efforts and our cooperation is exquisite.

Croatia has very talented designers. The biggest obstacle for them is positioning of their collections to the market. Most of them are still working as small manufacturing workshops, they do not have serial production – mostly because there are no interested multibrand stores in the country and/or the region (or interested buyers) who will order and purchase their collections. In most of the cases Croatian designers work as a „one man show" they are: designers, manages, salesman and PRs for their collections. is helping them by playing a role of“ their PR“ in a way that we publish and support all of their projects, news on new collections and by including them in our own projects in order to put them „on the map“ for potential buyers and 
companies to sponsor their work.

How do you see the current situation in Croatian fashion industry? What is your portal's involvement in it?

What is still missing is the bridge between the fashion buyers and local designers which could financially motivate their small workshop production to become mass production. Most of the guests taking up front rows of their shows are local celebrities, event sponsors and media –while their most frequent customers seem to be taking seats in last rows.

In October,2010. We have organized first sales event „Noć hrvatskih modnih dizajnera powered by Dreft“ right in between 3 fashion events happening in Croatia with intention to bring shoppers to Croatian designers stores. We motivated them with in-store promotions, entertainment events in each location and generous discounts of 30% on current collections - all inspired by globally known Fashion Night's out.  The feedback we got was great and we would like to definitely do it again.

Foto: Goran Čižmešija, Styling: Jasmina Arnautović, Model: Nikolina Rak
                                 all clothes collected from local vintage market  

In comparison to similar fashion news portals you seem to be quit neutral? How do you stay neutral considering the rivalry among existing three fashion events and sometimes media polarization among them?

Maybe because we do not actually organize our own fashion week J  Although partially a joke, a number of designer suggested that we should organize our own event – naturally, I never took it seriously as we represent media and having an event would be a conflict of interest and we would not be as objective to all as they would be our competitors – this would go against journalism ethics and basics of professionalism.

In regards to other media, their rivalry comes out of their competitiveness, they each select one event to be media sponsors of – this includes magazines, TV stations etc. I am more critical towards media which are ignoring Croatian designers with an excuse that Croatian public is not interested, this is simply not true as we know that our readers consume what we – media, serve to them, at least most of the time. Croatian designers have a good quality product which deserves to be consumed.
                     Foto: Goran Čižmešija, Styling: Eva Misirača, Model: Mirjana Knežević

  I have noticed that you are shooting your own online editorials featuring Croatian fashion designers clothes, result of which is a recently published comprehensive lookbook, you also do sponsored advertorials - how did you come up with the idea of online editorial? How do you think it compares with print fashion editorials? Does it pay of financially?

The „guilty ones“ for the idea of custom our online editorials are our amazing creative team members:  Tomislav Perić is the one who came up with an idea and who together with our amazing photographer Goran Čižmešija brought this idea to life. In the past 3 years we did more than 20 editorials with Croatian designers -  we are the only Croatian portal doing this.

This year we put together a Lookbook as well with selected local designer pieces but we plan to continue this practice in the future as well– as the results and feedback was above expectations.

In comparison to print editorials, both bring the same information to the reader, however online editorials are more viewed and shared then print,  I have to admit that I am in love with glossy magazine editorials but we are currently working on bringing the same print emotional qualities to editorials. Currently we do not have financial benefit out of editorial segment but we do stay on positive zero with it.

Foto: Goran Čižmešija, Styling: Eva Misirača, Model: Josipa Kusić, 
Clothing: Etna Maar & Maion 

How do you see print fashion magazines of the future? Is there a future for print?

I recently discussed this topic with someone. It is hard to estimate how the print will involve competing with digital in fashion world; currently I do not see how print would do it. 

Current trend is that many print editions are shutting down, maybe collection reviews quarterly magazines would make sense (Elle collection) and those with good quality stories which one could archive, however I do not believe many glossies will be able to maintain sales volume good enough to stay profitable. Fashion news is extremely recyclable; fashion people want their news here and now.

What are the trends you see on you portal in terms of demographics? Which columns are most visited?

Age ranges from 14-70 year olds – with an average age of 35. Most of our readers are women – 70%. However growth in male population and their interest in fashion is more then noticeable, so about more than year ago we have opened a new column – Y chromosome – which is tailored to male readers. In this period we are noticing growth of male readers of about 5% and growing.

Majority of our readers is interested in current beauty and clothing trends.
So most visited columns are: Trend, What to wear, Get inspired, Cro designers IT piece etc.


Foto: Goran Čižmešija, Styling: Jasmina Arnautović, Model: Lana Petanić
Clothing - Modna kuca Mak 

What is your opinion on Croatian fashion bloggers? Do you think they should be treated as traditional journalists/editors?

Since the blogger is asking the question I need to be careful with my response. J
A blogger boom in Croatia started about two years ago, I find them welcome refreshment to the global and local media scene; however their text quality is not the same as the one written by an educated journalist. With this I am not referring to their competence on writing about fashion but more on their objectivity – as their comments on the designer collection could  be limited to „Like“ or „don't like“ from journalist one expects more detailed and objective approach.

Each collection comment featured on is argumented, while with bloggers their comments is based on their personal style preferences, which is why they do have followers of similar fashion style, but number of Croatian bloggers followers still cannot compete with fashion portals and other media.

My belief is that bloggers should be treated as other media – based on their readership and visitors quality for advertisers – this is now not the case. 

What is a long term plan for Are you preparing any innovations on page design and renewal of page branding?

I don't like to usually answer this type of questions until I am in the final phase of project execution. We do have rather comprehensive  plans for refreshments however we are currently focused on second fashion sales event  „Noć hrvatskih dizajnera” which we plan in second half of this year.

Who do you consider to be the most influential people in Croatian fashion industry? Do you think they work in its best interest?

I respect people who continue to remain on Croatian fashion scene, among those I would mention organizers of all three fashion events (Viktor Drago - Cro A Porter, Suzy Josipović Redžepagić i Sarah Josipović - Fashion Week Zagreb i Vinko Filipić -

 Experienced Croatian fashion journalists like Ana Lendvaj and Bojana Radović who do write about Croatian fashion, people who create editorials for which they use also Croatian designers clothes like:  Saša Joka - Elle, Vanja Ljubić - Cosmopolitan, Petar Trbović - Grazia, Ivan Friščić.

Which Croatian fashion designers would you identify as most successful in terms of design quality and business sense?

Successful designers are those who can live out of their work. Here I would differentiate:

 Nedu Makjanić-Kunić (Modna kuća MAK) she has more than 20 people working for her in addition to her base collection line she also features exclusive collection by young and talented designer Teo Perić.

Aleksandra Dojčinović with her brand Lei Lou who has incredible sense for business, she has developed her own signature collection but still cooperates great with well known global consumer goods brands.

MAKS studio which exists for more than 40 years on local fashion scene, they design, produce and sell – which is a real success considering the economic environment.

Fashion duo ELFS who have recognized a very delicate niche market in which now they have no competition locally. They continuously invest in new, good quality materials, brand growth and their people.

Foto: Goran Čižmešija, Styling: Jasmina Arnautović, Model: Ana Ivančević, dress - Elfs

Ivica Klarić who became a synonym for Croatian men's fashion brand and who I would compare with London brand Saville Row-a.

Đurđica Vorkapić and Saša Momirović have grown their brand Hippy Garden and now they have several franchises in Croatia and Bosnia.

Designer Andrijana Subotić- Pjajčik behind the brand Etna Maar works as a 'one man band' for years now.

  Foto: Goran Čižmešija, Styling: Jasmina Arnautović, Model: Josipa Kusić

Unfortunately many young designers in Croatia still think of fashion as an art rather than a business. During one fashion design contest  the winner said he would like to do high fashion as nobody does it in Croatia. As economics classes  seem to be neglected in local fashion schools – he didn't learn that he will not be able to produce and distribute Couture in Croatia. Not many can afford to buy it and even those who do – what events would they wear it to?  
This is the reality of fashion design in Croatia.

2 fabulous comments:

Sienna said...

super interview!!!

Katarinaღ said...

Hvala draga!
Lucija je stvarno power women, fashion fanatic i povrh svega izuzetno fer prema svima i radišna.

La Kat

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