Designer quickie: MOODYTWIN by Miranda Vidak

When is your brand founded? How did you decide to have your own label and what did you do before?
I founded MOODYTWIN at the end of 2008, and started to design pieces for the brand in 2009. Before that, I did two lines; MIRANDA RIGHTS in 2003 while I was still studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and a collection of corsets called MISSpLACED, the following year. But I first started to design my own pieces was when I was 18, during my first year of studies at TTF, Zagreb. I did a line of leather jackets and made couple for Minea, then very popular Croatian singer. 
       The following year I moved to USA. After enrolling at FIT in NYC and doing two lines I mentioned above, it all jut became too much for me. Fast life in New York, constant financial struggle to pay my college, working at clubs until 5 am to earn money for my tuition, and then going to sleep just for few hours, only to wake up and spend half of day at school drawing until my eyes dropped out.....just wore me out at one point. 
        My creativity got burned under the pressures of challenges city like New York can put on you. I knew myself very well and I understood I have to take a step back, inhale, take a break from constant running, recharge mentally, and proceed when I’m ready again.

So far your collections have been provocative featuring T-shirts with funny, simple, punkish & rebellious messages, which fashion brand or designer do you most admire?
Yeah, it was very long thinking process, to comprehend what kind of brand I want to launch. What I knew very clearly is that I didn’t want to do different lines like I did before that only satisfied my current inspiration, a vision. I wanted to commit, I wanted to launch a brand, not a line, but a brand that would be long term, something that will exist until I exist, and something that would have to have my fashion signature all over it. And since everything that is final, therefore not possible to alter makes me very nervous, this had to be something that I can stand behind 100 percent, so it took me a while. First I had to understand what I am, to create a brand that would represent me.

I don’t really get inspired by different times in history; I just always get inspired by dark, apocalyptic, deconstructed couture whose feel and emotion I want to translate on to street. I like to play around also, fashion is a playground, I like to put serious things, a serious and dark emotion on something so casual that is a T-shirt.

If I would have to officially define MOODYTWIN, it would be like this - it’s a brand that aspires to take an inspiration in dark, deconstructed fashion and give it a Hollywood broken-down street ease. MOODYTWIN brand is contrasting its moody-toned (hence the brand name), goth vibe with slouchy, monochromatic simplicity and minimal detailing. Weather it’s creating T-shirts, jackets, jewelry, shoes or even home accessories; MOODYTWIN strives to be a brand with a strong, sometimes even provocative messages; highlighting the personality of people wearing it. 

I like couple of designers, but my full on obsessions are Rick Owens and Olivier Theyskens. I would practically slit my wrist for their stuff! See, I find fashion a bit overwhelming, and I think stylists are partly to “blame”. Everything is so all over the place, it’s just over-saturated and aggressive to me, so I like things pretty clean. Clean cuts, monochromatic, simple. And I like designers who design like that.

Who is a typical MoodyTwin consumer and what is the average price of your shirts?
Well, if you ask me, I would make stuff for Trent Reznor, Adam Lambert, Pink......or just avant-garde people who like a bit of deconstructed fashion. And in America, people like that show interest in my clothing. That’s why I had troubles seeing my clothes in Croatia or Balkans in general. I just thought it’s going to take years and years before people here would wish to spend money on something that is slouchy and slightly undone. But I was wrong, and when I call stores that sell my stuff I never ask “who buys my stuff”, but “what kind of people buy my stuff”. I took on marketing and communications for fashion at FIT and I always want to know the market, and my odds in it, so I call them a lot! And what they’ve told me, complete different people than I envisioned buy my stuff here. But I also have to say I toned down this collection for this areas, in America stuff is much darker and grave-y. I wanted to start little softer here, not to scare people off! :)

Prices are btw 40-55 euros in Belgrade, and btw 50-65 in Hvar.

Other then in Hvar store and multiband boutique in Belgrade where can one buy your collection?
For now Supermarket Concept Store in Belgrade, and Thesaurus Concept Store in Island of Hvar. And the end of October, there will be a location to buy MOODYTWIN in Zagreb, I can’t give you the exact name still because we’re negotiation couple of locations right now, but there will be an update about the location and exact date! Also, I plan to add an online sale by the end of the year. It’s just too much work, and doing it on two continents, constant traveling, it’s hard to stay super-focused, but I have to, and have to endure it while not letting my creativity suffer during the whole ordeal.

Where do you produce your collection and what is the volume?
In US, I manufacture it in a small studio-production in downtown LA, and for Europe I manufacture in this small factory I found in Belgrade. And for the fall/winter I’m adding sweaters and bags into the collections, and that I wish to manufacture in Croatia. Working on finding a right manufacturer, as we speak. The amounts that I design are never more that 30 pieces for each design. But I also do custom made designs for people I know. I analyze the character of the person, and then I design a piece just for that person, one unique piece. It’s kind of a game that I do, try to “guess” people with design I do for them.

What are your plans for the future? Did you ever show your collection on any of the fashion weeks?
I envision my brand in the way that I do not want to be slaving of to seasons. I want to release pieces when I have an inspiration for it, and if it will be 10 times a year by couple of pieces, that that’s how I want to do it. I don’t want anything to challenge my creativity, and I want a clean, short path between me and people that want to buy my stuff.

But in general, MOODYTWIN is committed to being more than just a clothing brand. I’m determined to build a lifestyle brand; with a blog that i’m writing and editing, I want to create an online community for its customers of a similar fashion taste – where we can all come daily to feel inspired, exchange ideas & keep an eye on all visual identities we love.

Viktor Drago called me 7 years ago to show on CAP, when I did my first Men’s line, but back then I had a partner I designed with, and he didn’t have any interest to show in a country he doesn’t even know about or as he thought would not be beneficial to his work, so we didn’t show. But I think I’ll do one in near future, just don’t want to do it with T-shirts only, I want to do a complete look. 

Do you think that a designer needs to have formal education in order to be successful?
I think every designer has to come from artistic upbringing. Different types of design are different in construction, yes, but the creativity is universal. If you look for the answer to that question in the real world, what are the examples? Galliano graduated from Saint Martins. Tom Ford graduated from Parsons, but he didn’t major in fashion design, but architecture. When he applied for a job in Chloe, he failed to mention in his application that he majored in architecture, not fashion. 
     Today, are we going to call Tom Ford, the most talented designer in the world - unsuccessful? Owens, the absolute fashion genius studied Fine Arts at Otis, in LA, but he dropped out after two years because the college was too expensive and got a job in downtown LA, doing patterns for designer knock-offs. Doing knock-offs?! Are we going to call Rick Owens unsuccessful? Theyskens also, studied fashion, but dropped out to do his own label. One of the best in the business today.

Art is very simple, you cannot fake it. There’s just one thing that speaks about the quality of an artist - a piece that he designed. When you take a pice that someone designed into your hands, it’s very clear if the artist is talented of not.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy being an artist, because there’s always a lack of money on the other side. In order to finish school you need a lots of money, fashion school are one of the most expensive. And then you need money to manufacture something that you designed. Less money, lesser quality. So it’s a struggle until you make it. And sometimes it’s hard to navigate your creativity with harshness of life. My journey is following - I enrolled in TTF, was first on the list, 100% on my entering exam. I studied for 4 semesters (the college degree at TTF consists of 5 semesters), and then moved to US, because I had an opportunity that I felt it will pass me if I don’t grab it at that moment. When I came to US, I enrolled in Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and since the college didn’t offer a scholarship or financial aid to foreign students I payed 9450 dollars per semester, myself. 
       I finished all my fashion credits, finished almost all liberal arts, and I have two credits I never took, math and micro-economics. I couldn’t study anymore because I couldn't pay it anymore. I applied for my green card and had to pay so much money to my lawyer, that I just couldn't pay school anymore. And that’s where I stopped, an inch before a degree. 
      Yes I plan to go back and finish it, but in the mean time I moved to Los Angeles, started a label, and I just cannot find time to do it, even though I try every year, and absolutely every year I think - this will be the year. Does that make me less successful?

Do you think that a fashion designer today needs to be more of an artist or a good businessman?
At the end of the day, we can only be what we are, if we are business savvy, that’s what we are. If we are more creative and not really understanding marketing of it, then that’s that. I might be a wrong person to answer that because I always appreciated creativity more than being business savvy. Two designers that I mention over and over are best examples - Owens that made his first success when he was 41, because he insisted to staying an independent designer who does not care about marketing, press, advertising in magazines. 
         Did you ever see Rick Owens editorial in a magazine? And he still managed to be one of the most sold designers of the decade. It’s what makes him who he is, and I strongly think that’s his appeal. Also Theyskens who designed for Rochas and Nina Ricci, and refused to do a more marketable assessors line or advertise to make bigger profit, and got fired from everywhere he worked because of that. Now he’s a creative director at Theory, and everyone can kiss his ass. 
         The guy designed Madonna’s Oscar dress when he was 21, who gives a rats ass he’s doesn’t care about marketing?! But I do also think if you’re not that business savvy, in order to still be in the game, you have to be 4 times more talented.

Who is your favorite fashion designer, foreign and Croatian?
Again, Rick Owens and Olivier Theyskens. I also like Ann Demeulemeester. Croatian designer Zigman is also very cool, he does a great cut and does colors really good. I hate colors, but the way he combines them is something that doesn’t “bother” me. And I adore Serbian designer Dejan Despotovic, I strongly think he’s the most talented designer in Balkans.

How do you see a style of an average Croatian women and what is your opinion about Croatian fashion scene overall?
Honestly, mostly not too crazy about it. I think girls here are too done, even during the day, I mean all that dresses, heels, freshly blown-out hair in 2 am? Not crazy about it. People walk like that on red carpets in US, why walk like that on the streets? Were you headed exactly? To have a coffee? But then again, I’m a bad person to be answering that question too, since I like Hollywood ease, so yeah, for me, they are to done. Too buttoned up, too done. But Croatian fashion, man that fascinates me. To have a fashion scene that developed, in a country that have been through so much, I think it’s pretty fascinating.


2 fabulous comments:

Fashion Dubrovnik said...

Zanimljivo, nisam uopće znala za ove majice :)

Hope Adela Pasztor said...

Fab picture! =)

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