Fashionclash Festival 2017: NIKA TOM

One To Watch from Fashionclash Festival 2017!  We are a little bit on LOVE with the young designer NIKA TOM and her fashion. NIKA TOM is a Croatian based young designer. Her creative practice focuses on concept transferring it to different forms and shapes often accompanied with experimented textile and volume. Through her collections she tends to transform her identity, observations of the surrounding environment often dealing with people and their interpersonal relations ( social an cultural subject). Through love and respect towards tailoring and craftmanship she tends to produce a sustainable and long lasting piece.

Name: Nika Čuić (NIKA TOM) / Age: 26 / Hometown: Zagreb, Croatia / Menswear or Womenswear: Womenswear

KALTBLUT: Does fashion makes sense?

NK: Both yes and no. From my point of view, it makes a lot of sense if we are considering process of creation, visual communication, self-expression, making something different, long-lasting and with good quality. On the other hand, if the term fashion refers to the whole industry and its constant and unstoppable growth, connotation to consumerism and rapidly changing trends, that gives a rise to argument that fashion has lost its true meaning.

KALTBLUT: Hello. Welcome to KALTBLUT. Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?

NK: I decided to participate at Fashionclash Festival because  it is focused on supporting emerging young designers and gives them the opportunity to express themselves differently by recognizing their unconventional value.

It had really fulfilled my expectations. Festival had a positive charming vibe, everything went accordingly by its schedule and place was filled with lots of talented artists and designers.

KALTBLUT: Can you tell us something about the collection you presented at the FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017? What was your inspiration?

NK: The main idea of the collection περιπετειες (peripeteies) was to incorporate tendencies and drive parallels between the universe of reality and the inner one made in our thoughts and felt through emotions.

The question was what is real and how to delineate it from the mind of a self. Is the real world, the one surrounding us, just a confirmation of our expectations and beliefs and can the reality be reproduced, legitimized or completely dismantled by already known and common patterns?

On the other hand, the mind is living its own reality which is created by interconnectedness of yourself with lived experience. It is a little fenced-in piece of reality, which one calls me, moi, ja, io, ego, etc., as opposed to everything that’s outside of the fence that becomes “not me”. The mind is a gateway between the finite and ad infinitum.

Letting the mind slowly dance with the reality enables a possibility to create its own reality which is constantly searching for modifications, struggles and compromises in order to continue the dance. The reality then made and confronted is the one known only to ourselves hard to be grasped with words and expressions.

In this way, it can be a step back or further from the pure reality surrounding us – from that thing that everybody is observing. The goal was to represent both worlds on the same piece and let them be undisturbed while learning new dancing moves together.

KALTBLUT: What kind of material did you used for the collection?

NK: I am always trying to use high – quality, natural fabrics, so the whole collection was 100% cotton made.

KALTBLUT: What challenges did you face during the design process?

The hardest part is to make compromises. It is really challenging to transfer the idea to product when there is a lack of technology , financial resources and materials, but sometimes due to resourcefulness the outcome is even better.

KALTBLUT: How would you describe your self and your work?

NK: I am prone to idealize people and situations, so I often get mopish once confronted with reality, but I am high spirited and know how to pull my strength from beautiful parts of life. One would say I do tend to be hedonistic, but I take my work seriously and enjoy developing my ideas.

KALTBLUT: What would you say that is the biggest influence to your design process?

NK: I would say my state of mind and emotions are the biggest influence when I am creating.

KALTBLUT: If you had not become a fashion designer, what would you do instead?

NK: Probably would be piling woods.

KALTBLUT: Who’s your dream client?

NK: Someone who feels comfortable and looks natural while wearing my clothing. The one who wears the clothing and not the other way around. Body has to feel the fabric, accept it and connect with it so they become one. Clothing serves the body’s appearance and also helps a person to express themselves, so my dream client is a person who understands the philosophy behind the brand.

KALTBLUT: What was the first item you have ever designed? And who was the lucky one to get it?

NK: I still got a bag filled with Halloween costumes that I made in primary school for my sister and myself.

KALTBLUT: What can we expect from you in near future?

NK: I am preparing lots of new projects and cooperations and, hopefully, will make my first menswear collection.

KALTBLUT: Where can we buy your fashion?

NK: You can order everything through e-mail or visit me at my studio in Zagreb.


Interview by Marcel Schlutt

photography: Team Peter Stigter