Interview: Nikita Karizma
Nikita Karizma is a prime example of what hard work, individuality and passion can create, after graduating with a 1st class degree from the London College of Fashion in 2011 Nikita immediately caught the attention of the fashion industry, In fact her graduate collection ‘Campaign Against Abuse’ was so successful in its individuality that it made ground for her first job as an official fashion designer…on the X Factor!
Nikita worked alongside the X Factor’s team of designers, to create fiercely edgy pieces for contestants who included Little Mix and Amelia Lily, she didn’t stop there though, Nikita also had the pleasure to create costume masterpieces for the likes of JLS and Alexandra Burke, to name a few, for various high profile performances and world tours.
With her ‘works of art’ like designs spending so much time in the lime light, we wanted to hear what the talented young woman had to say about her collections, working with celebs, and more importantly what’s next? Read on to find out!
P.D: Hi Nikita, First of all we would like to say a big thank you for speaking with us, it’s always a pleasure to see young designers breaking the fashion mould and producing fashion that can almost be classed as works of art. You haven’t been on the fashion scene for very long, your graduate collection literally propelled you into the limelight , how does it feel to have received so much media attention at such an early phase of you career?
N.K: It was an incredible experience, one that still has me in shock and made me believe in the impossible. I am hoping to use this platform to now continually bring the industry fresh ideas within my design work.
P.D: Already you have worked with a host of celebrities including Little Mix, Alexandra Burke and JLS, which of these collaborations did you most enjoy working on and why?
N.K: Working on the X Factor for Amelia Lily & Little Mix, I loved seeing my clothes go into a performance and really enjoyed working with the X Factor wardrobe team & Laury Smith. The magnitude of the finals was so immense the whole nation was watching my garments live.
P.D: Which where the most difficult collaborations?
N.K: There aren’t any collaboration’s that have been difficult; I really have enjoyed working with the entertainment industry. The celebrity world works very quickly so there definitely have been times that I lost some sleep!
P.D: What would you say the message or concept behind your collection Campaign Against Abuse is, and how do you represent this in your work?
N.K: The message behind this range is to bring to surface to issue that is domestic violence, a 1/3 of women in the UK experience domestic violence and this is an alarming unspoken rate. Different garments in the range have different meanings including, expressing where women have no say, helping women gain their confidence back & a fashion technology concept of tracking women at a time of an attack.
P.D: We love the way you expose domestic violence in this way, it makes it more real with no place to hide, people are literally wearing the message. You use social issues as inspiration for your work, what overall messages are you trying to portray, and how do you achieve this?
N.K: This will be uncovered over time… Fashion & media have a huge influence on our youth and I aim to talk about social issues in a different manner to the norm.
P.D: Wow, this sounds very exciting and even more creative, aside from social issues, where else do you draw your inspiration from?
N.K: I gain sources of inspiration from everywhere but mostly outside of fashion. Film, cartoons, icons, fabric & spirituality.
P.D: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
N.K: I would love to collaborate with Barbie! Also Hello Kitty, Coca-Cola & Disney.
P.D: We can see it now, kick ass Barbie!! Which designers inspire you?
N.K: KTZ, Jeremy Scott & Alexander McQueen. Also Mary Katrantzou for her business sense and Marc Jacobs.
P.D: Coming from a family that has a great involvement in fashion, I’m sure that that your support system at home is very strong, has your parents involvement in the fashion industry lent you an olive branch at times?
N.K: I have undoubtedly learnt a lot from my parents from the business side of the fashion industry, they own an Asian clothing store. My design work and style however is very different from their brand so I am very glad to have made my own path, my own contacts & own direction into the industry.
P.D: Your next collection is inspired by the 2011 London riots and is aptly named ‘Collection Riots’, what can we expect in terms of style and aesthetics? And how can we get hold of it?
N.K: It is going to be tough edged, but also have a message of anti-violence to our youth and a feel of London. It will be available on my e-commerce store which I aim launching my first few pieces at the beginning of June 2013.
P.D: What advice would you give to young fashion students and designers to help keep themselves motivated and inspired?
NK: Stay true to your individual style it’s the only competitive edge that you have. Stay smart in the game the fashion industry is a business. Get work experience alongside your studies. Try and put a moral code into your business model either your use of materials, organisations that you collaborate with or a percentage of your profits to a chosen charity.
P.D: Thank you Nikita for letting us grill you, we will be sure to look out for your next collection, in the meantime, keep up the fantastic work!
So there you have it, a little peak into the mind of Nikita Karizima and what to expect from her future collections, until next time, keep it fresh!
By Parveen Devi
For more information about Nikita and her collections please visit her site at www.nikitakarizma.com