Interview with fashion designer Ana Ljubinković

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has swept all across the world. In Budapest Ana Ljubinković showcased her new pieces. We had a chat with her about her designs.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your name and where you’re from?
I am Ana Ljubinkovic, a fashion designer from Belgrade, Serbia.

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Tell us about your brand?
Sculptural shapes, bold colors and patterns, heavy embellishment and the perfect fit are accompanied with an interesting play with details, which has always been the distinctive feature of Ana Ljubinkovic label. The vintage feel and the futuristic, the folkloric but the urban, the comic yet the sensual are classic Ana Ljubinkovic contradictions. Combining kitsch elements and contemporary forms complete the new look, my starting point is always creating an original.

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How did you get into design?
From very small age I knew I was going to be a painter, as my father is. I enjoyed my childhood playing in his atelier, and set of crayons were the perfect toy for me. So, I wanted to become an artist from age of 5, and so I did – I graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts (Belgrade) with major in painting. But during my painting studies I had a sketch book especially for fashion ideas.  I guess I was a painting student and wasn’t aware that I am actually a fashion designer at the same time. It became clear after I decided to try to make a fashion collection. After that I had good job opportunities and decided to do fashion. Being artist in Serbia at that time, or even now, is very difficult and unprofitable. I haven’t decided to be fashion designer because of this situation, but because of the fact I have same love for art and fashion so why not choose fashion. Upon the graduation I decided to realize the fashion sketches I had made in the course of studies and I presented my first collection on Belgrade Fashion Week 2004.

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Describe your style to us?
I don’t want all eyes on me, so I dress like a normal person, I guess I am a bit shy. I don’t want my look to scream “I am a fashion designer”, or “I’m in fashion” … I like wearing jeans, brogues, but I always have some interesting garment or jewelry piece, just a bit different than the rest.

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What does style mean to you?
Fashion interests me when I work on my collections. That’s my world. What’s going on in the fashion world in any other sense, has no impact on me. Style is important but doesn’t make who you are. I don’t like seeing people making too much effort and spending too much time on their style. It has to be effortless, then a person has a style. If I like a piece of jewelry or a bag, a pair of shoes or jeans I will wear it on 1000 occasions, not thinking about being boring style wise.

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How do you find inspiration?
My starting point is always creating an original. I like exploring different styles, and if I once find minimalism inspiring and intriguing, I will make minimalist collection. I don’t like sticking to the signature if that stops me from growing and inventing. I’ll do whatever it takes to direct my thoughts and my skills to make something that has never been seen or done before. That is my ultimate goal. I find great inspiration in Universe, nature wonders, human incredible inventions that have changed the world, comprehending what is at the deepest waters of the ocean, what is behind our Milky Way and beyond. I believe in Multiverses so I wonder how it is there…

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What’s your go to piece that always works for you?
A pair of shoes, accessories really. But for me is always pants and blazer, a piece of jewelry and ABO shoes (my sister Iva’s brand) -good enough almost for every occasion.

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What’s this season’s must have?
Find an emerging designer’s piece that no one else will have!

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What is your next buy?
I will finally make some of my own label pieces for myself. I always wear it, but I need new clothes. I shop Belgrade designer’s labels every season.

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What is the most important thing, you need in order to be a good designer?
Originality, creativity, idea, endurance, criticism (for your own work) always, stay who you are in your own design. Build your own label on your own ideas.

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Ana-ljubinkovic.com