Tuesday 22 November 2016

Focus On Gwen Salakaia

 During my recent trip to Tbilisi I had the great pleasure to meet and photograph one of their bright young designers, Gwen Salakaia. Although Gwen was born in Georgia her label was born in the US and continues to grow and flourish there. Here is her story and how it all came about.

D: Tell me a bit about yourself and your journey in fashion so far.

G:  Being born and raised in the country of Georgia my childhood was pretty cheerful and happy. I never liked sports but instead took part in almost every creative after school activity I could. Like music, dance, guitar anddrama. I loved dancing which I did for 8 years and only quit when I decided to go to the USA at the age of 15 to continue my studies. It was there when I started painting and took fashion history classes. When I got back home, being a designer was not a suitable profession in post soviet Georgia, so I went to Law school, continuing my studies in Paris. When in Paris I realized that I couldn’t be a lawyer. So, I put aside my Masters in Law and enrolled in the Parsons School of Design in New York. After my studies, I interned at Negri Firman PR which saw me me working on the Louis Vuitton and Chanel accounts. All of which enabled and prepared me to launch my own brand, Gwen Salakaia.

D: When you start thinking about a new collection what is your creative process?

G: It doesn’t have any specific order. Sometimes I might work on one collection and suddenly ideas come, which I know I will apply for my next collection. I write down everything that comes to me.  It often happens to me when I go to bed and close my eyes I see a dress or shirt sketched.  What I have noticed is that when I am stressed I get more creative, its weird but more ideas come to me in that condition.

D: What is the favourite part of your job?

G: The whole process is so pleasant for me. Even when it is very tiring to be fully engaged in every step of the project. I love it. I enjoy fabric sourcing and seeing my ideas transform into product is very satisfying.

D: Who or what inspires you?

G: I love observing details in nature, environment, buildings, objects, and places. I have a fragmented perception. My inspiration could be a small detail from an époque or a painting.
Strong women inspire me, those who have character, fierceness and knowledge.
D: Describe your own personal style.

G: My personal style always has some elements of masculinity. I love men’s shirts. I think they are more classic, with little bit of an edge.
D: Tell me something surprising about yourself.

G: I am a professionally trained dancer.

Gwen is wearing in -
Image 1 and 2 a yellow dress by Gwen Salakaia with Giuseppe Zanotti heels.

Image 3 a Zegna shirt with Current Elliot jeans and Gwen Salakaia green layover with Alexander Wang boots.

Image 4 and 5 total look Gwen Salakaia worn with Casadei pumps.

Image 5 Aganovich coat with Gwen Salakaia thigh high boots.

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