The successful Czech designer Zuzana Kubíčková is no newcomer to the world of fashion. She regularly presents her collections at the Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week, and stars such as Miss World Tatiana Gregor Brzobohatá, actress Jana Plodková or film producer Olga Menzelová wear her divine models. Singer Conchita Wurst donned her jumpsuit at the final evening of Eurovision 2019, and during this year's Superstar, new mother Monika Bagárová appeared in several of her gorgeous models. LP-Life.cz visited Zuzana Kubíčková in her studio to find out how‘s life been treating fashion designers in the difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic, how her preparations for this year's MBPFW, which has already been postponed twice, are going, and what dreams and plans this talented designer has for the future.
How has life been treating fashion designers in the time of coronavirus?
Like most professions that are built on personal contact with the customer. The change was rapid and noticeable from the beginning. Because we create models mainly for social events, most orders have been postponed. At the beginning of the quarantine, we were working on a new Ready-to-wear collection in the studio, which was to be presented at the MBPFW in March. We used the unexpected free time to complete it and expand it a little with Couture models, i.e. models that are exclusively tailor-made.
But you did feel a drop in demand?
Yes, it was obvious that most people had to deal with different problems and circumstances than new models for their wardrobe. Fortunately, the situation has calmed down and we are now slowly returning to our usual working pace.
They say one needs to look for something good in everything bad. What do you think this pandemic could bring us?
It's time to think about what's really important in life, that‘s something we‘ve all been hearing and reading pretty much everywhere. I believe that in some respects, words will turn into actions. As far as my field is concerned, I would like the general approach to clothing, which is considered as disposable consumer goods, to change at least a little. People should realize that there is no need to hoard things, and give priority to quality and local or European production instead.
Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week has already been postponed twice due to coronavirus, and now the date is set for September. Are you already preparing for it?
I, too, was forced to think about how we‘ll be operating in the future by his global situation. My models aren‘t sold in a boutique, but in a studio in Vinohrady, Prague. That‘s also where the workshop is and we are a small team of people. Each piece of clothing we make is created for a specific person, everything is based on personal contact, individual approach. That means we don't work in the same way like big fashion houses or chains. This year I decided to focus on personal contact, where I can devote a lot of time to each of my clients and present our new models individually, I will skip the MBPFW in September.
How much has the fact that you won‘t participate in the fashion week affected you financially?
The show was canceled a week before the day it should have taken place, but I still have financial obligations associated with it that I have to meet. March, April and May were weaker months, which was also due to the fact that we devoted all our energy and time to the preparation of the new collection and, of course, to quarantine and curfews. Today I can say that the individual presentation of the collection is a pleasant change that has proven to be a step in the right direction.
But you do plan to return to MBPFW in the coming years?
Yes, I'm looking forward to the spring edition of MBPFW. The way I see it, we have more time to prepare for the show.
What about you and world fashion weeks?
Participation in foreign shows and events only makes sense if you pursue it continuously and adjust your entire strategy, it‘s not good for me yet.
But never say never…
That's right, we'll see what the future holds, I like surprises.
In recent weeks, we could see your models on TV screens, where Monika Bagárová was wearing them in SuperStar. How did this cooperation come about?
Stylist Filip Vaňek, who dresses all the stars in Superstar, approached me in the autumn of last year and we arranged everything in advance. Since Monica's belly was growing, we had keep working on the models and try them on two days before the filming, so that everything would be as it should.
Monika is a beautiful woman who tends to look great no matter what she‘s wearing. But if you had to pick one of your models that was a particularly good fit for her, which one would it be?
I think she looked great in all of them, each model was created for a different setting. I‘d like to choose two models, if you don‘t mind. A black tulle top with small glittering stones, the material comes from my favorite manufacturer from Italy, with whom I‘ve been cooperating for a long time. I like glitter and this particular model is ideal for an evening occasion. The second model is a body coloured dress with a stand-up collar made of shiny transparent knit with lurex thread. (Both of these models can be found in the gallery at the end of the interview, editor's note.)
What would you like to achieve in life, what‘s your highest goal?
I have no specific goal in mind. For the longer term, I am working on performing the best possible craft, staying true to my vision, and making certain that wearing my fashion gives women a feeling of joy, that they find themselves beautiful. I like the way the studio operates and I would like us to be able to work in a slightly larger team in the future. However, the work should still based on personal contact with customers, I definitely don‘t dream of a giant business.
What are you most proud of in your life?
Proud is not the word I would choose. However, I am grateful to have listened to my intuition and decided to pursue an education and later a profession that fulfills me every day. I like to create, I like to listen to my customers and discuss things with them, I like to come up with new models for them, I like to see them satisfied with my clothes… Every day when I open the door to the studio, I feel happy. And that's huge for me.
Is there anyone in particular you would like to dress?
I want to dress all women! Of course, it‘s not within my capabilities, so I‘m saying this with exaggeration, but what I mean is that I would like to dress all women who enjoy my creations and find their way to me. Each individual meeting is an experience for me. We create a wardrobe according to the woman‘s personality, needs, style… it is always different and always exciting.
And what about, say, the Oscars? Wouldn't you like to see your model on anyone particular there either?
That‘s a difficult question. Each time I watch a movie, I take interest in someone else, so I‘d need at least thirty people. Can I make a list?
You can! But before you start, tell me what advice would you give to beginning designers?
I feel that everyone has to find their way, with or without advice… If you know that designing and sewing clothes is what you want to do in life (which probably applies generally to any other job), I‘d say it‘s important to realize why you want it and keep up with it no matter what. Keep reminding yourself of your reason why and pursuing your goal. A lot of things can lead you astray or distract you (competition, criticism, the difficulty of the task,…), but if you are clear about what you want and follow it conscientiously and diligently, it will usually work out. Satisfaction from one's own goal is also a form of satisfaction...
Do you think this is the aspect that has helped you succeed?
Probably yes. Knowing what I want and why I want it gives me the courage to make decisions and be bolder. And that‘s important. If you don't want to be left behind, you shouln‘t be afraid to take risks every now and then.
What will you do when the pandemic is over and you‘ll be able to drop the face mask completely and go wherever you want, whenever you want?
I'm afraid that when the pandemic is over and if everything returns back to normal, I‘ll stay right here. (laughs) When the quarantine began, paradoxically, the wish that I‘ve had for the last few years – that is having at least two weeks off – finally came true. And I was quite content. But when it comes to traveling, I‘d be happy if I could go to the Tatras in Slovakia, to Italy, or Paris, which is my favorite destination, that would be enough for me. Such small realistic goals, that could work out…