Roksanda Ilincic: 'I dress women, not celebrities'
Roksanda Ilincic prefers to call the people who wear her designs "strong, independent women", not celebrities.
The designer has dressed some of the biggest names in the world, among them Britain's Duchess of Cambridge and Lady Gaga. Although seeing someone who is so well known in an item she has created is enjoyable, and obviously boosts the brand, this isn't what drives Roksanda.
"A dress needs to empower a woman; it needs to make her feel more positive," she told Hello! Fashion Monthly. "If women are not finding that in my designs, if they don't want to wear them, I wouldn't feel I was going my job right. Seeing not only my customers but also very powerful women - I wouldn't call them celebrities, but strong, independent women in different parts of the world and cultures - wearing my designs is incredibly reassuring and gives me more energy to do what I do."
Roksanda was born in Serbia but has lived in London, UK, for the last 15 years, having studied at the prestigious Central Saint Martins. This was a turning point for the designer as she got to know her teacher Louise Wilson, who pushed her to start her own label and was a massive source of inspiration. It was also Louise who helped Roksanda see that working in another area of fashion could dramatically improve her life.
"I was lucky enough to be able to do a part-time modelling job, which was bringing quite a lot of money and was another thing Louise encouraged me to do," she explained. "Success has many facets, and one of them is definitely luck. I was lucky to be able to do modelling rather than working late (in a job), because we all worked late (on our college pieces) throughout the course."
It was while she was working that the designer found another thing which would come to encapsulate her collections - a love for bright shades.
"Colour is a medium that I find very attractive," she added. "I'm not afraid of colour; I use it in a bold and intuitive way. That helped me to establish my DNA and to stand out and make people understand who I am. Colour brings me happiness. It brings a point of difference; it brings only positive things."