11.28.2012

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH KONSTANTIN KOFTA

If there's one accessories designer that I'm currently obsessing (and dying to wear), then, it would be Konstantin Kofta. Indeed, I'm very thrilled to introduce to my readers this brilliant up-and-coming accessories and footwear designer whose breathtakingly beautiful creations have recently generated mass appreciation in the underground fashion circles.

Before I go on with the interview. Here's a brief anecdote of my personal encounter with the mysterious designer. Last Paris Fashion Week, I spotted this intriguing young man dressed in a monochromatic ensemble, sporting the coolest utilitarian leather backpack (check) and the most enchanting leather pendant (double check), outside the Boris Bidjan Saberi show. I couldn't help myself from oggling at his interesting accessories. I even took photos of him not knowing who he was (How could I, right?). And believe me I'm not the easiest person to please when it comes to accessories since I hardly wear accessories myself. Not even a million of the tackiest studs and sequins can catch my attention. Enough said.
Anyway, I eventually found out all about him through my lovely Ukrainian friend Inna who happens to be from Kiev as well. I fondly recall her sporting this very interesting processed leather clutch that looks like from another era during one of our meet-ups in Copenhagen last summer. And of course, since I have a penchant for anything eccentric and unique I excitedly interrogated her about it. And then eventually found out it was by Kofta Accessories. In fact, it was a birthday present from the talented Ukrainian designer. He personally handcrafted it for her. It doesn't get any more special than that, huh? I immediately looked him up on Facebook and realized that we're already Facebook friends. After some deep (senior moment) contemplation, I suddenly remembered our brief random conversations via Facebook before (the power of social media, indeed!). So, that was sort of our six-degrees of separation. 

Enough of the segue. And on with my exclusive interview with the very talented Konstantin Kofta whose work is worthy of an exhibition at the Reina Sofia in Madrid or at the Tate Modern in London. And yes I'm a huge fan! I will definitely save up for my first to-die-for Kofta masterpiece! 

1. Kindly tell us about your latest collection entitled "BORN" and the inspiration behind it. 
Imagine water as the solemn foundation of our existence in our world ever so in turmoil. Touched by perennial elements, our water dries up and consequently deforms and destroys the ground, leaving behind patches of eradicated and polyhedral soil. Yet, with the death of one surface, others are born, allowing water to give meaning and energy to our continuous lifecycle. It is in this infinity of life, where I found my inspiration for this collection. 
2. How do you come up with concepts or ideas for your collection every season? Is there a science behind it? 
Ideally it is not that scientific, but more research-based, conducted whilst traveling and observing. The Ukrainian land has lots of hidden places, those one would need to feel and experience, in order to fully understand them. At any moment, the spare time I have from working in the studio is dedicated for exploring formerly unknown places. The more I see, the more I discover myself and my surroundings, which makes me feel connected to the world. 
3. Where do you find inspiration for your collections? 
This is a melange of imagery, containing raw thoughts, tameless animals, deep forests, abandoned buildings and ancient architecture. Henceforth, I may dabble in mystics and various sacred dimensions that I'm going through, abreast with untold stories and human faith. 
4. Which is more important for you-the process or the final product? 
The end product is a consequence of an art process so it's really important to work in harmony with yourself and your individual feelings. If one will find and experience even the faintest hint of a thin enjoyment and pure satisfaction during the process, it is likely that with such devotion, the results will turn out to be marvelous! 
5. You often work with leather. When did your fascination with leather began? 
In a way, the material itself leads me to work with it. The untold secrets of its properties kindle my desire to discover more and more. 
6. Your pieces exude certain characters when you look at it closely. Can you briefly describe the idea behind this? 
Regarding objects I feel inspired by all works filled with roughness and a sense of humane incompleteness. For me, there is a thin aesthetic feeling of existence or maybe even an overlap between form and minute characteristics. 

7. Has living in Ukraine influenced your work as a designer? 
Absolutely, all environments and surroundings in turmoil have its meaning. I live in the countryside, which deeply connects me with a lot of elements which I could be missing in a urban area or town. The deep woods around here are most inspirational. 
8. You have recently collaborated with Obscur. Can you briefly describe the experience? Are there any other designers out there you would love to work with one day? 
Obscur. We travel on the same side of the sun. A lot of joy, knowledge and experimentations have been shared between us. And those are always most welcome. 
And regarding the second question: I let the universe surprise me so I will be grateful to work with any person if our paths would cross organically. 

9. What sets Kofta apart from all the other brands out there manufacturing leatherware? 
I only use materials, processed by me. I don't use leather as I bought it. Everything is meticulously treated, crafted and morphed into the shaped and texture I am striving for. As a result, all pieces are unique. 
10. Are there any accessories in your closet you cannot live without? 
As I am a deeply religious and spiritual person I have lots of things to guide and protect me.
 Special thanks to Marlo Saalmink for making this insightful interview possible. 
And a big shout-out to Konstantin Kofta. Please continue inspiring us with your work!