»Mindful design with an avant-garde spirit.«
Nika Ravnik is a talented Slovenian fashion designer. She graduated in Fashion and Textile Design from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the University of Ljubljana and later upgraded her studies at Designskolen Kolding in Denmark. Nika’s work has been presented at multiple fashion weeks and exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad. Currently, she is based in Ljubljana and works as a freelance designer, stylist and costume designer.
Describe yourself in a hashtag.
I see myself as a kind of mosaic, so the best hashtag to describe me would be #complex.
What skills do you think are important for a successful career in fashion design?
Creativity, integrity, designing for longevity and entrepreneurship.Describe your beginnings in the creative field?
Since I was little, I knew that I wanted to do something connected with clothing. My sister taught me how to sew in my teens and I made quite a few outfits for myself. It was exciting to have something unique and show off a little.
Later on, the time I spent abroad, especially in Denmark, was very important for my creative development – it was a very enjoyable period of experimenting with new ideas. My view on fashion has definitely changed since then – I have started working more conceptually. Little by litlle, I was making commission-work during my studies, but more seriously in 2009 with a little collection for a concept store in Zagreb. Compared to that period, my style has changed a lot, which to me means evolving.Describe your creative process. How do you get unstuck creatively?
So, first of all, a deadline is the pusher that makes my brain work faster: I work really good under positive pressure. Then I go in deliberate isolation for a few weeks – offline social media (as much as possible) and have no proper social life – not to get distracted and let the answers hidden in me come to the surface while listening to lots of good music.
All the rest depends on the concept of my work. Normally I find inspiration in my personal life experiences, people who have an effect on me. These stories are applied into the garment patterns in different ways, mindfully – with this I mean smart design with quality fabrics. I think it’s important to be a responsible designer. That is why besides a good design I try to follow the sustainable ethos – principles of multifunctionality, Zero-Waste technique and one-size-fits-all clothing. Sometimes it works well immediately, sometimes it doesn’t until you find out the best solution, as in life.
What is the theme of your upcoming collection?
The newest collection called Gabriela, presented at Premium Berlin, is inspired by my mother and her impeccable style when she was younger. Few of my favourite garments that I wear on a daily basis are hers from 20+ years ago and are still in perfect condition (imagine the quality).
How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
Comfortable and cool.
How would you describe your style?
Currently is very minimalist – visible in both my personal style and my designs. It changes with time though; I don’t like to be fixed on a particular style. All my collections are quite different one from another, but there is a red thread, something mine in all of them. Must have clothing item everyone should have.
A simple dress for any occasion, a good pair of pants, a great sweatshirt and your fav band’s t-shirt.
You were previously known as niOka, but have later rebranded as a whole. What were the reasons behind it?
It is just the name change; the content remained the same. There was no particular reason, I just followed my gut feeling. I worked under niOka pseudonym since my student years. As I have become more matured, I felt it was the right thing to do – to rebrand into my own name and I also like the sound of it.If you had to use one word to describe your designs, what would it be?
Authenticity. I really try to stay authentic in my designs.
Favourite fashion trend of all time?
Of all time, hm, I like the 90-ies inspired style, culottes and jumpsuits.
How do you define beauty?
Beauty to me is anything with emotional content, as Bruce Lee said it perfectly:
“Feel! It’s like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”
What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects you would like to share with us?
Well, I just got back from Big Berry art colony in Bela krajina where we were working on new fashion and product designs for Big Berry project. In beginning of July I was presenting the new SS19 collection at Premium – one of the most important trade shows in Germany during Berlin Fashion Week. There are a few more projects on the horizon, but I prefer not to reveal too much before it is done. ; )
“I’m not keen on hype, actually, I prefer to follow great artists who are not so »popular«, usually they are much more original.”
Nika, thank you very much for your time and answers. The best of luck with your career and upcoming projects!
DETAILS (first set) // MTLHRT_S, S/S2018
photography: Ada Hamza
jewellery: Neža Žehelj
model: Maja Mihelič
shoes: United Nude
location: Nina Mršnik
DETAILS (second set) // Gabriela, S/S2019
photography: Cherie Plausteiner
model: Andreja Slavič
make up & hair: Nastja Pestivšek
shoes: United Nude