Can you remember when you first made an item of clothing?
My mom gave me one of her cashmere pullovers when I was about 14. I overwashed it, cut it and made it into a mini sleeveless top.
What is a childhood image of fashion burnt into your mind?
My mom's elegant silk scarves around her neck.
Can you tell me an iconic designer whose work you got very fascinated by? — What did you feel when looking at their designs?
Yohji Yamamoto. I felt very "connected" to his work
Do you think the “male gaze" is a myth?
I don’t know what that is
What was your first fashion collection?
AW 2009, it was the very first collection
What do you love most about the fashion industry?
It can really influence people in their decisions about themselves or how they can affect this world
What do you hate most about the fashion industry?
Too many products.
If you would start out now what would you be doing, how would you go about // who would you work with and where would you be aiming?
I would create a direct to consumer brand that is fully sustainable and offers a very well-thought through collection of precious timeless pieces that are available most of the time. A brand that truly connects with its customers.
Statistics show that only 3 in 10 of the Top Womenswear Fashion Brands are designed by women. Is there just no more qualified female fashion designers out there?
I think there will be more and more female top designers in near future. Times are changing. I think time will come when the majority of world rulers would be women, making considered decisions about harmony in this world.
One says it takes 10’000 hours to become a master of a craft, how long in hours/days/years did it take you to make a living?
the question is to make a living or truly master a craft. I think it is not hard just to make a living. I think it is more about: what kind of living? I am truly enjoying my journey to mastering crafting cashmere - which is never attainable as perfection does not exist. But it's important to enjoy the process.
Who is your female fashion designer icon and who is your the one to watch?
Who is your female fashion image maker icon and who is your the one to watch?
Sorry I don’t have icons in mind
What do you say about the charge that women’s fashion needs the male gaze to make it and portray it?
I never came across it. That just does not make sense. For me it is not about male or female - it is about who is making more intelligent comments and who’s stringer and more creative. It can be either female or male. It is very individual.
There is a big surge of feminism at the moment - do you think that will affect fashion design?
It might. It would be good to have women designing for women. But I also applaud great male designers.
What is your favorite piece in your collection?
OYUNA cashmere knitted coat - it does not lok like knitwear, it can carry you to a gallery opening but it is the most comfortable and versatile pieces ever. I even used it as a pillow ot travel blankets on my journeys.
How important is teamwork?
It is extremely important - without a team that is truly passionate, supportive and working toward a one common goal, there will be no results.
What was your relation to design/fashion prior to working in this industry? Has it changed?
No, it has not. I think design/beauty is so important in life. It is one of the differentiators of being a human.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you were ever given and what advice would you have wished for earlier on in your career?
The most valuable advice I was given relating to fashion, was Know who you are designing for. I would pass on the same advice.
What is your next big project or goal for your career?
Our next big project is to create a direct to consumer brand I talked about above.
Is there anything in particular you'd like to accomplish?
Making a mark on Mongolian cashmere sustainability.
How does it feel to shoot with a female photographer vs a male photographer — is there a difference, if so how?
I shot many times both with male and female photographers. And again, for me it is always individual - it is not about being male or female. Those are just our "outer casings". What's inside that outer body: mind & soul & energy - that is important.