After having collected significant experience among fashion giants such as Christian Dior, Givenchy or Prêt-à-Porter (among others), Paris-based designer, Zorana Janjic, launched her own label ZORANA JANJIC in 2014.
With a clear vision of what the contemporary woman is looking for, this young house has already been featured in big publications such as VOGUE magazine, won a grant by the Austrian Ministry for Education in 2013, the Mediterranean Fashion Prize 2014, and has been invited to Skopje Design Week 2014, just to name a few of Zorana’s recognitions.
Last year the Vancouver Fashion Week organization asked Zorana Janjic to showcase her designs for the Spring/Summer 2016 season. The show was an undeniable success, once again proving her unique talent to unify elegance, style and comfort.
In her own words, ‘ZORANA JANJIC has been created for women, who have strong understanding of themselves as well as the society they live in, who are highly active and in constant motion, but do not want to make any compromise in regards of aesthetics and style‘.
Celia Fernandez: As a Paris-based fashion designer, why did you decide to showcase your creations at Vancouver Fashion Week?
Zorana Janjic: It was, in fact, the VFW organization’s initiative as they kindly invited me to showcase my collection in Vancouver within their program ‘New and Emerging International Talent’. I was naturally very honoured and happy to accept this invitation and decided to go for the adventure. I was also very excited that I got an opportunity to show my work in Canada and got to create a lot of new connections.
C.F.: How do you see the Canadian fashion industry VS. Europe?
Z.J.: I would say that the main difference is that Canada has an extremely strong streetwear scene, while European designers tend to be more well known for their high-end fashion.
C.F.: It’s been only 2 years since you officially launched ZORANA JANJIC. However, big publications such as VOGUE or GLAMOUR magazine have already featured your designs in their pages. What differentiates you from other brand and fashion designers?
Z.J.: It is true that my brand has been launched relatively recently, but before the actual launch, there were years of learning and collecting experiences in fashion, art and business. I also took enough time to develop the signature style of the brand and define, from the very beginning, what this is going to represent and project.
C.F.: What important learnings you got from your experience working at renowned parisian Haute Couture houses such as Christian Dior or Givenchy?
Z.J.: I worked in different departments in different houses, which I think was very fortunate for the development of my own professional skills and the general understanding of the fashion industry. I went through production ateliers, design studios, showrooms and even a public relations office. Each experience was of a priceless value and today when I develop my own company, I very often have flashback of how things were done in other houses and companies, where I had an opportunity to gain experiences.
C.F.: Specially in your Summer 2016, your pieces project a unisex vibe which is a big trend within the fashion industry. Do you think it’s time to definitely break the boundaries of what’s meant to be worn by men and what should be worn only by women? Are we in the middle of a ‘gender neutral fashion revolution’?
Z.J.: We are, there is no doubt to that. And it’s a great thing. I hope we will be able to make even more progress in this matter quite soon. Maybe, for instance, one day we will only have Fashion Weeks that are completely gender neutral instead of gender specific Fashion Weeks.
C.F.: How would you define the contemporary woman that you design for?
Z.J.: She or he (as we mentioned earlier) is a contemporary Venus. She is also probably a quite active person with a busy schedule, so sometimes she wants to wear something during the day that can also be worn in the evening. Most importantly, she wants to feel comfortable and powerful.
C.F.: Is this woman more into fashion trends or timeless pieces that she can wear 5-10 years from now?
Z.J.: I think that she is both. Timeless pieces’s value is that they are timeless, but there is definitely a value to fashion trends, too. And that is that for a certain period, they give you the sensation of fresh air and excitement that you don’t necessarily get from timeless pieces. Their second value is that after that sensation fades away, you have an item that represents a spirit and mood of a certain moment of our time that you lived in. But to conclude, I hope that our clients will be able to find both timeless as well as trend pieces in our collections.
C.F.: Do you look up to any fashion designer in order to get inspired? Do you have references at all that have motivated to start your own fashion label?
Z.J.: There are many designers whose work I find excellent, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to get inspired by other designer’s work, because there is a high risk of getting lost and losing your authenticity. On the other hand, I absolutely support in copying the business models and their recipes for success.
I was definitely inspired by stories of numerous designers and their houses, especially the iconic ones. I intended to found my own fashion house from a quite early age and at the time the most prominent and successful designers were Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianni Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren. They were the ones who inspired me to pursue this career.
C.F.: What piece of clothe you would never wear?
Z.J.: Haven’t found it yet.