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Fans of Seinfeld probably recall that classic moment when George Costanza frantically screamed, “Vandelay! Vandelay! Say Vandelay Industries!” Although George concocted this company as part of an unemployment scheme, it inspired the creation of an actual business. As a huge Seinfeld fan myself, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of this company’s existence. Whereas the fictitious Vandelay Industries manufactured latex, the real-life enterprise, spelled Vandal-A Industries, specializes in street wear fashion. With an impressive catalog and high-profile clients, Vandal-A isn’t just a punchline—it’s real, and it’s spectacular.
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Whether it’s a book, a movie or a television series, every once in a while you come across those two important characters that seem to drive the plot to the end. For some unbeknownst reason to you, the two characters have so much chemistry together that the story would obviously fall apart if one was without the other. With characters in a fictional story, as well as us humans in reality, opposites attract. This can be easily portrayed by Carly Cushnie, a fashion designer with an international intelligence, and Michelle Ochs, her partner in crime with an American sense of style. With Cushnie, it’s hard to talk about her fashion line without mentioning her teammate, and vice versa. The two business partners are indeed opposites, and they rely on each other to bring their conjoined style to the table. And it’s not just the style of the fabrics they create, but it’s also the determination that they carry with themselves that bring forth new ideas and arts to the world.
Most children’s parents display their best artwork on the refrigerator or in their office. For Kira Plastinina, her father took his pride in her work a little bit farther. At just fourteen years old, Kira’s father, Sergei Plastinina, made her artwork into her own self-titled fashion line, Kira Plastinina. Although he had no experience in fashion, he studied the fashion industry and discovered that being current and having a newsworthy edge is what makes a person thrive. Kira has proven to be both.
Who isn’t interested in how a fourteen-year-old becomes a business owner and designer? Or how she became an international sensation within a year. Kira proved that she wasn’t just a gimmick. Sergei launched his daughter’s line in March 2007 with an independant fashion show, and opened their first store in Evropeisky shopping mall in Moscow. That same year, she won Breakthrough Designer of the Year from Glamour magazine’s Russian syndicate. The following year, her international debut in Rome landed her the title of “most talented and young designer” at the Alta Roma Alta Moda show during Milan Fashion Week. She continued to appear at shows around the world and now eight years later, with two separate fashion lines, and over 300 stores internationally, the designer has shown that she has more than an extremely supportive father. Her designs have garnered the attention of celebrities such as Paris Hilton, who attended the debut of her Spring 2008 collection during Moscow Fashion Week. Other noteworthy fans include Nicole Richie, model Georgia May Jagger, Britney Spears, and American super model Karlie Kloss. She also released a limited edition collection for Lindsay Lohan in 2011.
One of the things that makes her clothing line so popular is the very thing that started it all, Kira. From the beginning, the young designer did not put anything out that she wasn’t comfortable wearing herself. Her design team is relatively small, consisting of her and her assistant designer. After every design is finished she tries them on herself to see how she feels about them and how they fit. Her goal is to make clothes that exemplify the lifestyle of girls just like herself: girls “jet setting all over the world, always busy, living interesting lives.” Jet Setting is not only a part of Kira’s lifestyle, it is also where she gains inspiration for her work. Having traveled in parts of Nigeria and northern Africa, her Spring 2010 Lublu collection, “Dreams about Africa,” combined African motifs with rock style. In 2014 she traveled to Brazil to gain inspiration for a future fashion line.
Across both of Kira’s clothing lines are evidence that she puts her life into her designs. Kira Plastinina, what she calls her “fast fashion” line, is playful with a hint of flirtation. Floral prints dominate, paired with natural but vibrant colors. One dress from the summer 2015 collection has a tailored to fit top ending at a natural waist. From there, it flares out all the way to the floor. In a pale pink, this piece exemplifies the style of the collection. The colors and lines are truly girly. Unlike other brands, there is a sense of innocence in the line that avoids cuts or fabrics that are too revealing. Kira has also tried to steer clear of anything “too adult.” The line is specifically geared towards the younger generation of fashionistas that Kira herself belongs to. However, she has always had a more sophisticated side.
Lublu, which means “I love” in Russian, was launched one year after her “fast fashion” line as a higher end collection that could exhibit the more refined side of Kira’s designs. According to lublukp.com, the line “celebrates the independent spirit of today’s dynamic female.” For her pre-fall 2014/15 collection, Kira imagined that the women she was designing for were from a mystical garden paradise, but were living busy lives in the big city. With these colorful images in mind, she creates styles that are cutting edge, yet still fun and full of intrigue. Kira manages to blend these creative, high-fashion qualities with clothes that are everyday comfortable, and wearable. Of the collection, one deep blue, printed frock stands out, paired with a thick overcoat with a matching blue interior liner, a black outer shell and gold buttons. The skirt, just a little longer than the overcoat, has just a slight flare to highlight the fitted waist. While Lublu is more mature in its style, it is still distinctly feminine. Also, included in this collection are some things that Kira feels that she designs the best: cocktail dresses and evening gowns.
As Kira has come of age in the fashion world, she has not slowed down on her dreams. A new store featuring her Lublu line is recently opened in Dallas, Texas, which is close to where she is working on her MBA. While she is completing her degree at Southern Methodist University, her company’s headquarters are in Moscow. So, still spends a lot of time “jet setting” back and forth between the two, and to other places around the world to gain inspiration. At twenty-two, Kira Plastinina still embodies the dynamic, stylish women that she designs for. Her father may have boosted her start, but Kira has proven that she has the imagination and dedication to produce fashions that are truly unique.
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Fashion can be an extension of who you are as a person. Beyond the trends and styles, you’ll find that clothes symbolize your identity, personal values, culture, and even national heritage. Fashion designer Pola Thomson, for example, emblazons her creations with virtuosity and enlightenment. Ever since she was a child growing up in Santiago, Chile, Thomson’s had a creative urge. At twelve years old, she requested a sewing machine and discovered her muse in fashion design. Now as an award-winning designer, she is sharing her talents with the world via refined wardrobe designs and jewelry.
“My work is like Michael Jackson’s glitter glove,” the 20 year old designer told La Confidential Magazine, a […]