Disco Dynasty is a way of life and these original and beautiful shoes are the perfect exemple of this colorful and free mood. Let’s know better Magdalena K, the paladin of the Disco Dynasty.
“As many designers, I always knew there was no other direction, no other job than being a designer. I knew I wish to draw, design and build everything people can wear, from head to toes- from hat to shoes. Since my childhood I have been on that path, trying to find a way to do only things that I like, have fun and enjoy every second of it because I know how privileged I am to have a chance to do it.
My label came out of my need to wear clothes that I like. I grew up as an only child with globetrotter parents who dressed very nicely and dressed me with clothes I loved, every single piece of it was carefully chosen by me. During the mid 90’s it was very hard time for Yugoslavian people and as many, my childhood was affected with sudden change. I wanted to continue to dress the way I liked so I started sewing at age 11. From altering old clothes to slowly building new ones, I started earning money from sewing and selling my designs at age of 20. That is a great luck for young designer- to feel your work is appreciated enough for someone to spend money on it. Money isn’t everything but it is a physical proof that I should go on with what I’m doing without much thinking in what direction to go to.
During my education for shoe design and later costume design, I loved experimenting with borders between fashion and installation, performance and show and then at one point I wanted to focus more on fashion. I moved to NY and for several years I worked for different fashion brands, until again I needed to wear something I like and I couldn’t get, so I decided to make a capsule collection of shoes, to try to offer something fun, affordable, quality made and most important enjoy the process. In NY everyone wears black and I love color, so I wanted to play around a bit, and now it’s been 4 years now and I am enjoying this shoe business ride.”
What’s the concept of your latest collection? It is hard for me to treat each collection separately. I see it more like a wardrobe, a shoe closet and then I add with each season what I think it’s missing in it. I do present collections on trade shows but I make more of a selection and add more styles to it.
My concept hasn’t changed since I started making my own clothes and first collection, so I have this girl in mind and she is special but at the same time she is everywhere around us and she is nothing special actually. It is more of a statement and attitude than the look. I treat color and patterns equally, like a surface and that creates a very vibrant free spirit feel. I just thought of a term “Disco Dynasty” when I saw one shoe of mine yesterday and I think that’s it. My concept and forever direction has been Disco Dynasty.
What’s the hardest thing of being a young designer in the fashion world? The hardest thing of being a young designer is actually being a young designer haha, Well, everything is hard. It is hard to stay a designer when there is so much work to be done beside design. First it is very important and difficult to team up. Everyone needs at least with few people on your team who can work with you, as it is impossible to work alone. It is hard to cope with difference between speed of your ideas and speed of execution. After reading one of Rick Owen’s interview, I realized that he has pointed the most difficult thing about being a designer- the importancy of execution and timing. That is so, so hard to cope with… If you are a small brand, a little company all those chores of sourcing materials, nasty negotiating prices, invoicing, shipping are on your back, and you still need to be out there, find time and air to be creative, stay true to yourself, enjoy designing and monitor what’s going on with your product.
I saw an exhibition of Jean-Paul Gaultier in Brooklyn Museum few years ago, and to each piece it was written how many hours was spent on building the piece. When you are young, all those hours are, and need to be, on your little hands and it takes so much time to get things done. It takes time to find people to work with you, be able to pay them properly and get the wheel turning.
How does the place you live in affect your design? I always believed that you don’t need to live in inspiring large city to be creative. When everyone drinks the water from the same spring, they might come up with similar ideas. The power is in you, not the place itself. Now I am mostly spending time in my little factory, I call it shoe Laboratory, in Belgrade, Serbia. I travel a lot, take photos of architecture, nature but this is where I spend most of my time nowadays. I spend some time in Paris and I feel I haven’t left NY still, but I have opened my laboratory in March this year and I wish to spend there as much time as possible and play around.
What’s the future of fashion according to you? When I saw Hussein Chalayan robotic Spring Summer collection for SS 2007, I was so excited I cried and said this is it, the end. This is the future and from this point on, it’s just going to be “back to past and tradition”. In a way I still think so. 3d printing is a just way to treat material and I am not so impressed by it. What Chalayan did was equally beautiful, stunning and inventive. It is still the best show to me.
There are so many beautiful designs in fashion world and sometimes I ask myself why am I even doing this, for whom? But then there is a result, and there are people who love my work and buy it and there is an answer to it. I simply think that is because there is a story behind every piece that I make- a very emotional transfer of personal joy of creation. And I believe that is the future of fashion at the moment. The young power and creativity that is standing equally important on Pinterest or Instagram, next to bigger companies. Planet feels small right now, and there are so many clever, witty young designers who are doing such an amazing work. Bigger brands have been so money oriented that they have opened a whole new world to young ones. With e-commerce, concept stores, social media and Instagram especially, it became so accessible to be in touch with all that creative power out there.
What’s your next project? I am working on adding new divisions to my brand and wish to offer whole look, to offer collections that will include more bags and clothes. For some time I have been working on knits and I wish to have them ready for FW 18/19. That seems so far away but it is very close.