Unlike others – Laila Uiska

Today we’re not just talking about bags or shoes but these are real handmade artwork. Wearing them means being original and unique like them.


“I live in a very beautiful place. Perhaps it’s not the biggest fashion center in the world, it’s not even a big city, but it’s a very idyllic place in the countryside of Latvia. It’s a place where you can entirely feel the rhythm of the nature. It’s photogenic in all seasons. However, it also has its harshness – the beautiful and gorgeous autumn turns into dirty and black mud and large puddles in just a few hours. Suddenly it seems like you are unable to get out of the house with clean shoes, so sometimes you prefer to stay home. I couldn’t find a proper rain proof boots that matched my inner nature, nothing matched Me. Then I just bought the simplest rubber boots (rain boots) and created an art work – I painted them and revived the femininity that was washed away with all the ugly rain. That’s when I actually started to love rain. This is where I stopped and got an idea to create something for women. I wanted to make women feel beautiful and to go out even if it was raining and the roads were muddy. Women understood and fell in love with this idea.

Previously I had painted cars, motorcycles and helmets with an aerograph. I thought: “Why create such beauty only for men? I need to pamper women and create something beautiful for them as well.” There’s always a need for a change in life, so at some point I wanted to expand my horizons, test my abilities on a wider scale, get off of these rain “puddles” and create an exclusive product that would make a woman feel special. The idea of unique painted wooden purses and shoes crystallized.”

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What’s the concept of your latest collection? Nowadays, at least in Latvia, people rarely visit exhibition halls! I wanted the art, which has been very close to my heart since my childhood, to appear and be able to bloom on a daily basis: on the street, in the office, on the red carpet, in every most important moments in human life’s. So that everyone could be a preacher of art work and also an observer. Isn’t that good that you can see beautiful all around and inspire the world? With my latest collection I portrayed the essence of a woman – we can be as wild as a tiger and at the same time very fine, delicate and gentle just as a freshly bloomed flower, but our love and soul’s beauty are so airy, free and light, it is depicted in the airy feathers.

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What kind of mood do you try to represent? I believe that a woman is an art work herself. She can have so much flavors and moods. She can be gentle and shy, uncontrollable and wild. She brings joy, at some point it can be sadness or love, but for somebody she can serve as an inspiration. All these features appear in my collection. This is the way I want to deliver to women the message and to encourage them to dare to be themselves and be proud of it.

I mean look around, sometimes it seems that we are someone’s clone – the same hairstyles, same make-up tricks, same outfits – the mass society, a boring and homogeneous group of people. Women need to dare to be themselves – if you feel that you are a little crazy, then be one. Show your interesting nature, because you are the star, not an embodied cloned image, which is clichéed in the media.

That’s why I create fashion item as a unique art work, with each person I work individually, so there are no two identical products. We are all special and I want to create a qualitative product that is appropriate for each person – purse, briefcase or shoes that is only for you and for no one else.

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How do you choose your materials and how do you work with them? I like everything that is natural. Wood is a natural material, just like leather. Therefore, purses and shoe heels are made of wood, but wallets and the rest of the shoe are made from high quality leather. All of the products are handmade. First, all parts of the product are individually prepared and then assembled together. It’s handmade work that helps the product to last longer. It’s not mechanically damaged.

To make a beautiful painting, the surface is specially prepared in advance. I paint with an aerograph. It’s a very careful and delicate work that requires a great deal of concentration. It’s not possible to paint a painting before and then inflate it as a template, because color transitions are essential, just like the floating movements of hands are essential. The painting created by aerograph technique cannot be imitated by a brush or any other technique.

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What’s the future of fashion according to you? I very much hope that the situation will improve. On the one hand, it’s clear that mass production will always exist, but it seems that people are increasingly starting to aim for something more individual and personalized.

I don’t like to see worried faces on a daily basis, that’s why I want to delight women. If a smile will appear on women’s face and she’ll feel special while she’s wearing my art work, then every painted stripe will be worth it.

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What’s your next project? Everything is in God’s hands. I have lot of ideas, I just have to carry them out. Sometimes I get up at night and write down or draw an idea. Thoughts about work come to me at the most unimaginable moments. I don’t want to create mass production, I want to create each work a unique one. I want to experience every painted line while creating an art work that will later be chosen by one special woman.

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