Buro 24/7 Exclusive Interview: Natasha Zinko
What drives the London-based Russian designer?
Before the days of her eponymous boutique in London's elegant Mayfair district, Russian designer Natasha Zinko graduated with a BA Honours degree in Jewellery Design from the prestigious Central St. Martins. And, rather surprisingly prior to that, had said goodbye to a career in law for a life following her creative dreams.
Natasha's foray into jewellery design stemmed from her brilliant attention to detail. She has a passion for small, fine objects and her talent flourishes in hand-made pieces. Well known amongst fashion circles for her one-of-a-kind pieces, she carefully researches the needs of her clients and several models are made in a private studio before the final outcome. Zinko only uses the finest stones and materials sourced from trade fairs such as Basel – and from her many trips around the world.
With a distinct play on symbols, icons like skulls and skeletons, crosses, angel wings, cobwebs, hearts, and the evil eye are seen reworked in gold and precious stones, entirely hand-made in Zinko's workshop in London. Drawing inspiration from the "buzz and every-changing London landscape" that she now calls home, she has recently made a move into designing ready-to-wear garments too. Buro 24/7 finds out more...
You studied law prior to attending Central St. Martins, how did the change of direction come about?
I was tired of the continuous routine in life and decided I need some change. I didn't know what exactly, and then I read an article about London University of Arts and St. Martins. Since I always wanted to do something artistic I just thought 'why not?'
How do you separate your attention when it comes to designing jewellery compared to RTW? And do you have a preference?
I believe I am a jewellery designer due to my educational background. I was drawn into fashion as it is more about my feelings and intuition, and it expresses my own experiences.
Your pieces are certainly influenced by your time in London, but do you draw inspiration from your Russian heritage at all?
For sure I do. It is naturally part of me and always tangled in my train of thought when I design.
What do you think of the market in the Middle East?
I like that women chose always interesting pieces. They like the details and love looks that embrace femininity. It's really one of the most attractive markets for me and very compatible with my style.
Proving yourself as a truly international brand, you recently took part in the Mercedes Benz Fashion Days in Kiev, too...
Mercedes Benz fashion Days in Kiev has become a tradition – as I am originally from the Ukraine – and home for me is one of the things I value most in life. It is nice to feel the support and I'm very proud to see that every year the event grows.
Your label has been worn by many high profile names, are there any in particular that embody the brand?
A few of the people that do so are Vanessa Williams, Katia Mukhina as well as the lovely Miroslava Duma. They all help the brands identity shine through their beauty and confidence.
What do you think of as your career highlight so far?
Every experience and every project I complete with success is the current highlight in my career. I let my brand evolve gradually. And raising awareness of the brand is what always makes me feel proud and worthy of my hard work.
Who do you particularly respect within the fashion industry?
I admire hard working motivated people in the industry that know how to set trends and are always aware of the fashion evolution.
Do you have a favourite collection or item from your recent work?
Every new collection is like my new baby. Currently working on my AW14/15 collection, which I believe, is for now my favourite.
What does the future hold for Natasha Zinko?
We are a boutique brand but constantly growing. I already have an international clientele, however also always looking for more sales opportunities worldwide.
Natasha Zinko is based at 46 Maddox Street, London