KOPI Autumn / Winter 2015, all images by Mike Pasarella

The architect turned-fashion-designer Natalia Kopiszka finds inspiration in her childhood and the 1990s. She presented her current collection on the first day of FashionPhilosophy – Fashion Week Poland. Pastel colours combined with colourful prints on sequined jumpers and oversized coats made her graduate collection truly stand out. Natalia won the Elle Young Designer Award earlier this year and sat down with DASH at Fashion Week Poland to talk about her work.

Natalia, tell me something about yourself. Why did you decide to get into fashion?
I’m 23 years old and currently living in Warsaw. I’ve just finished my MA in fashion design at NSKPU. Before that I studied landscape architecture in Krakow. After graduating I decided to apply at fashion school, as this had always been my dream.

We’ve just seen your collection here at Poland Fashion Week. How important is for you to showcase at Fashion Week?
This is the only place in Poland where young designers can showcase their collections, and it’s very important for us to show what we do in order to gain some international exposure.

Have you ever showed your collection somewhere else?
Yes, just after graduation I showed a few pieces from my collection at Graduate Fashion Week in Krakow. I was delighted to win the Elle Young Designer Award.

Where can we buy your clothes?
Where? I don’t know (laughs). I have a few pieces in the showroom in Krakow, but I’m planning to set up an online shop and sell my clothes there.

When did you launch your brand?
Three years ago I’ve started designing jewellery under the name Kasnalka, but then I renamed it KOPI and focused more on garments.

What’s your main inspiration?
My main inspiration is my childhood and the 1990s because I was born in ‘89. I’m also inspired by my mother, oversized clothes and colourful shirts. The pony was my favourite toy so all the prints are based on ponies.

Your prints are wonderful – did you make them yourself?
No, I work with a friend, graphic designer Magda Grabowska, and we work very well together. I come up with the idea, and she produces the design. She is very talented.

Where do you source your fabrics?
For this collection I sourced everything from my hometown, because it was part of my inspiration – my childhood. Some of the fabrics I bought two years ago, and others just recently, however everything is from Poland.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Oh, that’s really far away, so I’m not sure where I see myself. I’m staying in Warsaw for a few years for sure, but then I’ll maybe move to London or Paris. For now I know that I definitely need to move forward and explore the world.

What can we expect from your upcoming collection?
I will definitely include a lot of colours again, because I think here in Poland people don’t like to wear colourful clothing, so I need to push them to change their minds.

How do you do your research and which are the channels you utilise the most? How long does it take you to produce your collection?
I started in October and my professor guided my research so everything was very school-like. I can’t really say how long I actually need to a produce collection (laughs). I don’t use any trend-forecasting sites; it’s always about my own ideas. Sometimes I research photographers I really like to see what they’re doing. I use Pinterest quite a lot and am also constantly inspired by my colleagues.

Who is your favourite designer?
I love the last Dior collection because of the colours, however my favourite designers are avant-garde ones, such as Yohji Yamamoto or Comme des Garçons.

Interview: Lea Bernetic

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