With three and a half million inhabitants, Lithuania is the most populous of the three Baltic nations, which all declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 with the advent of glasnost and perestroika. Since then, Lithuania has developed into a modern European state. In October 2015 the government announced that design would be promoted as a key force for innovation as part of the strategy within the national culture policy. In this year’s Land of Design issue we examine not only Lithuania’s eventful history, but also its current state of design including its designers. Here, we present a selection of Lithuanian designers from different disciplines. You can find 16 more in form 264.
Age: 28 years
Education: fashion design, Vilnius College of Design
Fields of work: clothes and jewellery design
Partners: Blind Boutique in Vilnius, local stylists
Inspiration: nature, music, people, deep conversations
In your opinion, what is special about Lithuanian design?
Lithuania is a small country, which has been occupied in the past. People used to live poorly and could barely make ends meet, which is still stuck in the minds today. Now that we have freedom it seems that people, who have experienced poverty are competing to show who owns and can do more. In fashion, this mentality distances us from my beloved minimalism due to the need to show off fake luxury. An important question is: how can fashion designers, who see beauty differently, survive? I think that is why looking at opportunities abroad is very important.
Of course I am not saying that Lithuanians are not stylish. There are plenty of stylish, beautiful people – especially the youth that is becoming more globalised.
What characterises your work?
I believe, my designs are minimalistic, but I often hear people say that you need courage to wear them. This helps me to understand that my clothes are not minimalistic in a boring way and that the wearer is noticed. I see the beauty in clean, minimalistic, pure clothes with a strong character. Beauty for me is uncluttered, but also unforgettable. It’s not an easy task I have set myself, but I adore this work, especially when I succeed in creating new collections or visions. When I start creating I feel euphoric. In my opinion, the most important thing is staying true to oneself and not trying to please someone else.
I design for an independent, strong woman, who does not need to expose her breasts or bottom to be noticed. I believe, that a woman who loves and respects herself will never present herself like an object.
I choose natural fabrics with wool, cotton, and linen taking the centre stage, and natural real colours instead of synthetics. I try to stay as close to nature as possible.
Which influences are shaping your working methods and style?
My own thoughts, my inner being, has the biggest influence on my designs. Only thorough work on myself can lead to a bright collection. If you let dark thoughts take over, they influence your surroundings and the collection. That is why I try to find happiness in small things.
Even though I live in Lithuania, I believe my designs are not for Lithuanians, but for all people who do not care about others’ opinions.
Where do your customers come from?
I will never forget my first customer, who found me on Etsy. She was the well-known French blogger Coline, and after she shared a picture of my jacket on her blog, I received lots of emails from French ladies. This happened at a time when I thought I was stuck and would never succeed. As a consequence most of my customers were French for a while. Now most of the clothes and jewellery are sent to the US. The customers find me on Etsy. I have never done any marketing and my own website is being developed as we speak.
How important are local materials to you?
Truth to be told, most of my materials are sourced abroad.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
My dreams are very big. I’m afraid to call them plans, that might be too courageous at the moment. But I do work hard, try my best, and live to make my dreams come true.