My name is Taja, I am a final year MA fashion accessories student at the Royal College of Art, just about to graduate in July 2016.
I am 24 years old and come from Slovenia. I moved to London 6 years ago to study fashion, as there is not much of a fashion industry in my home country. I first did my BA at the London College of Fashion, specialising in leather accessories. During the course of my studies, I was interning at Lara Bohinc in London and spent my placement year at Pierre Hardy in Paris. I then moved on to do my MA at the Royal College of Art, also specialising in fashion accessories. This was probably the best decision in my life: it is super exciting and stimulating. In this great brutalist building, I also discovered my passion for metal, which I linked to leatherwork to carve my design aesthetics. Combining analytical and experimental approach to design, my work is distinguished by clean lines and refined construction.
London is undoubtedly a very exciting city to live in, especially for a person in the creative industry. I find the fashion scene here very flourishing and strong. People you see on the streets are generally quite daring when it comes to their look: it is a distinctive mix of urban & sporty (a lot of trainers, of course, as you’re always rushing somewhere), trendy accents and vintage finds. I really like the fact that the women tend to invest in a designer/quality handbag that they keep and use for years (saying that, at the moment mini bags are a big hit). They are also very appreciative of their own fashion industry and it’s amazing how well the institutions such as the British Fashion Council nurture talents and support the industry (I have also won their scholarship, which I am extremely grateful for).
I found the Design-a-Bag Competition while browsing online and decided to apply with my Liquid Bag. This is a minimalistic yet bold evening clutch bag, constructed from wooden blocks and Perspex panels, all covered in leather. The lid is actually a Perspex box filled with UV liquid, which means the bag glows in the dark.
I was truly honoured to have been awarded as both category and overall winner of the competition, and my experience of travelling to Hong Kong was priceless. I really enjoyed exploring the city, the trade fair and attending the events. I have previously been to trade fairs in Italy and France, so it was interesting for me to travel to Asia. As I don’t work in production yet, I didn’t attempt to make any business-related contacts, but was impressed by the choice and quality nevertheless.
At the moment, I am finishing off my final collection and am in the process of applying for jobs. My aim is to work for a luxury brand that has a strong accessories range with huge potential still and I would love to contribute creatively to a place like that.