Svetlana Tegin studied at the Kiev Textile Institute, after which from 1993 to 1996 she trained at the Kiev House of Models. She was lucky to catch the last "golden years", when the textile and light industry was financed almost like a defense industry - during her work she understood how a fashionable machine works and what mechanisms it cannot do without. I applied the gained experience to my own business and successfully started with a commercial collection of cashmere. Today, in addition to the Tegin Cashmere line, Svetlana produces collections of casual clothes and evening dresses, and has also opened an atelier. She remains one of the most non-public designers: she stands alone in the fashion scene and does not seek to plunge headlong into the digital world. At the same time, she does everything in her power to stop perceiving domestic fashion as “secondary”. He knows for surewhat kind of help is required from the state and gets its own. (At the time of preparing the material, it became known that from September 23 to October 1, Svetlana will present her spring-summer collection at the Mode: Moscow showroom in Paris, which is supported by the Moscow Export Center -).
- Let's start with the actual one. What are you working on now?
- Now I take part in the filming of the series as a costume designer. Unfortunately, I cannot go into details as long as everything is kept secret. But this is my first experience, and I am delighted. It all started with the fact that 3 years ago Dunya (Avdotya Smirnova - ") called me and said that she was writing a script for a film about Vertinsky's life. After some time we met, I showed the first sketches, and then there was a time of painful waiting. At some point, I even forced myself to forget about this project. Especially not to torture myself, because the idea inspired me a lot.
- Considering that everything is happening rapidly in the fashion industry, it is really hard to wait 3 years.
- For the film industry, this is a normal practice. Moreover, when we are talking not just about a series, but a real work of art. The series covers the period of Vertinsky's life from 1915 to 1957 - a large-scale project, and such projects do not start quickly.
- Whom do you dress?
- Our atelier sews costumes only for female heroines - we dress all the women of Vertinsky, the characters in the foreground. And also stage images of Vertinsky, for example, Pierrot's costume.
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- What kind of life awaits the costumes after shooting?
- I hope it's a happy one, because so much work has been invested in each costume. I understand that in the cinema they like close-ups, and if the operator has not taken off his shoes, then no one will see her. Even before starting work, I was asked to pay less attention to details, but I don't know how - in the studio we make clothes in such a way that sometimes they turn out to be even more beautiful inside than outside. Hopefully after filming is over, we can organize an exhibition. It is already clear that a lot of beautiful material is being collected.
- The show of the autumn-winter collection was also like a film. Was it the influence of filming?
- Not really. It has always been important for me that the idea, image, music - everything merged into one whole. Therefore, my screenings often resemble mini-films. This time, for example, it was based on a Japanese tale about magical creatures that live on the clouds. We translated it into Icelandic because it is fabulous in itself, and my daughter Alice read it in a whisper. When the audience entered the hall, the first thing they saw was clouds of smoke spreading across the floor, resembling clouds. And then the models - those very magical creatures who sat on high chairs. Spectators could walk around, watch them and listen to mysterious whispers. It turned out to be a real art performance.
- Are you worried about the shows?
- For me, every show is torture. On this day, my inner alarmist turns on and I think: everything would be over as soon as possible. True, now, when I talk a lot with actors and directors, I see that absolutely everyone is worried - even the most talented are worried before the release of the film. Because when you put your soul, a part of yourself, you can't help but worry.
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- There are many creative people among the fans of your brand. What do you think is the reason?
- Probably with the fact that clothes have never been just a thing for me that protects from the cold or saves from the heat. It's a way of expressing yourself. The brand attracts so many actresses, curators, gallery owners, artists, because in my clothes they can look restrained and concise, but at the same time it emphasizes their unique personalities. On the set, I was pleased to see Dunya in my coat. She sat in the director's chair and constantly repeated: "I wear it without taking off." It's nice when the actress, after going on the red carpet in my dress, says that she felt the most beautiful.
- Are there designers whose creativity you were guided by at the beginning?
- Unfortunately, I had no contemporaries from whom I could take an example. I liked those who have already made history, were not afraid to take risks and were a pioneer, such as Coco Chanel. When I started, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano appeared, bright personalities, but they both immediately got into a powerful system, and it would be strange to be guided by them. We live in Russia - here are completely different realities. They were skeptical about Russian designers and did not even want to hear about them, not that they would sell. In this sense, I feel like a pioneer, because I have been working with many well-known concept stores for over 10 years. For example, in Switzerland there is a large boutique that has been on the market for 25 years, and Tegin was their first Russian brand. This is a great merit, because the foreigners finally understoodthat the Russian brand can sew quality things and make deliveries on time.
- But now the situation has certainly changed for the better?
- I don’t like the fact that Russian fashion is still assigned the role of “klyukovka,” something very specific. What Gvasalia did is great, ironic, this kind of gateway game. It is clear that the Western world wants something different, and here it is - different. But we have a lot of designers who make intelligent fashion, and this is what I want to show the Western world. Not just shocking and 90s.
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- In one interview, you said that you started without investors. How did you manage to build a successful brand without investment?
- My dad built spacecraft. And all my childhood I watched how he easily copes with microcircuits. I still freeze when I see them - this is some kind of fantasy. And I always knew that building a successful business should be like a microchip. All components must be correctly placed, each must have its own clear function. If one contact is unsoldered, then that's it - a short circuit occurs and the system does not work. From the very beginning, I was building the system. I was lucky that right after graduation I found myself in practice at the Kiev House of Models. Then everything began to slowly fall apart, but I still found the last years of the existence of this monster. I watched how everything worked, and then I applied everything I saw in my company. After all, the principle is the same: you develop the concept of the collection, sew pilot samples,then you send them to production. Probably, the secret of my success is that I understood in time: the creation of clothes is a chain of processes, not one process.
- Suppose you figured out the system, came up with a collection, released it. But then it needs to be sold, to attract the attention of buyers.
- I was lucky because I started with cashmere and had no competitors at all. I ended up in Mongolia and fell in love with this country. Just imagine: the endless sky, the wind that blows without stopping, bare steppes and yurts. Absolute meditation and space, for some 5 days in the desert you manage to completely zero out and become a different person. After the first trip, I realized that I want to go there as often as possible and the only way to make my dream come true is to start cooperation with Mongolia. For several years I was the only manufacturer from Russia who worked directly with Mongolia. The Tegin Cashmere collection was commercial and the stores took it straight away. And it sold very well and is still selling. I've seen so many of my hats on the street! Now our long-term partnership has grown into friendship, and I still value every trip to Mongolia.
- At the same time, the collection was expensive.
- Yes, because both cashmere and its delivery are expensive. We very carefully increased the volumes, analyzed, recalculated several times so as not to be mistaken.
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- Now there is a lot of talk about government assistance to Russian designers. Personally, what would really help you?
- I'll tell you with pleasure. When I communicate with foreign colleagues, I understand that many states help at least by paying for participation in international exhibitions - these are events that help make the fashion of this or that country popular. Participation in the exhibition once every six months costs a designer at least € 15-20 thousand. But, in addition to this, it is important not only to be presented, but also to create a "noise" around all this: to come up with some events, stories to come to you as many people as possible. In addition, there must be benefits. Now the state is tightening control over supplies, imports of products, and so on. That's good, but what should a designer do? To sew a high-quality thing, he must buy fabric, and most often abroad, clear it through customs and certify it. As a result, the price of this fabric is cosmic. And if a Russian designer also decides to sew his clothes outside of Russia … Without the help of the state, our industry will be in its infancy for a long time to come.
- Where is your production located now?
- We still produce cashmere in Mongolia. Although there are factories in Russia now, the quality does not correspond to what we are used to. We sew sheepskin coats where they are historically best sewn - in Istanbul. And the production of light clothes and dresses is located here in Russia.
- Innovative materials are a clear trend. Do you work with them?
- I am constantly looking for interesting fabrics. For example, the hit of 2018 is metallized sheepskin coats. Lightweight, warm and at the same time waterproof, which is especially important in our climate. This season we experimented with rolling: we released milky sheepskin coats with a matte rolling. On some, it simulates cracked ground, a very interesting effect is obtained. At the same time, sheepskin coats still retain their waterproof properties.
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- What about universal digitalization? Are there bloggers and influencers you work with?
- We are trying to develop in this direction. But my clothes need to be touched and measured. If a client is not familiar with Tegin, he must definitely come to the store and feel the atmosphere. Usually, if they come to us and buy something, they stay with us - and this is a very pleasant pattern. Customers who know us can shop online. New York customers simply have no other options. If we talk about bloggers, then I don't work with them. Perhaps this is my oversight. But I am philosophical about everything. It is impossible to grasp the immensity, and if something is not happening now, then the forces are thrown at something else.
- You are a very private designer. Although, again, time dictates its own rules - people-brands come out on top.
- I work hard, my schedule is literally scheduled until the end of the year. It may sound trite, but for me it's more important to spend time with clients than to go to a party. I travel a lot, see factories, meet the owners. It is clear that further control is carried out by my employees, but it is important for me to be the first to meet, to see who sews my things.
- You said that your daughter helped you record audio for the show. Does she want to become a designer like you?
- She had options. Alisa graduated from the Moscow Academic Art Lyceum at the Academy of Arts, and she is a very good painter. It could not be otherwise, because all the artists are on the father's side: great-grandfather is a Suprematist, an associate of Malevich, grandfather is a Stalin Prize laureate, dad is the founder of hyperrealism, great-grandmother is a photographer who, together with Malevich, published the Supremus magazine. But the system crushed her: technically, Alice was taught to draw, but at the same time they repulsed the desire to become an artist. And she chose fashion. Because in this environment since childhood, and also because I understood: here, too, you can build your own worlds. Now she entered the academy in Vienna. The exam was taken by Hussein Chalayan, who is recruiting a small international group. There were 200 applicants, and she is one of eight who were eventually accepted. Let's see what will happen next.
- And yet, what was the start-up capital?
- My husband sold the family collection of my parents' paintings, and we invested this money in the first industrial collection of cashmere. This was my starting capital.>