Interview With Nino Sepo

Nino Sepo is a young designer born in 1989, in Tbilisi, Georgia. After her graduation at Tbilisi State Academy of Arts she starts her career as a designer. Nino was the first Georgian to be chosen as the new emerging talent with the collection "Caucasian Frame", by Vogue Italia. Her label Nino Sepo is based in Tbilisi and represents a fundamental pillar to Georgian Fashion World. Designing is a complicated process that requires skills, knowledge and especially creativity. Nino's creative vision is a harmonious collusion between traditional and unconventional. Each of her collection has a sophisticated universe shaped behind it. Few weeks ago, the designer unveiled her last collection "Trees". Visual Atelier 8 took an exclusive interview to bring you in the world of Nino Sepo.

Did you always know you wanted to be a fashion designer? Tell us about your background and what first drew you to fashion?

As far as I remember myself I wanted to be a fashion designer. Even if I don't know when exactly I began to think about it. In my childhood, I had lots of dolls and for each of them I was creating very strange garments, as I didn't like their looks.

Each of your collection has a theme and a narrative story behind it. What is the message you communicate through your latest collection "Trees"?

A few days ago, when I had already finished my "Trees" collection, suddenly I found my old interview in a Tv show where the journalist asked me: " What do you think what you were in a past life?", and my answer was a tree. I didn't remember about this during the working process. When I began to make the sketches I found the little story of Herman Hesse about Trees and it was the right message I wanted to say: "Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent".

The final results are unconventional pieces, which are elaborated and complex in nature. How you translate a concept into physical garments? What is the process like in executing them?

I try to create my collections like a story. When I start working on a collection I see it like a story with a beginning and an end. All these thoughts and feelings related to the concept, I see them as forms into materials and in colour.

Your main source of inspiration?

It is hard to say about the source of inspiration, it is coming from inside, from memories, sounds, information which you keep in mind.

Being an young and pioneer avant-garde designer, do you ever fear lack of achievement in an industry that is often too homogenous?

No, I create what I feel, that's all.

Who is your favourite designer and why?

I have many favourite designers: Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, John Galliano, Thom Browne. I like them, because they are not making only beautiful garments, they are making something different, each owns a world and they let you go look inside.

Your father, Sepo Tengiz Sepiashvili, is a well-known artist. What is the most precious advice he gave to you for your career?

He doesn't give advices at all. The best advice is the fact that everyday I am watching him loving for what I am doing and working hard. In post-soviet Georgia some years ago, to be an artist it meant you have an easy bohemian life and you don't have to work hard at all. But I see everyday how hard it is to be an artist. Researching, creating, it is really an incredibly hard and long process.

Your label Nino Sepo is based in Tbilisi. What is your opinion about the current Georgian fashion scene: What does it lack or offer better that other fashion centers?

Yes, I work and live in Tbilisi and this city is very interesting for many reasons. With its rich culture, architecture and very complex historical and political processes is a very good scene for open minded artists. Here is still so much to be said and created not only in art but also in fashion. Designers here are very talented and as fashion industry is making its first steps. Now the Georgian designers have the chance to create the precedent of Georgian Fashion, which will have its own place in the world fashion industry. Few weeks ago, here, for the first time took place Mercedez Benz Fashion Days hosted by Sofia Tchkonia. It was a great support for Georgian designers.

Do you ever feel the need of solitude in order to create? What is the perfect place that inspires you most?

Silence is all I need during the working process and the best place for me is home.

What do you enjoy do in your free time?

Family, friends and books.

Can you tell us more about your future projects?

My future project is poetry+fashion, it is all I can tell for this time.

All images, courtesy of artist: Nino Sepo

Photographers:  George Van De Kamp // Katalina Bakradze