Timur Kim has recently graduated from Central Saint Martins and already started his own label. Born and raised in St.Petersburg, Kim started his career by showing his first collection at the age of 16 at St.Petersburg Fashion Week. In 2006 the talented designer moved to London to study at Central Saint Martins where he was offered a place at the prestigious MA Fashion course under Louise Wilson. Timur was praised by many for his casual yet elegant denim MA grad collection and won the esteemed Chloe award as well as the Pringle of Scotland award twice! This Friday, 14th of September, he will be showing his first collection on Vauxhall Fashion Scout catwalk as well as showcasing in both London and Paris. Timur Kim is definitely one talented CSM-designer to watch!
1Granary would like to thank Timur Kim for a fun interview and we wish him all the best!
Tell us about your new collection: your inspiration and techniques used.
I found a picture of these old eighties patchwork trousers and really liked the idea, so the picture was the starting point. We just wanted to achieve the pieces we would like to wear and continued on with the graduation denim-idea, but made it soft and elegant in a more fluent way. My CSM A/W 12 graduate collection focused on bringing sophistication, wear-ability and modernity together.
We used vintage denim and designed clothes that look new, simple, easy and bold. I was thinking about how we could mix denim and make weird mixes, it was then that I came up with the printed denim and patchwork on silk. I mixed up these prints with lace to make it all look unexpected. I like denim because of the texture. In my new collection the denim is more fluid, it’s the way I want to see it. Basically, SS13 collection is a progression of my graduate denim-based grad pieces, but more accessible.
Please tell us more about the lace prints.
The prints are based on my Russian roots; they are old vintage Russian orthodox lace prints. Russian lace is not really gentle and fragile, but it is rather stiffened and brutal…I really like that. Furthermore, I chose for the camouflage print to make it even more brutal.
What is your favourite piece from your new collection?
I really like the printed denim pieces.
What is the name for the show?
I don’t create a name for the collection; that’s outdated. It’s not about the name, but about the pieces!
Do you have a muse? What ‘kind’ of women are you designing for?
My work is not about age; it’s about attitude. Women are all different, but in mind, I think of a cool young girl who wants to be elegant. And I think my clothes can be accessible to anyone, although, this collection is more for the young girls.
What do you have in mind for your next collection, any ideas yet?
We will move away from denim. No more blue! My next collection is going to be slightly different; definitely weirder textile combinations and transformations. I had some ideas for the new collection, but I am not going to tell you!
Can you tell us about CSM? How did you get into Central Saint Martins?
I didn’t know CSM until I was 16. One of my friends from New York went to CSM, and it was her who told me about it. Also, I did some research and found it amazing to see the famous CSM alumni. Most of the talented people in the fashion industry had graduated from CSM, so then; I really wanted to go as well.
I didn’t know anything about the MA Fashion and Louise Wilson. Only when I got into the BA, I started to admire Louise Wilson and her work with students. I became fascinated with the MA graduates and their coolness and quality of work. So, from my first year in the BA I always wanted to go to the MA.
How did you get into the MA Fashion eventually?
Basically, I went to the interview with Louise Wilson on my final BA year even before I graduated. I showed her my BA collection and my work from Russia. I was able to show her that I’m able to do a collection and that I am a hard working person. Louise did not say anything about my work; she just looked at it. I got in on the same day.
What is the most important thing you learned at CSM?
There are no rules! You can do whatever you want as long as it looks good. And it does not really matter how you approach things, how you get things done. Who cares?! It just has to look beautiful in the end; no one cares what happened in the middle.
Do you keep in contact with the other MA students?
Yes, off course! We all try to stay in contact.
Did you always wanted to become a designer?
No! First, I wanted to be an architect and then, I wanted to be a doctor, then an engineer, then again, I wanted to be a doctor, and eventually a designer!!!
Are there any designers you admire?
I like New York designers, all the newcomers like Altuzarra. They have this drive, which we can’t achieve in London because we are quite stuck with the same things here. We cannot move forward from this British style that is dominating in London. The British style is quite repetitive. In NY, they’re just doing cool clothing. To me, New York is good and original. The collections in NY are cool yet wearable.
What is your future plan after this collection?
I want to get sales. It has to be commercial. We are not doing art. If I wanted to do art, I would go to study Fine Art. My work is more of a mixture between art and the commercial stuff; it should be wearable. I am doing a product. I want to dress women and not dress stands! You can’t be a designer these days without the financial background and sales. I tried to find a sugar daddy! Believe me, I tried, but they are all morons!
Was it always your dream to create your own label?
If you would have asked me this question six months ago, I would have said, “Yes, I want my own brand”, but now, it isn’t that important for me to stick my name to the pieces. It is more about feeling yourself at the right place, doing the right thing.
What is your ultimate dream?
I don’t know what I want. At the moment, I am just doing what I know. We’ll see, you never know; there is no plan!
Interviewed by Liselotte Doorduijn