Conversation With Domantas Smaizys
It is the time of Fashion week in Copenhagen again, and we are happy to support our friend Domantas Smaizys, whose name you will probably hear more and more.
Domantas graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts this year. After winning in January the biggest fashion design contest in the Baltic States “Mados infekcija” (the Fashion Infection) for his highly personal collection “A Memoir”, he was invited to take part in the 1st International Young Designers Contest in Kiev, Ukraine. He is presenting his graduate menswear collection during Copenhagen Fashion Week.
We met Domantas just after his trip to Kiev and asked a few questions:
Q: How long have you been in Copenhagen and where are you from?
A: I was born and raised in Lithuania and I have been in Copenhagen for 6 years.
Q: You presented your collection during Kiev fashion week last month. What were your Impressions about the fashion scene in Ukraine?
I just came back so I am still very overwhelmed by everything. I went for a competition for Eastern Europe country winners of national design competitions. Kiev wants to be a centre for Eastern Europe Fashion so they held a showcase in order to attract young designers.
Q: How was the street fashion?
A: Because we were there only for 4 days and it was very busy with preparations and going to restaurants, I didn’t really have time to spend more time in the city. I was lucky that I have a few friends in Kiev so one of them took me out one night to show me the nightlife scene and I was very impressed. I was shocked at how big the city is and how beautiful everything was. It was nice to see a lot of young people out enjoying the nightlife. There was a large variety of many different cultures and everyone was very expressive in terms of their fashion. I was definitely surprised by this because going to Kiev I did not have many expectations.
Q: What is your creative inspiration, from your culture in Lithuania to your fashion design here?
A: I think a lot of times when I work in fashion design I look back to Lithuania or my childhood events and how that influenced my personality, and I want to bring both subjects into fashion. Gender blending, discovering masculinity and celebrating individuality, which you wouldn’t have seen in Lithuania back then, but now we are more able to celebrate each individuals.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your collection for fashion week?
A: Again, its about individuality and looking back into my childhood events, and also bringing those memories and its a very poetic story of who I am. I am trying to show that through the visual narrative, and just telling the story of my growth and celebrating it.
Q: When is your show?
A: I will be participating in 3 shows during fashion week. The first one is on the 7th and it is the designer nest show. The next is the Future of Fashion show which will be held on the 8th. It is a graduation show for students from the Royal Academy and Kolding university. The last show is the exhibition called fan out which will be held in the Meatpacking district. It is a collaborative exhibition showcasing already established fashion designers as well as 6 students from the Royal Academy which were selected to participate in the showcase.
Q: Where do you primarily buy your fabrics?
A: In Paris. Because of my background in sustainability, all my fabrics are industry leftovers. I search for the companies which have a lot of leftovers and I buy those because the price is good and the sustainability aspect is important to me
Q: Now lets talk about Copenhagen, what do you love most about Copenhagen?
A: The best part of Copenhagen is being able to meet a bunch of people from all over the world through work and school. Copenhagen is a hub for internationals, and meeting everyone is extremely exciting.
Q: What was one of the biggest challenges being here for you? Or maybe still is?
A: There are always little challenges that you get through and then new challenges arrive. The first challenge when moving here was how to survive in Copenhagen in terms of finding work, life and figuring out the language. The second biggest challenge was getting into the academy, and once I was there the next challenge was to excel in the program. Finding yourself and finding your signature is also another challenge I have encountered.
Q: Do you see yourself staying in Copenhagen?
A: I am very open to everything
and it mostly depends on where I find a job.