One of the talented fashion designers at The Rocks Pop Up Project is Magdalena Duma who brings together European style with the Australian lifestyle in her smart casual womens wear designs.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Magdalena to find out what inspires her, how she started her business and how she is finding being part of the Pop Up Project.
What inspires you to create?
As with most artists and designers, inspiration comes from all angles. But if I were to recall what was the first initial thing that prompted me to design clothing it would have to be growing up with a grandfather whom I was very close to and who was a tailor.
Fabrics, machines, people being fitted surrounded me from an early age and I started to mimic him as soon as I was old enough to hold a needle. My grandmother was also crafty and taught me how to hand embroider, something I still enjoy today but don't get to do as much.
What do you love about the medium in which you work?
What I love about clothing is the way something makes people feel. I have a huge love for fabric and the way it folds, falls and evokes feelings of luxury. It gives me great pleasure when I see someone try one of my pieces and right away they stand different or they feel excited.
Many artists and designers express themselves in different areas. Do you create and design in other fields?
If someone said to me that they are a designer or a creative person but only in one field I would tell them that they are kidding themselves. No way can you be creative in only one thing. Creativity affects ones whole existence. From the clothes we wear to the foods we eat and the homes we create, they are all expressions of one self.
Some of us are better than others in certain things, me I love to paint, interior design, work with leather; be it making shoes, bags or jewellery, and cook, although I would not qualify for Masterchef.
What do you hope to achieve from being part of The Rocks Pop Up Project?
I participated in the Rocks Pop Up Project because I love the area of the Rocks and I want Sydney-siders to enjoy it as much as the tourists. It is such an inspirational place and I think the initiative to bring the creatives of Sydney there is fantastic. I personally also hope to expose my label to new customers.
Are you holding special events or shows at the Pop Up during the project?
Yes, we just had our first VIP night and I am planning to launch my Spring/Summer 2011 collection to the public there.
Are you self employed through your creative endeavours?
Yes I am and loving every minute of it!
Did you work for someone else before working for yourself? What made you make the change?
After fashion Collage I worked in the industry for almost two years, had a break to travel through Europe and on my return I established my first label together with my family.
After six years of operating we found out that my mum had cancer and so we decided to focus on her health and close the business. As I was her full time carer I could not work but I could not stop the creativity and so I began to make a few things for the markets.
The label was so successful at the markets that I had to open up my first solo retail store in Newtown. So one might say that I have almost always worked for myself.
How do you find working in a collaborative environment after working in a home studio?
I think it has it's ups and downs. The ups are that there are other like minded creative types to bounce ideas of of. The downs are that it takes longer to get things organised to fit with peoples busy schedules.
What would be your top tips you have for others considering exploring their own creative endeavours?
I just have one tip; if you are considering to make a living out of it be prepared to work very very hard and to wear many hats.
Finding Out More
Want to know more about the Pop Up Project at The Rocks through their blog?
Be part of the Fashion Stylist Bloggers competition featuring Magdalena Duma fashion designs and vote for your favourite fashion stylist!