What is “feminine” style for you?
I believe that femininity is an inner feeling and you cannot fake it by wearing a fancy dress or through plastic surgery. As for feminine style, I can honestly say that I don`t really care about its definition – in our studio we create a lot of unisex pieces that look very strong on a man and, at the same time, sexy on a woman. I always put personality there in the first place and don't like to talk much about "style".
When did your passion for fashion and design begin?
Since my teens, I had to design clothes for myself and friends because at that time it was hard to buy something cool in Kiev.
From what a designer must begin to give style to women, without giving their identity up?
As a designer, you just provide items to put towards an entire ensemble... What each individual customer styles a piece with is what makes them unique.
What are the key pieces - the real must-haves - of your collection?
Velvet sweatshirts with golden "Corruption" embroidery, monochromatic camouflage pieces, metallic dresses, silk smocks.
Who is the designer who inspires you? Who is your fashion icon?
I'm not really inspired by people, but instead the actual garment. For instance, our Spring/Summer 2014 collection was inspired by the theme of "Protection", so I took different aspects from work clothing, such as factory workers' overalls, and made them by own with beautiful tailoring.
Which is your creative method?
Usually, I begin with a theme, brainstorm, begin drawing, and then start to choose fabrics to see what works best for the different pieces I have in mind. I need to work in silence.
What was your most important mistake? The one from which you learn the most?
I've made a lot of mistakes... It'd be difficult to choose the biggest one!
What do you expect from this experience at Pitti Uomo and W?
Ksenia Schnaider is now very much established in Ukraine and we're starting to receive some great attention abroad, so we're really hoping to continue with that and grow the brand on an even larger scale, and in even more countries.
If you have not been a fashion designer, what would you have done?
I think I could work for a trend forecast bureau.