Kostume is one of the freshest local productions
Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Kostume is an independently run fashion show that supports up-and-coming fashion designers. Lisa Mettier, Jonas Hegi and Evangelos Kleiman-Kontopoulos are the creative minds that combined their efforts to blend artistry and craftsmanship. This past November, their fourth installment showcased new talent which brought more international attention to the fashion extravaganza.
Through its talented curators, Kostume aims to establish a name in high fashion for the Zurich scene. Each show highlights the works of young talent who would otherwise have a harder time getting their feet wet in high fashion.
Developing Kostume locally was the first priority.
Local is the word that has made everything possible — without it, Kostume’s production would not be what it is today. Switzerland is known for its architecture, graphic design, and high-quality fabric production but it has not set itself up for a market within the international fashion industry. Through their shows, Kostume aims to showcase Zurich’s already established fashion scene and display to viewers worldwide that Switzerland has something different to offer to the industry.
I spoke to Evangelos over the phone and during our candid conversation, he gave me insight as to how Kostume operates.
Marc: How do you feel being a locally-run production helps to spread your message to the public? Also, do you feel as though Kostume represents the individual?
Evangelos: We try to make things known in the Zurich fashion scene to the masses, and people are starting to take notice. It is not necessarily individual since it still is a fashion show, but we are supporters of the people.
In a world where runways and models rule the stage, I believe it to be accurate of Evangelos when he said that Kostume does not necessarily represent the individual. Meaning, it is the vision of the designers showing their collections that mold the tone and meaning of the event.
Even though the designers have their own respective visions, the audience will always interpret the designs in their own way. This, in a sense, is how I feel Kostume and other productions represent the individual. To each their own.
Evangelos: We try to keep the event as low-budget as possible, no one really believes us when we say that, but we do.
Backed by various sponsorships, such as Vice Magazine and Leica, it’s no wonder that the production quality is so high despite Evangelos’ statement. It’s hard to believe, but these connections were established with hard work, a lot of preparation, and of course business-savvy. In all their skill, you should not feel distanced, but rather inspired because Lisa, Jonas, and Evangelos are truly down-to-earth people.
Evangelos: I am not a normal fashion type of guy. I do not dress up with everything up front but I like it for what it is — I also love the fabrics. Jonas and Lisa are the more creative ones, being that they both have a background in graphic design. I believe it makes them more into the look of being fashionable.
Kostume brings youth to the international scene.
Marc: What principle was Kostume founded upon?
Evangelos: It was created as a platform to support up and coming designers. We wanted to create something different by supporting unknown brands that create high-quality products. We started local and then it spread out internationally — we felt as though the fashion industry was so inundated that we aimed locally to meet the international scene.
Marc: What has changed over the years?
Evangelos: We are growing really fast. We make a lot of allies but at the same time we make a lot of enemies. The more success something has the more enemies it creates — people want to be at a point of success when they are not. You have to take risks, you can’t be stagnant. Everyone thinks building success is easy. If want to do anything successfully, you have to build something up and get people to listen to you because there are so many things happening at once.
After hearing Evangelos’ responses I could not help but feel for what he had to say — I really appreciated the honesty. Kostume has been around since 2009, starting with only local talent. Over years of hard work, they slowly received a more international spread as more connections were made. Designers from Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, France, and Tokyo have been presented across the four Kostume events, broadening their international market.
As Evangelos so aptly said, most people accumulate enemies along the way. There will always be someone right behind you, hungrier than the last. You would think Kostume would have difficulty establishing recognition within the fashion industry in such trying times, but rather the opposite took effect and now it is gaining more attention than ever.
Kostume presents an opportunity for new talent trying to make their statement in the fashion world.
Marc: What are your hopes for Kostume’s future?
Evangelos: To establish a brand that exports goods in order to help our local import-export exchange and to keep that development going globally. I like that and people should take notice to this goal. That is why we exist.
Marc: Any last words?
Evangelos: We hope all will go well and that young designers should really believe in their work. Through our organization, we can give them that chance. We fight to give them hope and support to keep believing in their work.