Olga Nikich, textile designer
I met Olga after having discovered her precious scarves at the Carré Russe showroom. I loved her scarves but also the sketches and drawings that are part of her creative process and that have been exhibited because they are beautiful and colorful. I was intrigued in her creative process and that is what lead me to try and understand what was actually her job : textile designer. If you are also wondering about it, read below and follow through with this other post and that one too !
What is your background ?
When I was a child, I liked to draw very much and I wanted to be an artist. Then I studied at the Moscow Technology Institute Decorative Arts and Crafts faculty. I chose a specialization on interior textile and graduated in 1995.
It was a very complicated time so I worked as a graphic designer. What brought me into scarves in 2011 is the square frame that forces creativity.
Do you consider yourself as an artist or craft woman ?
I am a designer. I think that “artist” is too much for me. Yet I think I tend to be like one. First because I don’t work as a fashion designer: I don’t do a collection every season. I make my projects too rare. It takes too much time to produce one design from A to Z. I spend a lot of time on research. I want to bring a personal touch to every project.
Second because I had several shows in London. The gallery is dedicated to textile drawings, fashion illustrators and designers: Dior, Balenciaga, and me.
What is your brand identity ?
I was always keen on Russian avant garde, thats why I started to create some kind of new propaganda compositions. With my scarves, I want to combine old Russian flower patterns (pavloposadkie shawls) with avant garde visual elements, and twist it with nowadays fashion influences.
Do you feel that you have a responsibility as a designer ?
Of course. As a designer, I can bring ideas to people. Maybe they will ask themselves: what is this scarf about? Propaganda textile is okay for me as long as we update the message and make it interesting.
When I work, the message has to be clear. In Russia, we are keen on meaning. We are a literature country, because of great authors but also because we did not have many visual keys during the Soviet time, except propaganda. We learnt everything from books, just from texts. This is why we focus on the meaning. My scarves are very literary. I can describe it with many many words. Behind my visions is a story, otherwise I can’t do it.
The whole creative process : the green energy project.