NEON RABBIT-fun, shiny, golden or black vegan backpacks!
Clothes and accessories. Such beautiful tools which allow us to express ourselves. Putting on clothes, mixing them together in all sorts of juxtapositions is one of our every day rituals. I am always interested in people who create fashion. Because buying and wearing is one thing, but imagining and creating it’s an entirely different kind of flying. I had a chat with Irina, fashion designer and owner of NEON RABBIT, fashion brand from Slovenia.
What is the difference between clothes or accessories and what we call fashion nawadays?
Nowadays people have a problem with the term. They act like it’s a bad word or something. The term fashion is always used in a broader sense when it comes to a certain popular style. It’s the prevailing style or more of them in a certain period of time. And it can be many things, not just clothing. Think about the fashion of the 1970s. Hippies, mod and punk rock subcultures were in a process of transformation of thought and among other things (like music) they also expressed themselves with fashion…the way we dress is always conected with the way we think, the way we are.
I am not a purse or a handbag-type-of-girl. They make me feel serious and I am not a serious-type-of-girl eather. That’s why I love high-end fashionable backpacks. I say high-end because they are high quality. I love making cool stuff for young and hip people. It reminds me to live in the moment, to live in the now.
You do not use leather. Why is that?
Fabric production has come a long way. We live in the 21st cenury and we have all sorts of fabulous fabric at our disposle. I see no reason whatsoever to be using animal skin anymore. Yeah, it’s nice to wear a leather jacket, but when it comes to handbags or backpacks there are more disadvantages than advantages to the material. Anyway even if it would have been the other way arround I would still prefer to work with something synthetic than live…well dead actually.
You also donate to an animal shelter?
Yes of course! With every NEON RABBIT item sold we donate to an animal shelter. When I say “we” I mean my customer and me. I think it’s something symbolic in that gesture, donating together. We have to give back a little. It’s quite simple really, you choose what you love to do and out of that feeling always comes empathy and care.
You have a degree in textile and clothing engineering so why design accessories and not clothing?
I started my brand with a clothing collection and continued to do so for a couple of years. But then, to tell you the truth, I hade a “design block”. Something like a writers block I guess. Just couldn’t get anything out of me. Sure I could have made a couple of pieces and put them out there in different colours. But that is not artistry in clothing then, it’s just bullshit. I need to feel the collection, breathe it and live it. So I took a one season break, gathered my thoughts and came back with a backpack collection. And I love it! And who knows, next year I might be designing shoes or jewlery. I like to keep my options open and just go with the flow.
What is it like being a fashion designer in Slovenia?
Ah, we could do a whole interview just around that question. So I’ll make it short and sweet, difficult. But I love it, you have to love it if you want to stay in the creative business. It takes a lot of persistence. Actually it takes all of you.
All backpacks are available for you on NEON RABBIT web page.