Nana Gotti, the designer who allows women to feel sexy and elegant
Turkish by blood but raised in Switzerland, Nana Gotti has created an elegant womenswear line that allows women to feel confident and strong, while still being sexy. Having done a summer course at Parsons in New York and then receiving a Scholarship to study Womenswear Design at Instituto Marangoni in London, Nana knew a career in fashion was destined for her. Today we asked Nana 10 questions about how the Nana Gotti brand came to be and the advice she would give to young designers today.
What is a typical Nana Gotti girl?
A typical Nana Gotti girl is powerful and fiercy. She knows what she wants and is not afraid to express it. My collection is very bold and daring, you need to have the audacity to wear the clothes. A Nana Gotti girl does not care what people say about her, she just wears it.
Where do you see your brand going in the next 5-10 years?
I definitely want to extend my brand and add a shoe collection to Nana Gotti. I am obsessed with feather heels. When I came back to Zurich after my studies, I needed to earn money so I started working at Jimmy Choo and got inspired to also sell shoes and handbags in my collection alongside clothes.
How was working at Jimmy Choo?
Very hectic. I was working as a sales associate and one time as Paris Hilton came to our store in Zurich. She came in wearing her sunglasses and was on the phone and didn't have a lot of time so we had to present all of our collections to her very quickly. Unfortunately our storeroom was up on the 5th floor. That was my kinda cardio.
Your designs are very glamorous and evening style. What attracts you to designing more formal wear as opposed to casual?
I set up my own label after I was pregnant. As I had just finished breastfeeding, I wanted to feel myself again and self-confident. So I created an evening style collection to feel fearless. I was also listening to a lot of disco music and was inspired by artists such as Cher and Kylie Minogue and that is how my Spring Summer Collection '17, A Night At Studio54 came about.
What's your favorite piece of your collection right now and why?
Definitely the grey outfit with the high collar and high waisted skirt (see below). I like it because although the high collar makes it look quite masculine, the high waisted skirt adds a feminine touch.
Where do you find inspiration for your collections? Has your multicultural background from living in Turkey, Switzerland and the UK influenced yours style?
Definitely. In Switzerland, people's fashion style is more sleek and casual, and in the UK your fashion style can be a lot more crazy and you have much more freedom in what you can wear. If in Switzerland you would wear yellow pants, everyone would stare at you! And then you have Turkey, where the fashion style is very different, very oriental with embroideries, beadings and handcraft. So for my next collection I plan to incorporate more of my Turkish heritage by using such things.
What advice would you give to aspiring students regarding the first steps to starting a label?
Don't hurry to start your own label! It will come in time. I would recommend students to pursue internships in the different sectors of fashion such as wholesale, PR and development first before setting up their own brand.
If you could have anyone wear your clothes (i.e. a celebrity), who would you want to wear it and why?
It would be either Angelina Jolie or JLO because they are both self-made power women.
When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in fashion design?
I did not know the profession of Fashion Design existed when I was younger. In Switzerland they only teach you 'classic' professions such as a hair stylist or police officer. So when I was older, around 17, I found out about the degree of Fashion Design and instantly knew this suited my ambitions! So I worked for 3 years to earn enough money for university and then when I was 20 I got a scholarship to study at Marangoni in London.
A lot of fashion students struggle because although they are creatively very talented, they lack the 'business' sense. Would you say that your experience in wholesale and PR has helped you understand this side better?
I would definitely tell people to get experience by working for someone else. Just get a job, any kind of job. This experience is priceless and you don't learn that at school. Ever since I was 13 years old I have been working and know how to earn money. When I see a talented fashion student who only studied but never learned the practical skills by working for someone else, I do not think they can be successful. You need this background to grasp the business side of fashion which includes customer care, paying employee loans, etc. and you don't learn this in class. At the end its all about 80% business and 20% creativity.