Little Pushkin, a new fashion brand for children from 0 to 10 years old that was born in Bangkok, discussed in Tokyo, thought and fought over in Shanghai, designed in Milan, worn and hoorayed by their little fans in Moscow. Time for an interview with Ganna Dyuzhnyuk, the CEO/Founder of Little Pushkin.
Hi, my name is Ganna Dyuzhnyuk, I am Ukrainian, was born in USSR, lived and worked in Russia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur. My husband is a citizen of Spain, born in Moscow, Russia, studied in the USA and lived in Holland. Little Pushkin, which I established together with my partners in 2015 is telling a very simple story about our childhood which unites all the people and does not have borders, age or any other limits.
Every person was a child, you and I; and now we have our own children. It does not matter where you were born; your childhood will always stay with you.
We are producing clothes for children from 0 to 10 years old; being inspired by fashion we at the same time meticulously monitor the quality and we try to bring together in what we produce the past the present and the future. Thus it is hard to say what the design of our clothes have in particular, French, Russian or American features but there’s certainly the scent of nostalgia for the past because as you all know nothing happens without a reason.
What was your background prior to starting Litte Pushkin?
Well, I have versatile experience; I might even say that I am a multifaceted person. I went in for dancing professionally, worked as a financier for a long time and then as a private event manager. I have always been crazy about perfumes and I have got more than 700 perfume scents of various brands in my collection. Little Pushkin is an absolutely new field for me but every field is all about management as we all know.
How did you develop your skills as a fashion designer?
The thing is that I am not a designer. Little Pushkin is a team of great professionals where I am the only person who does not have fashion related background, I cannot even draw. Our Designer is Antonina Sorokina, she studied in Istittuto Marangoni and besides Little Pushkin she also works for Numero 21. Our Pattern Designer is teaching in one of the best institutions in Milan. The Production Director Alena Shapovalova is my partner and she has been dealing with clothes production for more than 15 years. Elena Kupryakhina, she is also my partner and our Creative Director, she has successfully graduated from Istittuto Marangoni and has great background behind her. I am just a person who created Little Pushkin and brought together all these wonderful professionals.
At what age did you first notice fashion around you?
All I remember from my childhood is my red pants with white embroidery. Seriously, I have been always in love with clothes and we started calling it Fashion after the first Vogue Russia issue was published in 1996. I still have a full archive of Vogue Russia issues from 1996 to 2006 at my parents’ summer house.
What sort of clothes and or accessories did you enjoy wearing as a child and what did you hate wearing?
I have always hated hats. Winters in Ukraine are quite severe but I always took my hat off when my mom did not see me. It’s hard for me to recall what type of clothes I used to like, actually I liked any clothes which seemed to be pretty. Frankly speaking, sometimes even weird clothes looked nice to me, e.g. crimson glossy leggings or 25 velvet scrunchies.
Why did you decide to create Little Pushkin? And where does the name of your brand come from?
Little Pushkin appeared because of my love for children and fashion in general. When my child was born I suddenly felt affection for all the children in the world. You know, it is hard to explain but I am paying attention to every child I see. I am not insane but to tell the truth children are way better than the adults to some extent. We are still able to learn a lot from them e.g. to look at things from a different perspective or try everything ourselves. The brand name came up because my son when he was an infant had curly hairs and we used to call him at home “our Little Pushkin”, as you see, it is not really related to the famous Russian poet. It does not have any profound meaning; it’s just all about my son.
Can you tell us a bit more about your ss16 collection?
Our Designer Tonya keeps saying that I act exactly as a Designer of the serious Fashion House because I always change things at the last gasp. We have thoroughly worked at the latest collection based on the summer mood board where there were sails, Portofino and a lot of romantics and as a result we created a very nice and touchy main character but I decided to change everything at the last moment guided by the principle: we get the best and now. Thus at the end of the day our collection looks funny, a bit crazy and very bright and of course fashionable.
How does it feel to see a photo of a child wearing one of your creations?
Did you have a chance to have a look at my Facebook page? Just a couple of days ago I posted that the best about all this fuss was to see children wearing clothes created and made by you. Therefore it is worth all the efforts you put in and I think it is really awesome.
What do you love most about your job?
I do enjoy the moment when we get the first sample and especially when this sample is in line with our expectations. This is an amazing feeling. Sometimes it takes you a while to put together all bits and pieces when you create something and then you get the final product in your hands it feels like a new life has just been given birth. It happens quite often that we change our product a lot throughout all the production process. I also enjoy creating Mood Boards, this is something special for me although it is an arduous work. One can hardly believe that a good Mood Board is a half way to the success.
What is your greatest strength and what is your greatest weakness?
Flexibility is my greatest strenght and perfectionism my greatest weakness. Everything should be perfect in my opinion but the world is not ideal and that makes it is so beautiful and powerful.
Do you have children?
I have a son, he’s almost 4 years old.
Where can we find your creations?
If one of our readers is in your city, which is, for 24 hours. What things would you recommend they do?
Well, I have a dilemma what I should consider “my city” – Dnepropetrovsk where I was born, Moscow where I grew up or Bangkok where I live at the moment?
Let me tell you about Bangkok, of course 24 hours will not be sufficient to cover it and I do not feel like telling you about sights, this info is available in many travel guides. Let’s do the following, we will just walk around the city because it will be the best way to get a feel for this city and try delicious food in the meantime. Let me just name a couple of places which I and my friends tried many many times.
The best place for walking is the Sukhumvit street, a vibrant street rich in of-the-minute shopping, eating and nightlife, then you should visit Thonglor district which represents hipster Thailand – relaxed and fashionable. You need to visit three places to get a feel for gastronomic Bangkok: Thai restaurant Naham, famous and original Eat me which unlike many other places is open from 3 p.m. until the last customer leaves and legendary Gaggan where they serve reconceptualized Indian cuisine which you will hardly try anywhere else. If time permits it is worth visiting “The Siam” for a coffee or a massage. It’s located next to the river which is relatively far from the downtown and it’s hard to get there especially when the traffic is bad but it’s a really nice place. At night I recommend the bar Above 11. Please book the seats in advance.