Founder of Ukrainian label TTSWTRS; Anna Osmekhina is more than just a designer, she is an Eastern European artist with not only a tremendous fashion background but also a huge effect on her modern innovative vision in today's society. Anna founded TTSWTRS 7 years ago with a unique 'wearable art' approach to fashion, we indulge with Anna in a Q&A below, about her experiences being one of the most recognised labels of Ukraine.
TTSWTRS (which stands for TATTOOSWEATERS) already has 10 collections and more than 17 sales outlets in 12 countries. Each collection since 2013 has featured a combination of pieces adorned with tattoos. Anna Osmekhina works with emerging and established global tattoo artists to create the designs on the apparel. Nina Kravitz, Lena Perminova, Kourtney Kardashian, Sita Abellan, Lisa Owen, Tommy Cash, Ksenia Sobchak, Nicki Minaj and Winnie Harlow and many others wear TTSWTRS. Such magazines as Dazed, Metal Magazine and Hypebae have also written about the brand.
Anna Osmekhina founded a brand that overnight became one of the favourites not only of Ukrainian fashionistas but also around the world. Anna says “This is how I see the future. TTSWTRS created this collection to introduce the sexiest items in which you will enjoy yourself regardless of the weather, conditions or surrounding”.
Before creating the brand, Osmekhina worked for a long time as a stylist and costume designer, collaborating with celebrities for performances and for filming in music videos. As Anna herself admits, the idea to create a brand was born by accident, that's why it turned out to be so natural and unique. The secret of the brand's success lies in the fact that the designer creates clothes to their own taste - "for herself". And her style and taste are shared by millions of other fashionistas.
TTSWTRS is extraordinary for its concept of optical illusion of the naked body covered in tattoos. For its latest collection, the brand introduces an experimental range inspired by deconstructionism aesthetics. The new collection stays true to brand DNA and mixed with the interpretation of the future driven by artificial intellect.
TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY – a hypothetical moment in the future when tech development becomes unavoidable and unstoppable forcing the radical changes in the very core of human civilization. With this in mind, TTSWTRS presents its FW 2020/2021 collection and gives its own interpretation of the future driven by artificial intellect.
The soul of FW 2020/2021 is a cyborg one-piece – covering a person in a second skin and serving as a basis for the other items. The collection transfers the futuristic scenario onto the basic winter wardrobe: neon sports costume perfect for planting vegetables on Mars or a lacquer one-piece for small talk with the aliens. The collection also includes a reversible tattooed bomber with a detachable bag, parkas, lacquered biker-inspired jackets. The colours and details scream – technology: glazed and matte black, neon-green and beige contrasted with the electro schemes, USB sockets, technical description, details names and cyborg abbreviations. The quintessence of the collection is highlighted by the fluorescent reflective elements.
TTSWTRS created the items of FW 2020/2021 to mark this moment when we all fall into pixels to gather back as something else, living every single moment of 2020 and further to the fullest.
You say TTSWTRS is a creative space of like-minded ideators and designers, how is this demonstrated through your artistry?
We are now developing this trajectory as I would like to see TTSWTRS turn into a big-scale platform of such kind one day. Meanwhile, we have been supporting this idea creating clothes within the team for 7 years, gradually expanding the boundaries. Our collections are always a combination of ideas and feelings of every person in the team. For collaborations we invite not only tattoo artists, but also artists and illustrators to support different creative directions.
Where do your main influences for TTSWTRS come from?.
The main influences for TTSWTRS came from American icons. For us the most striking are Nicki Minaj and Winnie Harlow.
Describe your usual clientele?
Every one of our clients is a person who seeks to feel and express his uniqueness every day.
TTSWTRS is remarkable for its concept of optical illusion, your trademark is using tattooed textiles - is this a theme that will be seen continually from TTSWTRS?
We highly appreciate such perception of our brand and sure, we plan to permanently invite tattoo artists to collaborate.
Because of the tattooing details, TTSWTRS's style has been described as wearable art, do you agree, why?
I very much agree with this statement as we think of the human body as the canvas where the most important condition is being in the necessary density. And since everyone who chooses to decorate their body with tattoos is unique, his or her body is art itself. And it is our main inspiration.
When making your designs, what are your three biggest rules?
Follow the idea that is in my head, try not to be derivative, not to spoil the fabric and create consciously.
Other than the unique use of tattooed fabrics, how else do you distinguish individuality within your label?
Each tattoo from our bodysuit or sweatshirt already has its place on the skin of a real person. For us it’s not just a print as we imagine as if we were tattoo artists and could place a tattoo on the body. So we directly produce the “bodies we tattooed”. Inside any piece, there is a non-commercial story as if these things were for a particular movie. We love the clothing, the clothing love us and you.
You've made pieces for celebs across the scene, from Nicki Minaj to Winnie Harlow, who has been your favourite to dress & why?
I was very pleased that Nicki Minaj put on our clothes. Her stylist bought it in one of the concept stores where we are presented. It being so unexpected and amazing made it one of the most pleasant cases.
The aesthetic of TTSWTRS is street-styled, why is this?
Street style? I don’t usually think about TTSWTRS in that direction, but let it be street style. Almost always, this is my basic wardrobe for the season. I want everything and I directly know-how and with what I will combine it. So I’d say the peculiarity of TTSWTRS aesthetic is that it can be anything you want it to be.
What's the next step for TTSWTRS?
In the near future, we want to switch to our own online platform and release collections only when we have something to say, without being tied to the season and trends. Also - to switch to organically created fabrics and biodegradable packaging. And as to our offline spaces: we want to open them in our favourite cities.