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Interview with Kriss Soonik: Erasing the Boundaries Between Lingerie and Ready-to-Wear

Kriss Soonik

I’d like to rehash the idea of our today’s guest and say that a modern girl, like a superhero, daily handles plethora of tasks and affairs, changes her roles and, as they say, sometimes leaves no stone unturned.

A tender and pretty nymph in a heartbeat turns into a tough courageous Amazon, just to become someone else in a moment.

What is the lingerie for today’s Jill of all trades, and, what is more important, who creates this lingerie?

We’ve interviewed Kriss, the founder of the famous Kriss Soonik lingerie and loungewear brand.
Her models reconcile femininity and naughtiness, comfort and grand style. They literally add wings to those who is not scared of flying.

kriss_soonik_office

Kriss, please tell us a bit about yourself and about your decision to become lingerie designer.

I started designing womenswear in high school after helping my best friend at a fashion competition. Lingerie came to me by accident after a couple of years. I guess I was looking for my identity and stumbled upon lingerie.

What is your brand conception?

From the very beginning the collections have been a mix of lingerie and ready to wear. It´s not just about bras and knickers, it´s about tops, bodysuits, gowns that you can wear as layering pieces.

Kriss Soonik lingerie

Kriss Soonik lingerie

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Where should one study to become a popular lingerie designer?

I have never studied fashion or lingerie design. Everything has come through testing, testing, testing.

Could you tell us about your work experience in lingerie industry before your own brand creation? What did that experience give you / teach you?

After graduating from London College of Fashion I worked at 2 luxury lingerie companies in London – Madame V and Agent Provocateur. I learnt that to run a successful brand you have to build it step by step. Slowly and steadily.

People are not apt to start their own business during a crisis in economics, though I believe that’s a perfect time to take all possible chances. And you’ve proved my point of view by your personal example! Did you think at that moment that you were running a risk, or were you absolutely sanguine of success?

For me the global timing didn´t matter. I was ready inside. After years of preparing myself, I knew the time was right. Looking back, of course, it seemed like a great time to start but I don´t think you can plan it too much.

What tasks turned out to be most unexpected or interesting during your business establishment?

Everything takes a lot of time. I am an impatient person and I have had to learn to relax and enjoy the ride. It´s a journey not a race from A to B.

kriss soonik cover

How did the brand logo appear? It there a reference to catwoman in it?

Not really. The logo is even older than my brand. It´s from the days when I was designing womenswear. I didn´t like my name on all clothes, so I needed a symbol. Cat described the collections really well – wearable every day yet with a hint of glamour. Sexy yet comfortable.

Where does the wings idea, that is the common thread for all the collections, come from?

It was in one of the older collections and women really loved the wings, so it has sort of become our “trademark” now running from season to season.

Kriss Soonik

Kriss Soonik

What is your vision of your perfect working day?

To cross out everything on my to do list :)

Where do you find new ideas and inspiration for your collections?

Travelling is a great source of inspiration. I love both big cities and countryside equally. Also chatting to interesting people always puts inspirational juices flowing.

What’s the process of a collection creation?

I think the below says it very well ;)

creative proc

Every season starts with a big excitement that you can do anything and then gradually I become more realistic up to a point where I think there is nothing new in the collection and it´s all very bad. But then it´s usually almost deadline time and I will pull myself together and get through it. In the end on the photoshoot day I am happy with the results. Otherwise I would postpone the shoot.

Kriss Soonik work process 1

Kriss Soonik work process 2

I’ve read in your blog that you were playing a DJ set in Cannabis boutique in Tokyo during your  “Sakura” collection presentation. Could you please tell us about your addiction to music and DJing? How did it appear and what tracks do you like?

Ha ha ha :) This was my second time DJ-ing and I hope it´s not the last. I really wanted to become a DJ when I was about 13-14 years old but my dad only bought me one turntable not two, so I couldn´t practice.

I love all sorts of music, some of my all time favourites include Earth, Wind & Fire, Fleetwood Mac, Jamiroquai, Daft Punk & Lykke Li.

Kriss Soonik

Another question I’m eager to ask is about your unique approach to fashion shows. How is magic created?

My background is marketing, so I love organising events and fashion shows! I believe it´s part of the brand´s DNA. Unfortunately due to lack of time, we can´t host that many of them but for example last year when we had our 5th anniversary we hosted events and fashion shows in 5 different cities throughout the year – New York, Tallinn, Tokyo, Paris and London. It was tiring but fun!

Kriss Soonik

London 5th Anniversary Party

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Tallin Fashion Show

Fashion shows are big productions – a lot of hard work for a max 10 minute result. Therefore our shows are never just about girls walking on the catwalk presenting the latest collections. We want it to be an experience for the viewers. We want them to get positive emotions to take back home with them. Showing lingerie on stage is sexy enough, so usually our mission is to push people to think beyond the fact that girls are wearing underwear and make them laugh.

Last year we sent the girls on stage wearing 7 Dwarfs masks – balancing beauty, femininity and fun.

Whatgoesintofashionshow_surprise

And we always put together an inspiration board before the show to get everyone involved on the same wavelength, and to make sure hair, make-up and styling teams are working with the same vision in mind.

Which item of all your collections is your favorite and most significant for you, and which one – for Kriss Soonik customers?

I think me and our customers agree on this – the Kristel Turtleneck Suspender Top. I live in it all of Autumn, Winter and Spring. It´s one of our best-sellers and a very unique piece.

What are your plans for the nearest future?

We are spending a lot of time now in Japan and I would love to expand in other countries in Asia.

What advice, if you only could, would you give to yourself at the outset of your career?

Things always seem easier on the outside than they are inside. Relax and enjoy the ride!

kriss-soonik.com