A denim talk with Ksenia Schnaider

Have you ever thought what life would be without denim?

I’m 99% sure that all those times you didn’t know how to feel at ease and be stylish at once, denim saved you. Timeless, democratic, irreplaceable, denim is a “must” since decades and like any other staple, it has been revisited in million ways.

Among all these interpretations, one has attracted me more than others. The talented Ukrainian designer Ksenia Schnaider, together with her husband Anton Schnaider , has brought denim to a higher level, using alternative processing techniques that give life to revolutionary ideas, like the DenimFur.

Since I’m always on the hunt for the unexpected, I decided to ask the designer more about her denim world.

1. What is your background?

I have studied history at the University in Kiev, then switched to costume making and didn’t graduate in the end to concentrate on my collections. I also had another brand that I had worked on before Ksenia Schnaider – X’U. Anton studied graphic design at a local college in Omsk, Russia.

We met through mutual friends, became a couple and decided to create a brand together. When we launched Ksenia Schnaider brand, Anton was also working for his design studio SILA

Ksenia and Anton in their studio

2. What was your relationship with fashion as a child?

I was born in the Soviet Union. In the 90s we had a huge shortage of everything. It was something unimaginable to the current generation, but it pushed me to create and sew my own designs. Me and my friends were always on a lookout for something new.

3. How did you start the brand?

This is my second brand. The first one was created more than 10 years ago, when I was a young girl and wanted to create something casual and wearable for other young people like me. However 5 years ago I realized I matured and wanted to go to the next level, so I created Ksenia Schnaider brand with my husband and creative partner Anton Schnaider. It is hard to say what was the motivation when we started, I think I just felt that I have to do it.

4. Denim is the heart of the brand. You created some of the most successful models like demidenims and denimfur. A revolution of the denimworld. What was the idea behind it?

I have wanted to work with denim for ages, but I hesitated and put the idea aside. Then I came up with a cut that was the beginning for Demi-Denims and made a pair of white Demi-Pants for our SS16 collection. When I saw them, I knew that I had to make the same thing, but with denim.

I wear denim a lot myself. I am a working mother, who juggles many things at the same time. Women out there will understand what I am talking about. There are days when I have a minute to get ready, actually most days are like that and that is exactly when jeans come in handy. Denim is practical and comfortable and perfect almost for any occasion (depends on styling, of course). Therefore working with denim is very natural for me, as it is a huge part of my lifestyle.

5. And it’s not only about denim, tell me more about the Customdress.

Customedress is our online constructor. Anyone can create their own thing. You can choose different lengths, collars and sleeves. The final version would be sewed in accordance to your own measurement and delivered to the chosen address.

It has been live for two years now, and we are thinking to re-edition it soon.

It will involve even more variations to cater to anyones taste.

6. What are the main news in the SS 2018 collection?

The biggest thing in SS18 is Denim Fur. It’s a cruelty-free, sustainable alternative to real fur!

To make it we use our own technology for denim fur making. The process takes about 1 week per 1 item and is mostly done by hand. Having undergone 15 separate stages, stiff denim fabric becomes as soft as the real fur.

6. How and where would you like to expand your brand?

Now Ksenia Schnaider’s clothing is sold in more than 40 stores around the world. This is our greatest achievement and I really want to keep good sales and good relationships with our partners and buyers. We are planing some big events with some of our stores (in USA and in Japan) and also we are thinking about our first show during PFW.

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