Talent Story – Nina Sibiratkina
My mother’s success as a fashion designer towered over my childhood, much like the huge statue in central Minsk, where I moved with my family when I was only three. I grew up in awe of her passion, diligence and commitment, knowing I wanted to emulate her achievements.
As a young girl I drew, took piano classes and fantasised about being a brooding, mysterious artist, but ultimately, I was drawn into my mother’s world. I began on a fairly traditional path, studying at college, where I qualified as an artist/designer. It was a wonderful feeling, but I came out knowing I had to dip my toes into waters unknown if I was ever to realise the unimaginable. So I followed the ghosts of Gaudi, Dali, Picasso, and moved to Barcelona.
I had always been confident in my talent – another gift from my mother – but felt humbled when I received a scholarship at Istituto Europeo di Design. It was a privilege to be chosen among so many talented young designers, and also a huge challenge, as I needed to learn Spanish in only six months before starting my course, all while working to support myself. It wasn’t easy, but I always thought of a famous quote I’d heard: “Though you can love what you do not master, you cannot master what you do not love.”
I loved what I did, no matter the challenges. Twelve hour days were not unusual, but I was happy and fulfilled. I tried out new things, but was constantly drawn back to something I loved: footwear design.
After working on a collection of avant-garde accessories, hats, bags and shoes, I was offered the chance to move to India and work with famed designer Sanchita Ajjampur. I was tempted. Traveling abroad had fuelled my mother’s success, after all. But you don’t necessarily have to leave home to go on a journey. The Dots Dash project was the perfect opportunity for me to grow as a designer, allowing me total freedom and giving me the support and belief I needed.
For me a good shoe combines personality, character and quality, unique to its time. My designs reflect the essence of modern woman: natural beauty, contemporary style, a desire for success, happiness and friendship. My shoe exudes maturity, an acceptance of the self, and the bravery to follow one’s own path.
The shoe is for women who value choice above all else, who want comfort, yet sartorial flair. I want women to walk in the shoes I and my mother have worn, with strides of confidence, passion, and self-belief.