To get the readers started, Radka, Anna, tell us how you got into fashion industry? How you decided to work together? Is there any story behind it?
We have known each other since high school, however, we started working together much later, in 2005. Then, having been given the impulse from a friend of ours, we founded CHATTY as a study project and we designed our pilot collection and organised our first show. The response was quite positive and so we started transforming the trial experiment into a fashion brand. Two yeas ago we opened our own showroom in the centre of Prague and this year we presented our collection on the international fair PREMIUM in Berlin and at the same time on the Berlin fashion week.
How do you feel being a fashion designer?
Well, and how do you feel being a journalist, a photographer or a dancer? You don’t choose this profession, the profession chooses you.
It is a job like any other. If you want to do it well and fairly, it requires great effort and plenty of time. At the same time you always have to search for new inspiration, you need to be in the centre of things and be in the picture.
What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along becoming a designer?
There are many different obstacles – as in any other profession. We have been building our firm via the trial-and-error procedure, so we actually had to overcome quite many obstacles. Regarding fashion business, in the Czech Republic it is a bit more complicated than anywhere else. Designers present themselves with their collections that are at that given time also meant for sale. Anywhere else in the world collections are designed one year in advance so that they could be introduced in the market and offered to traders, etc. In case that a Czech designer wants to keep up the pace with the rest of the world and present his/ her works according to the common practice, it is very complicated. Especially because the suppliers of fabrics or traders are not tuned up to it. In the Czech Republic it is also common that concept story with domestic fashion designers want to trade with goods that are so called on commission. Common practice around the world is that the trader purchases the goods from the fashion designer and thus he/ she overtakes the responsibility for the sale.
Tell us more about your collections and how do you creating them?
We have been working together for quite a long time so we have already worked through to a key according to which we design all our collections. We look for inspiration anywhere – the truth is that we have no idea where will the inspiration come from. It can come when driving a car, during the dinner or reading a book, simply from anywhere.
If we agree on the theme we slowly start putting the new collection together. We set up the essential silhouettes that will be characteristic of the whole collection, we define the colour scale, in which we are going to design the individual models and finally we create a list of fits in such a way so that they would work in the whole outfits and at the same time could be combined.
Then comes the selection of fabrics and finally the actual design of the individual models. It is common that during the process of creating a collection we modify everything – we add new proposals of fits, replace the materials, etc. At the same time we are working also on the actual presentation for the show and are planning the campaigns.
What is behind of Chatty brand. How the name appeared?
As we have mentioned already – CHATTY were founded as a student project nine years ago. We were three then. We lead a passionate discussion over our name. It is interesting that neither of us two, from the current team, did not agree with the name actually. It was not a very good choice then as the name brings us into many awkward or comical situations. When we worked on the rebranding two years ago, we considered changing the brand name, however, eventually we decided that CHATTY are so interconnected with us that it would be a shame to change it.
What do you think about fashion nowadays. How would you describe fashion in Czech Republic?
This has much to do with the previous question about obstacles. Unfortunately fashion business in our country does not work at all. Just now we have experienced a situation that is typical of our market.
We have now created a collection for the season spring/ summer 2015 that we introduced on the fashion week in Berlin and immediately after that the Czech concept story started to address us that in case that we have something left from Berlin they would be happy to enlist it on sale. Nobody cared that the collection is meant for the upcoming season. In our country it is the common practice that the designers take the collection directly from the catwalk and sell it, however, abroad nobody is interested in the actual collection – they want to see the collection one year in advance so that they could choose pieces that they want to sell. Moreover, models that are presented on the catwalk should never be traded in classical shops, they should stay in showrooms, should be available for stylists etc. – one should sell only new unused fits.
How do you think people who buys brand like Dior, Prada, Versace etc. are fashionable and have a good taste or they buy it because these brands are famous?
We cannot really say that people who buy goods from well-established brand do this because they don’t have a good taste. Everybody has different reasons for that – for some it is a matter of prestige, other trust the well-established label, someone really only has the money but isn’t in the picture. Nevertheless, we really think that small brands, for which one of the main priorities is well mastered craft, are able to compete with the big labels. Big labels of course have greater possibilities regarding production processes, the order system is also much simpler, smaller brands, however, are much more flexible and thanks to that they have greater space for experimenting. Luckily, the current trade shows, that people look for smaller, less known brands, because they want something unique, exceptional.
What kind of people buy your clothes?
Our client is hardly classifiable. The age range starts somewhere at around 25, however the upper limit is difficult to guess. Regarding the tailored-made jeans, our clients are students, mothers with children, managers as well as celebrities…Each one of them has specific requirements which we try to meet according to our best knowledge. As far as the season collection is concerned, we have two lines, CHATTY and CHATTY denim – in the first line we present everything from typical casual wear to cocktail dresses and evening wear, in the second one we offer outfits even for men. Recently we founded a new line, CHATTY exclusive, in which we present very complicated tailored-made dresses meant for very special occasions.
Do you think you are fashionable? Describe your fashion style
Fashionable? Well, we guess rather not. Both of us of course try to dress representatively and pieces from our collection prevail in our wardrobes. We keep an eye on the trends of course, however, we are both fans of causal wear.
We have pretty much similar styles – we prefer especially jeans + shirts and comfortable shoes. One of us is more sporty, wardrobe of the other one includes even more rock pieces.
Did you cooperate with other designers or participate in any creative projects?
Yes, we co-operate even with other designers. On our new collection spring/ summer 2015 we worked for example with a jeweler designer Markéta Dlouhá Márová, who creates the brand Antipearle. In our opinion it was a lucky connection – her jewellery perfectly fine-tuned our collection.
We also take part in other creative projects, however, it is very important for us to know who is staying behind that particular project and with what intention is he/ she working on it.
Contact CHATTY| Fashion Brand
Showroom: Haštalská 757/21
110 000, Prague 1