ZDDZ

ZDDZ

Dasha Selyanova

Can you introduce yourself to the readers of Dull ?
my name is Dasha Selyanova and I am 31. I was born and raised in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. I lived in Moscow for 7 years and then moved to London where I have been based for the past 5 years. I live in Dalston in East London, and my studio is in Seven Sisters. Several ZDDZ collaborators are based in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg and our production team is in Serbia. I travel quite a bit and divide my time up between each place. I enjoy it that way.
I met you in June in Paris, during the men’s Spring-Summer 2017 fashion week. Did you attend any shows, presentations, showrooms or parties?
I go to my friend’s presentations when I travel. In our case, we met at the ‘The Incorporated’ presentation and they are cool guys, we get on well. And yes I love going to parties, although I don't go out too much while I'm in Paris. A normal night out in any club in Dalston tends to be more fun than any of the parties in Paris during Fashion Week.
Right before Paris Men’s Fashion Week, you unveiled with nine other labels a capsule collection designed for the WOW project, curated by Highsnobiety and part of the WHITE Milano trade show. Can you explain to us what White On Web is, how did they approach you and how did the presentation go?
We were each selected by Highsnobiety to participate in the White showroom. We just received an email with the news and the brief for the project with Luisa Via Roma. Then we had to design and produce a custom piece for them and take the new collection to Milan. It was fun; the space was great with white walls and high ceilings and a lot of air. It was very busy, and we made a lot of good contacts with local stores, stylists and designers. All in all it was a very productive experience.
Now let’s talk about ZDDZ! What do these letters mean?
ZDDZ stands for ZoyaDashaDashaZoya. Zoya is my friend and ex business partner –— we started the label together back in 2012 but went our separate ways after the first collection. We're still very good friends.
The ZDDZ Fall-Winter 2016 collection is named « Synthetic Overture » and inspired by two personal breakups. Just like a singer, you turn heartaches into art!
I guess I do! What I do through ZDDZ is very therapeutic for me. Most of the time after a break-up you are left feeling angry and I just thought ok let’s make some use out of it and try and channel it into my work. It made me think about how some people become lame and disabled in terms of communication and expressing their feelings and thoughts properly, that's how all my AW17 slo-gans came about. And by the way, talking about break-ups both of the guys that inspired me to make that collection also contributed to it.
I do this comparison because you stated in an interview with Hunger Magazine that « fashion has the power to affect people » and, just like singers with their songs, « [you] use [your] label as a tool to convey [your] message across. » Do you think fashion can have or has the same reach as music?
I think music has been and always will be number one in the way it can affect someone and in terms of the reach it has. Then maybe movies and fashion are tied at number two. So answering your question, I think fashion will never be as powerful as music in that sense but it does have the power to make people think and to question certain things they probably took for granted. I definitely enjoy using it as a medium to have a conversation with a large number of people, and like to see how it affects them, even though it’s not purely what I am doing it for. I definitely enjoy the social side to it. I am interested in people and feel like ZDDZ is my ongoing personal social re-search tool.
"If you're not smart you will let your iPhone affect you in a negative way but if you are a smart person, you will use it in a way that will help you grow." [ZDDZ]
« UNAVAILABLE » and the error code « 404 » are two of the prints of « Synthetic Overture », deploring an unfortunate change in human relationships. Should we blame technology or ourselves and the way we use it?
Technology not only reveals who you are but also affects you. If you're not smart you will let your iPhone affect you in a negative way but if you are a smart person, you will use it in a way that will help you grow. In terms of relationships, it’s controversial — on the one hand I have tons of friends around the world and social media helps me to keep in touch with them which brings me joy obvi-ously. On the other hand, this synthetic connection lacks physicality; we tend to spend less time to-gether in real time and we think everything (including people) can be delivered to us in a blink of an eye, and that's sad. Also, we are creating digital versions of ourselves, with Facebook and Instagram profiles, and I'm not sure if that's healthy. Prefabricated self-constructed identities don’t leave much room for spontaneity; and photos, witty statuses and self-descriptions are mostly created with a us-er’s network of ‘friends’ in mind.
There is a great article my Serbian friend Mina made me read when we talked about this which is called ‘Self-Presentation and gender on MySpace.’ It's absolutely brilliant and on point and has opened my eyes to what’s really happening with all this social media stuff and why humans and es-pecially teens get so hooked on it. We are rarely integrated as individuals nowadays and that is my main concern about the abuse of technology.
Very few people I talk to on an everyday basis are fully present in the conversation. Most of them compulsively check their device(s) constantly and I am guilty myself but it doesn’t mean I approve of the situation. I just want to be more present. Ok, this has got too serious now… just be aware, that’s all!
The ZDDZ Spring-Summer 2016 collection also conveyed a message, this time about depression and anxiety, and was once again motivated by your own experience. Did you find your lane by designing according to what you go through?
Yes, absolutely. If it’s not real, I don’t want to do it. I am very eager for realness in my life in gen-eral, and I care about authentic relationships with people. I want to be present. I was so absent when I was using drugs that it's now made me appreciate the real world both around me and inside me even more.
I started listening to myself more, learning about my feelings and wanting to talk about it. My brand has become an extension of me in that sense.
Lately, we have been witnessing a real Russian and East-european fashion takeover. What do you think of your fellow designers and up-and-coming brands? How are you perceived back in Mos-cow, Saint-Petersburg, and Russia as a whole?
The Russian wave was kind of expected in fashion but still very sudden in the sense that it became too big too fast. I remember talking about it with my tutor Clare Lopeman at the BHSAD (the Brit-ish Higher School of Art and Design). We had a Belgian wave, a Japanese wave etc, so it makes sense that now we are seeing the first generation of young Russians post the collapse of the Soviet Union who are really expressing themselves.
It makes sense that these people could offer something fresh, something less pretty or decorated, something brutal and interesting. It's great but I don’t think It will last. Change is the only constant thing in fashion.
It seems like the media portrays East-European designers like a group of people with the exact same experience and aesthetics. Do you relate to a Gosha Rubchinskiy or a Demna Gvasalia?
It’s a tricky question. I can identify with them and at the same time I am doing something different. Some things we look at are on the same wave length but then we have totally different backgrounds and the reasons we are doing this are probably slightly different too. But I don’t know. This ques-tion is difficult for me to answer.
You moved to London to pursue your fashion education once your initial interest in Graphics and Visual Communication dropped, and still works there. How different is it from your ho-metown of Saint-Petersburg?
Saint-Petersburg different from London in many ways. But something is still very similar for me in these two cities — there is a lot of culture, they are both very pretty but grimey at the same time, and there is a sinister undertone of dark history in both cities; something you can feel. To me, Saint-Petersburg and London are more similar as far as energy is concerned, than visually. Of course, London is more dynamic; it’s bigger, it’s richer, it’s ahead. But ahead is not always good.
I love going back to Saint-Petersburg, back to my roots, back to a slower and simpler life where you don’t have Whole Foods, where you only have a couple of types of bread to choose from. People don’t try hard to be or look cool, they just live their lives. It is very freeing, you know.
Life in London is supposed to be easier but you are forced to make so many choices every day even without realising it. It’s stressful. It’s busy. It’s loud. In Saint-Petersburg I can be quiet and connect-ed to myself. London is more fun, more diverse, extremely inspiring. I consider myself very lucky to be able to have a relationship with both cities.
What’s next for ZDDZ? And will you be back in Paris soon?
Of course I will, but not this season. I am applying for a new visa and will be stuck in the UK for a while, which is nice actually. I like the idea of having to be still and not move for a minute because it just doesn‘t seem to stop otherwise. I will be looking forward to spending more time with my house mates and friends in London and spending more time at the studio and I can't wait to have some routine and not be living out of the suitcase for a change.
The short term plans for the label are the launch of our online shop; a photoshoot for our new cap-sule collection that we did with NYC-based street artist Kyle aka Legtorn; collaborations with more musicians; a pop-up ZDDZ shop in NYC in September; working on the Synthetic Overture video which will be released later this year when the AW17 collection hits the stores; working on the next collection that I will present in Moscow at the end of September and more… I also want to make some fun pieces exclusively for our e-shop, so I will spend some time on that this year.
by Iggy Nko
more at ZDDZLondon.com
shop at ZDDZShop.com

ZDDZ

Dasha Selyanova

Can you introduce yourself to the readers of Dull ?
my name is Dasha Selyanova and I am 31. I was born and raised in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. I lived in Moscow for 7 years and then moved to London where I have been based for the past 5 years. I live in Dalston in East London, and my studio is in Seven Sisters. Several ZDDZ collaborators are based in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg and our production team is in Serbia. I travel quite a bit and divide my time up between each place. I enjoy it that way.
I met you in June in Paris, during the men’s Spring-Summer 2017 fashion week. Did you attend any shows, presentations, showrooms or parties?
I go to my friend’s presentations when I travel. In our case, we met at the ‘The Incorporated’ presentation and they are cool guys, we get on well. And yes I love going to parties, although I don't go out too much while I'm in Paris. A normal night out in any club in Dalston tends to be more fun than any of the parties in Paris during Fashion Week.
Right before Paris Men’s Fashion Week, you unveiled with nine other labels a capsule collection designed for the WOW project, curated by Highsnobiety and part of the WHITE Milano trade show. Can you explain to us what White On Web is, how did they approach you and how did the presentation go?
We were each selected by Highsnobiety to participate in the White showroom. We just received an email with the news and the brief for the project with Luisa Via Roma. Then we had to design and produce a custom piece for them and take the new collection to Milan. It was fun; the space was great with white walls and high ceilings and a lot of air. It was very busy, and we made a lot of good contacts with local stores, stylists and designers. All in all it was a very productive experience.
Now let’s talk about ZDDZ! What do these letters mean?
ZDDZ stands for ZoyaDashaDashaZoya. Zoya is my friend and ex business partner –— we started the label together back in 2012 but went our separate ways after the first collection. We're still very good friends.
The ZDDZ Fall-Winter 2016 collection is named « Synthetic Overture » and inspired by two personal breakups. Just like a singer, you turn heartaches into art!
I guess I do! What I do through ZDDZ is very therapeutic for me. Most of the time after a break-up you are left feeling angry and I just thought ok let’s make some use out of it and try and channel it into my work. It made me think about how some people become lame and disabled in terms of communication and expressing their feelings and thoughts properly, that's how all my AW17 slo-gans came about. And by the way, talking about break-ups both of the guys that inspired me to make that collection also contributed to it.
I do this comparison because you stated in an interview with Hunger Magazine that « fashion has the power to affect people » and, just like singers with their songs, « [you] use [your] label as a tool to convey [your] message across. » Do you think fashion can have or has the same reach as music?
I think music has been and always will be number one in the way it can affect someone and in terms of the reach it has. Then maybe movies and fashion are tied at number two. So answering your question, I think fashion will never be as powerful as music in that sense but it does have the power to make people think and to question certain things they probably took for granted. I definitely enjoy using it as a medium to have a conversation with a large number of people, and like to see how it affects them, even though it’s not purely what I am doing it for. I definitely enjoy the social side to it. I am interested in people and feel like ZDDZ is my ongoing personal social re-search tool.
"If you're not smart you will let your iPhone affect you in a negative way but if you are a smart person, you will use it in a way that will help you grow." [ZDDZ]
« UNAVAILABLE » and the error code « 404 » are two of the prints of « Synthetic Overture », deploring an unfortunate change in human relationships. Should we blame technology or ourselves and the way we use it?
Technology not only reveals who you are but also affects you. If you're not smart you will let your iPhone affect you in a negative way but if you are a smart person, you will use it in a way that will help you grow. In terms of relationships, it’s controversial — on the one hand I have tons of friends around the world and social media helps me to keep in touch with them which brings me joy obvi-ously. On the other hand, this synthetic connection lacks physicality; we tend to spend less time to-gether in real time and we think everything (including people) can be delivered to us in a blink of an eye, and that's sad. Also, we are creating digital versions of ourselves, with Facebook and Instagram profiles, and I'm not sure if that's healthy. Prefabricated self-constructed identities don’t leave much room for spontaneity; and photos, witty statuses and self-descriptions are mostly created with a us-er’s network of ‘friends’ in mind.
There is a great article my Serbian friend Mina made me read when we talked about this which is called ‘Self-Presentation and gender on MySpace.’ It's absolutely brilliant and on point and has opened my eyes to what’s really happening with all this social media stuff and why humans and es-pecially teens get so hooked on it. We are rarely integrated as individuals nowadays and that is my main concern about the abuse of technology.
Very few people I talk to on an everyday basis are fully present in the conversation. Most of them compulsively check their device(s) constantly and I am guilty myself but it doesn’t mean I approve of the situation. I just want to be more present. Ok, this has got too serious now… just be aware, that’s all!
The ZDDZ Spring-Summer 2016 collection also conveyed a message, this time about depression and anxiety, and was once again motivated by your own experience. Did you find your lane by designing according to what you go through?
Yes, absolutely. If it’s not real, I don’t want to do it. I am very eager for realness in my life in gen-eral, and I care about authentic relationships with people. I want to be present. I was so absent when I was using drugs that it's now made me appreciate the real world both around me and inside me even more.
I started listening to myself more, learning about my feelings and wanting to talk about it. My brand has become an extension of me in that sense.
Lately, we have been witnessing a real Russian and East-european fashion takeover. What do you think of your fellow designers and up-and-coming brands? How are you perceived back in Mos-cow, Saint-Petersburg, and Russia as a whole?
The Russian wave was kind of expected in fashion but still very sudden in the sense that it became too big too fast. I remember talking about it with my tutor Clare Lopeman at the BHSAD (the Brit-ish Higher School of Art and Design). We had a Belgian wave, a Japanese wave etc, so it makes sense that now we are seeing the first generation of young Russians post the collapse of the Soviet Union who are really expressing themselves.
It makes sense that these people could offer something fresh, something less pretty or decorated, something brutal and interesting. It's great but I don’t think It will last. Change is the only constant thing in fashion.
It seems like the media portrays East-European designers like a group of people with the exact same experience and aesthetics. Do you relate to a Gosha Rubchinskiy or a Demna Gvasalia?
It’s a tricky question. I can identify with them and at the same time I am doing something different. Some things we look at are on the same wave length but then we have totally different backgrounds and the reasons we are doing this are probably slightly different too. But I don’t know. This ques-tion is difficult for me to answer.
You moved to London to pursue your fashion education once your initial interest in Graphics and Visual Communication dropped, and still works there. How different is it from your ho-metown of Saint-Petersburg?
Saint-Petersburg different from London in many ways. But something is still very similar for me in these two cities — there is a lot of culture, they are both very pretty but grimey at the same time, and there is a sinister undertone of dark history in both cities; something you can feel. To me, Saint-Petersburg and London are more similar as far as energy is concerned, than visually. Of course, London is more dynamic; it’s bigger, it’s richer, it’s ahead. But ahead is not always good.
I love going back to Saint-Petersburg, back to my roots, back to a slower and simpler life where you don’t have Whole Foods, where you only have a couple of types of bread to choose from. People don’t try hard to be or look cool, they just live their lives. It is very freeing, you know.
Life in London is supposed to be easier but you are forced to make so many choices every day even without realising it. It’s stressful. It’s busy. It’s loud. In Saint-Petersburg I can be quiet and connect-ed to myself. London is more fun, more diverse, extremely inspiring. I consider myself very lucky to be able to have a relationship with both cities.
What’s next for ZDDZ? And will you be back in Paris soon?
Of course I will, but not this season. I am applying for a new visa and will be stuck in the UK for a while, which is nice actually. I like the idea of having to be still and not move for a minute because it just doesn‘t seem to stop otherwise. I will be looking forward to spending more time with my house mates and friends in London and spending more time at the studio and I can't wait to have some routine and not be living out of the suitcase for a change.
The short term plans for the label are the launch of our online shop; a photoshoot for our new cap-sule collection that we did with NYC-based street artist Kyle aka Legtorn; collaborations with more musicians; a pop-up ZDDZ shop in NYC in September; working on the Synthetic Overture video which will be released later this year when the AW17 collection hits the stores; working on the next collection that I will present in Moscow at the end of September and more… I also want to make some fun pieces exclusively for our e-shop, so I will spend some time on that this year.
by Iggy Nko
more at ZDDZLondon.com
shop at ZDDZShop.com