Cathy Silvia Voget ( real name Kasia Sylwia Wojcik ) was born in Starachowice, Świętokrzyskie Mountains, Poland and is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, creative director and Public Relations specialist.
She graduated from University of Lodz, Poland in Culture, Theatre knowledge (where she gain knowlegde about animation, film making, film, theatre production and contemporary media), as well Public Relations and Marketing in Arts. She was always hungry for more and in between her faculty classes she participated as a free listener at the History of Fine Arts faculty, at the History and Philosophy department were she decided to assign herself to an Art Academy. She finished as well Academy of Fine Arts Wrocław, Poland with a bachelor in Painting . At the Art Academy she participated in studio photography workshops lab and digital/multi-media classes.
In 2018 she graduated from her fourth specialization – Fashion Design at Fashion and Fine Art Academy In Lodz, Poland, (ASP Lodz). One week after graduation she got an invitation to present her graduate collection, composed of eight / 8 looks at Central Museum Of Art and Textiles in Lodz (Marka Wspiera Markę). Soon after the graduation, she was invited to three / 3 exhibitions where two of them were during the most prestigious competitions for young Polish Fashion designers – at LODZ YOUNG FASHION AWARDS. Two months after the graduation she received invitation to show her collection composed of twelve / 12 looks at Vancouver Fashion Week in Canada. The designer loves to travel and explore, so during the last year at University she got an opportunity to study in Slovenia, Koper, at the University of Primorska where she got a specialization in film making and contemporary media. Member of a Leonardo Da Vinci project CCBC. Cross Cultural Business Communication, involving business aproach on the field of multicultural differences between Europe and Asia.
The designer arrived, as well, in the semi-finals of the international OFFfashion competition 2019, one of the biggest fashion competitions in Poland and was named as one of the most promising young polish artists of the Polish National Museum of Arts – painting exhibition 2016.
AN INTERVIEW WITH CATHY SILVIA VOGET x 33 MAGAZINE
Describe your brand in five words.
BRAVE / ROMANTIC / CHANGING / ‘OPEN’ ( FEMININE WOMENSWEAR BUT ALSO FOR ‘THE ONE’ WHO WANTS TO WEAR IT NO MATTER GENDER TO EMPOWER AND EMBRACE ) / ‘LOVING’ ( CRAZYNESS/DIVERSITY/SUSTAINABILITY )
Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
I never really decided to become a fashion designer i do not have those memories from childhood like most of the designers have, I think this profession chosen me in a way in particular time. I finished 4 specializations of studies , two at the University and two at the Art school. And i had million ideas for life and still have them. But not cuz of any confusion but more that I always wanted to try different things as we have just one life I was always opposite of the fact that i have to ‘choose’ just one way. I am never afraid of change, and to not succeed. I am in love in personal development and learning new things, creating and designing is a part of my daily routine, i think names should not define people to let them be free and change, so they can keep open minds and inhale the inspiration from ‘everywhere’- that is why I say this profession have chosen me, not the opposite, cuz Fashion is one of the fastest changing industries in the the business area and to create it you have to have art skills and strategic thinking and be ready for this change, constant development and lots of work what i love so probably that is why it stick to me so well.
How your brand’s mission evolved starting with your first collection?
The most important for me was to do a statement about equality and diversity during my first international fashion show. I requested as many as possible nationalities among models during my show with variety of skin tones, sizes and hight. Vancouver Fashion Week is very open and promote diversity, and i am very glad that They agreed on my request.
I also put a mark showing that sustainability is important to me. I used pieces of materials not suitable for sale for supplier( to small pieces), I reused materials from checked fabric suppliers and I did printing in Poland in my home country where I know the work conditions and I know who transferred my paintings into fabric and what is their work policy.
In your experience, what are some of the other negative points regarding fashion design schools?
One thing is that Fashion design schools can give you perfect start in the future, especially the ones with big prestige, the con is they are very expensive and a lot of very talented individuals from eastern countries, parts of Asia or Africa(or others for examples small islands) simply can not afford them, than having problems with finding a remarkable position at Top Market brands. Very often those students have to do much more and work harder to achieve goals their colleagues from western countries have just on the spot. Second thing is lack of high level business classes preparing to open good quality fashion brand start up. So people could of build their own strategy instead of looking for an employer.
How sustainability can change fashion industry? Do you think we can see, in the next future, a positive change regarding sustainable design?
I think it is one of the most important factor nowadays, and one of the most difficult especially for young emerging designers like myself. True and 100% sustainability is very expensive luxury – unfortunately very often used in big brands PR and marketing quotes as a winning ticket to gather new clients attention.
But also they do a huge change by informing about the climate change and planet destructions, and trying to be transparent about human rights and work conditions in their factories also by investing in new eco projects such us creating fibers from fruit and vegetable waste (orange silk or pineapple leather) or to up cycle recycle and reuse plastic or recreating it into wearable fibers.
I think it can encourage designers to use and transform safe fabrics and that it will give them maybe more difficult but highly inspiring effects. We just simply can not afford to not changing this industry as this is number one in causing all the problems. Designer needs to be aware of that. Still though wanting to compete with high fashion brands they will go for cheaper fabrics to to end up with a WOW effect cuz of very competitive environment.
There is a niche for big brands, schools and fashion competitions to help those emerging designers to encourage them to use sustainability as a must.
In your opinion, will it be the consumer who will facilitate the change in the supply chain or will it be the design and manufacturing industry?
I think it will be all at once. But the actual changes need to be done step by step. Big brands are one by one changing thinking of society giving a helping hand and supporting also financially organizations such as for example WWF, Investing in technology responsible for recycling, upcycling and more. For example Ual:London College of Fashion promoted by Kering done amazing course in which i participated about Sustainability in Luxury Fashion. People around the world can participate for free in over 2 months course learning about the most important things to change fashion Business for good.
From the other hand customers needs to be aware to not go for cheap and worse quality products, to read and to know were to find this information. And there is a huge spot for our educational systems to shine.
Big brands will need to change system for more aware and ecologically educated customers and buyers as other wise they will loose their attention which will never or rarely comeback.
What should a customer expect when buying your brand?
That someone very caring prepared for them something very precious so they can feel good in it, and so they can now change the world 🙂
What drives your inspiration for your design?
Many various things. Those are very often very complex thoughts: old memories, symbols from art, history, culture studies, religion, philosophy, art history also architecture, new media, technology, sociology, media broadcast, cultural and sociological behaviors and my beloved nature. Really everything what surrounds me can be an inspiration.
Sometimes I have a starting point and do mood-boards and sometimes just draw project after project until I am happy with the result that works same with shapes and all over designs, but construction, patterns and sewing are always strict – there is pretty little freelance in that.
What was the biggest challenge for you as a designer?
Learning how to sew and creating first in my life collection of 12 looks in just one year, and go to present it at Vancouver Fashion Week in Canada FW19, to which i got invitation just after 2 months after my graduation. As a woman and emerging designer not being afraid to go overseas on my own- to the other part of the globe and to show my work, being proud of what i designed, and stand by my ideas and values.
What is important to remember that: Not everyone always will love or like our things, not all the time we will gain the attention we wanted, We need to be glad and appreciate what we received and work harder if we have next bigger plans. Everything takes time, as my friend always says to me ‘one step at a time Kasia’ 🙂
Would you like to showcase your collection in one of the most important fashion weeks around the world?
Yes! That is my huge dream! I think that is a dream of all of emerging designers. From business point of view an amazing chance to promote your brand, to get the best press on a market, bloggers and buyers attention, to be seen cuz that is the way fashion design can exist and grow. This is very often huge step to fully open your future brand wings.
What we should expect next from you?
A change …and I will leave you like that for now 🙂