Russian Designer Julia Kalmanovich is coming to America. The launch of her Kalmanovich clothing label on Shopbop marks her US debut, and this Moscow-based brand is sure to make a splash. Offering a unique perspective informed by global street style and the designer’s Russian heritage, Kalmanovich is a collection for the modern woman’s wardrobe. We spoke with Julia about her unique fashion background (she has a master’s in finance), her Russian roots, and the inspiration behind Kalmanovich.
SHOPBOP: Tell us a little about how you got your start in fashion design.
JULIA KALMANOVICH: You will never believe it, but I studied economics and got my master’s degree in finance. Fashion, however had always been a big part of my life, and at some point, it became more than just a passion. I enrolled at the Zaitsev Academy while I was at university, so parallel to studying all the different investment products on the global market, I was also learning how to construct fancy dresses, design coats, and work with leather. As I got deeper into the world of fashion design, I knew that I wanted to make this my profession.
I do have to say that my knowledge in finance has been so helpful, crucial even, in getting me this far. I do not regret having spent five years of my life studying it. My heart, however, lies in making clothes and dressing myself and more importantly, the people around me.
SB: How does your Russian heritage influence your collections?
JK: Many different aspects of the Russian heritage influence my work, and indeed we do have a very rich and vast history. I am a big fan of Russian classical literature, and as a child, I would always imagine the different characters I read about—what they looked like, their manners, their voices, facial expressions, and how they were dressed.