BULLETT caught up with Cami J and Nadia Napreychikov of the glam and punk fashion house DI$COUNT UNIVERSE to discuss balancing a business, styling and passion for the craft. The Australia based duo debuted their line of specialized studded and deconstructed leather and denim in 2009, just right out of college.
BULLETT: You just debuted you a new website of your work. Can you tell us more about that experience?
D$: The build up to launching [the website] was so intense for both of us; I think we put far too much pressure on ourselves to make everything bigger and better. I guess that sort of pressure can work in a positive way though, because we really push one another. I know that by the end we were completely exhausted and just happy to have a working interface that we can use to present our work for purchase or exhibition.
You’re work is often one of a kind. How does this effect production?
We do one-off pieces for our ARTI$INAL line. These are the pieces that we don’t mind holding on to because we have far too much invested in them. Neither production nor sales are important to this line. These clothes are the reason we do this, they are our art, and at this point we probably don’t have a large enough audience to be able to sell many of them. Although the denim bikers and studded leather [jackets] seem to have struck a chord, we have sold quite a few. As for the other pieces, we are happy for them to stay in our archive; they embody the essence of DI$COUNT, they are the most important to us as they represent the integrity of our label.
You work as a design team – how do you approach this sort of collaboration?
Well they say that 80% of business partnerships fail, so we must be the minority! We have this incredibly similar aesthetic eye. It’s rather creepy, really. We finish each other’s sentences and call each other with the same idea; a synchronicity that certainly makes the creative process a lot easier. We are actually rather different in other ways, but when it comes to how we see fashion, the future of fashion and DI$COUNT, our view is pretty homogenous. This union makes perfect sense; it gives us strength in different areas, but one goal.
â€¨Have you always known you’d pursue a career in fashion?
â€¨Yeah, I think so. I’m skyping Nadia about this right now and her response is “YES! Although not as a career, I just wanted to do it! I wanted to do it before I even realized if could be made into a career”. I think neither of us really knew that we could be doing this kind of thing as a real ‘job’, because when you’re doing it, it doesn’t’ really feel that way. It’s an exciting time to be alive when you can really turn your love and passion into something that people can appreciate and enjoy, and that you can live off of. Not that we are quite there with the money side just yet. I think what is really exciting about finding your niche, is that all of sudden you feel as though you know exactly where you’re meant to be. It feels so right.
â€¨Is there a medium that you’d like to experiment with in the future?
There is so much we haven’t tried yet! Realistically, we have only just begun… We want to try everything! Being involved in fashion constantly forces you to experiment. It’s always evolving and so are your ideas, as soon as you start one process, before you’re even half way there, you can’t help but think about the next, the next piece, the next idea. There are no stops, just constant starts, so we definitely wouldn’t rule anything out.
â€¨What is your advice to a designer just getting started?
It’s hard to know how other designers work, how they keep motivated and maintain their drive, but for us, we know you simply have to be 150% committed. Both of us are completely involved in this. We are in love with it; deliriously, wildly, passionately, utterly in love with what we do. That’s our advice. If you’re not, don’t bother.
To visit their webstore $UPER$STORE go here.