Global Young Designer Spotlight: Anna October

Global Young Designer Spotlight: Anna October

Anna October’s collections inject 60s style with a thoroughly modern twist. Here, the fashion brand’s namesake Ukranian designer lets us in on the world’s best vintage store as well as her favourite places to stay and play around Kiev.

designer Anna October champions youth and
femininity in her collections. Her namesake line elevates clothing
to embody a mood and ensure that the wearer feels confident,
elegant and playful while donning her threads. Presenting simple,
vintage silhouettes in striking colours – think 60s and 70s with a
modern twist – Anna October has a pattern-cutting prowess that led
her to win the Mercedes-Benz Prize for Best Designer in 2016. Here,
she shares her design techniques, mood board inspirations and
must-visit spots in the Ukranian capital of Kiev.

Brand: Anna October

Designer: Anna October

Origins: Ukraine

Homebase: Ukraine

Stockists: Moda Operandi, Harvey Nichols, The
, The Modist, Boutique1, Shopbop, Farfetch, Narwhal and more.

Where did you grow up and how has your place of birth shaped

I was born and raised in the industrial city of Zaporizhia,
Ukraine. It was very grey and moody, so I spent a lot of time
dreaming. The city of Odessa inspired my use of colour
– I moved there when I was 17 to study fine art.

Define your brand.

It’s about being hedonistic, embracing life and playing
different roles. It’s about being a woman and enjoying it.

Who is the Anna October customer?

Anybody who enjoys their femininity and feels a connection to
the vibe of Anna October.

Why did you choose Ukraine as your brand’s base?

It’s my homeland and has a very strong heritage of
craftsmanship. I am inspired by the women who surround me and have
amazing team here. That being said, I still feel connected to the
wider world; my collection sells across four continents.

What does your creative process look like?

I like to define the feeling first, to understand what I want to
create, what mood I want to impose on my clients with the
collection. Next, I start to pick up details around me and put
everything together. At this stage, I’ll have more of a feel of
what style, fabric or colour is the best for communicating my
message. Once I’ve done drapings and finalised my collection (a
thinking process which usually takes four to six weeks), I’ll send
my sketches to be tailored.

Where are your materials sourced?

Mainly from Japan,
but I have also started to use local Ukranian fabrics in order to
minimise the environmental impact that comes with new

The Anna October vibe is vintage with a modern twist. What are
your favourite vintage shops?

Chez Sarah in Paris
is the best in the world. Others I like include the flea market in
Kiev and A Current Affair in New

If you could dress any icon from the 60s or 70s in your
clothing, who would it be and why?

Jerry Hall; she is permanently on my mood board. She is very
strong, but playful.

What inspires your colour palette for a season?

It’s more about how I want the clothes to look in my clients’
wardrobe. I like bright colours, but also recognise that most women
want consistency, so I do like to offer items such as an LBD or a
pastel-hued dress too.

What is your favourite Anna October design to date?

So far it’s the Galina dress, with a bow on the front. It was
inspired by my late mother and her femininity; she taught me how to
be a lady.

Is travelling a source of inspiration?

Of course.

Three destinations on your travel wishlist:

and Japan.

What is your go-to airport outfit?

A white-cotton tee or a silk shirt and black trousers, a wool
cardigan and Converse All Stars.

What are you reading right now?

Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-Garde. It’s an
exhibition book that I picked up at The
in London.

What’s next for Anna October?

A new collection, a sustainability-focused collaboration and
hopefully a trip to Peru in March.



EAT: Shoti, Osteria Pantagruel, Win Bar, Kosatka and ZigZag.

DO: In the summer, go wakesurfing at Trukhaniv
Island. Autumn is the best time to walk around the old city. In the
winter, go clubbing somewhere close to base.

SHOP: Hunt for vintage treasures at the flea
market which runs on the last Saturday of every month. You can also
pick up some great old books at Petrivka Market.

Discover More
City Guide: Kiev, Ukraine