THE HIDDEN WORLD OF Ilja Visser
Ilja Visser is a Dutch fashion designer who founded both a couture line called 'Ilja' and a commercial label, Ready to fish_. Her studio, showroom and brand store are based in the city centre of Amsterdam. She studied Fashion Design at the Arts Academy in Arnhem (NL). The fine skills were learned during her apprenticeships with Donna Karan in New York and Maria Cornejo.More
Working for Ilja Visser series – Nina (part 2)
The Hidden World already learned that Nina as the Brand Manager for Ilja Visser has a lot on her plate but succeeds to stay on top and ahead of her game. We wanted to know if she ever gets stressed and if she ever had a blunder or so…
THW: You seem to have everything under control. We’ve seen you blowing wind through Hyperborea, running for an umbrella at the Wanderlust shoot to make sure the studio lamp was safe during a rain shower and checking the heat at the exhibition… Don’t you get stressed??
N: I’m anxious and stressed as soon as the shoot starts. There is so much preparation and there are so many actions to be taken before the first shot is produced. I hate that. I’m relaxed as soon as I see the first image and know that it’s working well. Really, the concept may work well in your head, but before you actually see it, you know if it works well for real.
THW: You’ve done 5 campaigns and 6 shows… Do you remember the first ones?
N: My first campaign was for Ready to fish_ and it’s just hilarious to think about it if you compare it to today. It was during the winter and it was one of those very cold days, which is rare in the Netherlands. We drove around with a van through the city of Amsterdam to shoot the model in city scenes as the concept was based on a girl in a city. The shoes were borrowed as opposed to today where we design them ourselves. Can’t remember or even imagine how we did the make-up and hair, I just remember that everybody was freezing!
THW: Any blunders you care to share?
N: Haha, well that would’ve been the first fashion show which was at Amsterdam International Fashion Week. We bought some shoes in London and customized them for the show. We sprayed them in different colours and let them out to dry. We wrapped them in crêpe paper and put them in boxes to move them to the location. Backstage it turned out that we didn’t give the shoes enough time to dry; bits and pieces of the crepe paper got stuck in the paint and due to the moist the shoes turned bright orange. A nightmare! We had buckets of hot water around us and started to scrape & clean the shoes and had to spray them all over again there. What a stress!
THW: Which production makes you proud??
N: Definitely, the Wanderlust fashion film for Ready to fish_! The whole concept, a film with a story line, working on a tight budget with a big team and two days of shooting was a big challenge and a first for me and the team. Everybody is happy with the result and I just love it when a plan comes together…
THW: Haha, like Hannibal in the A-team! Well, there was an A-team at play there as you can see from the video above… Working with such skilled people and producing beautiful images, is there a downside to your job?
N: Hmmm, only one thing. I’m intensively involved with the collections which will appear in stores half a year later. The Wanderlust collection will hit the stores at the end of August and the collection in stores right now – Desolation - was shot half a year ago. Currently, I’m developing the commercial concepts for Summer 2013. As you put it before, fashion seasons run a bit differently. And that really is the case for me! I can understand that people love the current collection, but I had that half a year ago already. It’s outdated in my mind and I know what will come next year….
THW: What do you still aspire after accomplishing so much already?
N: I would love to do a production abroad. A show in Paris , Milan or New York with ILJA, the couture line. Just to produce something in those magical fashion capitals would be great.
THW: If there wasn’t fashion, what would you be instead?
N: It would be interior styling or productions for me… Anything to do with creating beautiful images.
THW: Any other wishes in your life?
N: On the short term, I’d love to do a long trip to Asia with my boyfriend. For two months so that I really unwind and get to know the culture and food. I’m a food addict, by the way….
THW: Yeah, we saw the stack of food during the shoots. Thank God, fashion and food go hand in hand. Anything else on the long term?
N: Someday I hope to have my own accessory line, with one-piece collections only. Jewellery and bags are more fun and valued if you know there one-of-a-kind…
THW: We’ll definitely be your first clients and hope to have a behind-the-scene look then as well ;-)
By A Web Design Company