FEATURED FASHION DESIGNER
MM: Who inspired you early in your career? SA: I was inspired by old movies and the actresses in them. Elvis movies were my favorites, later followed by “Cry-Baby”.
MM: When did you begin your career in fashion design? Were you trained in any sense or are you self-taught? SA: I practically grew up in a dressmaker’s shop, so by the time I went to school I’d already had considerable experience. I’ve never learnt fashion design, I’m just a simple seamstress.
MM: What inspired your business name? SA: A friend of mine recommended it – TiCCi is her niece’s nickname. I was reading Coco Chanel’s biography at the time, and I thought the double “C” would bring me luck, too.
MM: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received throughout your career? SA: Back in 2009 a famous fashion journalist told me I should have more courage and accept my talent.
MM: Has social media enhanced or hindered your business? Which platform is your favorite? SA: Social media has advanced my business – I never thought that one day I’d have clients from abroad. My favorite is Instagram.
MM: How would you describe your personal style? SA: Rockabilly, rebel, cutie.
MM: Do you have a favorite go-to outfit or jewelry piece for almost any occasion? What is it? SA: The zipper dress. It’s a truly versatile item, which can be combined with a belt, pins or a petticoat.
MM: What is your current obsession? SA: There are some writers I like, and I’m trying to collect all their books. I already have everything by Agatha Christie, followed by Christopher Moore, Somerset Maugham and several others. I also love old gloves and own quite a few of them.
MM: Where do you draw most of your inspiration from? SA: Sometimes one word is enough. For instance, someone ordered a Harley Quinn-themed circle skirt. Of course, I’ve already designed two dresses along this theme.
MM: What color combinations do you absolutely love? SA: Turquoise, yellow, coral.
MM: Who are your personal style icons? SA: Vivienne Westwood and Betsey Johnson.
MM: What is a mistake that happened in your life either personally or professionally that you learned the most from and what was the lesson learned? SA: Once a very expensive synthetic dress with rhinestones shrank when it was washed. I had to make it again free of charge. So, every fabric needs to be treated before you work with it.
MM: What’s one trend that doesn’t get enough credit? SA: The way I see it, there’s so much focus on vintage now that almost all pin-up girls wear second-hand pieces or reproductions. My bolder style has been eclipsed a little.
MM: Do you have a favorite mix of music that you prefer while you create? What are some of your favorite bands/singers to listen to while you create art? SA: Brian Setzer, The Prison Band, the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Godsmack.
MM: Do you have a hidden talent? SA: When I receive new fabrics, I touch them, I lay them out and I can see the dress in front of me. I usually say that the textile is talking to me.
MM: How has COVID affected your business? SA: Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet my customers as regularly as before; normally I throw parties in my showroom, which had to be cancelled now. I miss the chatter. On the other hand, people have got an imagination boost, rearranged their wardrobe, thought carefully about what they need, and we’ve met their needs by mail order. It hasn’t been the best year of my life, but I’m not complaining.
MM: What are three things you love about Budapest? SA: Heroes’ Square, Vajdahunyad Castle and the building of the skating rink in City Park. I had the fortune of having a fashion show there.
MM: Is there another local fashion designer around your area that inspires you either professionally or personally? SA: I work together with a few other designers. We inspire each other. There’s a milliner, a jeweler and a maker of leather bags and belts.
MM: What is/are your guilty pleasure(s)? SA: Once in a blue moon, when my husband’s away and I can also ask my mom to take care of my son for a night, I lay down on the couch, eat pudding and watch one of my favorite movies, like Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur” or a Johnny Depp movie.
MM: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence? SA: My mom. I’ve learned almost everything from her. She can make anything from a bikini to a fur coat, and it’s going to be perfect.
MM: What is your biggest accomplishment in fashion design to date? SA: In 2006 I won a young entrepreneur award, but then I stopped applying. For me the greatest recognition is when famous artists ask me to make them a dress for a show, a concert, etc.
MM: What is your dream project? SA: If someone decided to put on the “Cry-Baby” musical in Hungary, I’d be happy to design the costumes.
MM: Do you have any exciting projects upcoming that you would like to share? SA: Right now, I’m working on a Disney wedding dress collection and a country collection, plus I’ve been asked to do a hologram wedding photoshoot. At the same time, I’m also dressing the female star of a TV show.
" I work together with a few other designers. We inspire each other. " Stefania Agoston
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