We interviewed Dejan Despotovic, Creative Director at Black’d, one of the featured labels in this series.
How long have you been doing designing and how did you get into it?
2015 will be the 9th year of my career. I started in Serbia in 2006 at group shows, and in 2007 I had my first show at Belgrade fashion week. I always loved art in any form but fashion was something that always gave me positive vibes.
How would you describe your approach to design?
I really like to show a woman’s body but covering it with masculine details or combining stiffer fabrics with a sexy and chic silhouette. Dark, romantic, chic I would say.
What do you love about it?
I love that mysterious dark feeling that gives you chills. I really like to see people excited with joy and almost rapture in their eyes. The look that I create is very imaginary to me and it is the translation of my world of imagination, and that makes me love what I do.
What are you most proud about or most excited with your career?
The most exciting moment was when I opened my store in Belgrade which was very successful. That was like the crown of my career, but fashion is about moving forward so when I moved to NYC and started meetings with major magazines and just seeing people talking about my work was even more gratifying. Because I started again almost from zero in a much bigger market than Serbia is.
Who or what is your greatest inspiration in fashion or outside of fashion?
Classical and experimental music always gives me the strongest dreams while I am creating. I really like to enter the world of my imagination through music and translate that into clothes. Then I know that it is the purest product of what is on my mind at that moment. If you are a visionary my opinion is that in that case inspiration is eternal and there is always something new to come out of it.
Who in the creative world do you most identify with or are most inspired by? What about them inspires you?
I love to watch Kazuo Ohno, the Japanese dancer because he gives me inspiration to create something that has a totally opposite style (from Japanese culture) while keeping masculinity and combining it with softness and beautiful linear cuts that are related to music and his moves. The first experiment he created with his partner was called “Dance of Darkness” which is very much related to my imagination.
What makes you the happiest?
Being surrounded by friends. I know when I need to stay alone and I don’t compromise loneliness because I need it as a visionary, but I need to feel other energies which make me happy, and when I’m happy I create.
What do you like to spend your money on?
Right now I am spending all of my money on collections and work, but I love to buy nice shoes as well.:)
Who or what do you love most in the world and why?
I don’t connect to people or things. I like being surrounded by people and animals but I don’t have emotions to really connect to someone. It’s always been like that and maybe it will change, but for now, I am very focused on what I have to do in life. So work is my life and my biggest love at the moment.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing or like to be doing?
Biology science. I always loved to explore nature but it never was the main thing for me so I kind of forgot about it, but it is still deep inside of my mind.
Who do you think is the most underrated designer or other artist to you?
I can’t say that any particular artist is underrated. A good artist is well known and respected in the circle of people who admire his type of art so it is not good if you are a real artist to be known to everybody, because people love to judge and analysis from people who are not familiar with some kind of art is unnecessary. So, every artist who does amazing and real art is recognized for sure.
What is your most valued possession?
I have two types of valued possessions, the first one being expensive things which is in this case an old golden engraved pen my father gave me, and the second one is blank paper, because through my ideas on paper I get the most valuable things and even money after all.
What are your three favorite places on the planet?
My home town Belgrade, New York City and my room/studio.
If you were a bumper sticker, what would it say?
Never thought about it but it would probably say “HAPPY STICKER” lol