Interview Series: KOZHA NUMBERS
Welcome to MODA Interview Series, where we feature influencers and leaders in the fashion industry in the Chicago area and beyond to discuss their design inspirations, their creative backgrounds and what it means to be a self-starter in the fashion world today.
This time around we bring you an interview with handbag brand KOZHA NUMBERS, founded by in 2015 by Ilona Gerasimov and Lena Vasilenko. Drawing inspiration from a shared admiration of art and architecture, the two focused on producing products with the utmost attention to detail and handcrafted quality.
To get into the mindset of the brand and the ideas behind their image, we asked KOZHA NUMBERS a couple questions to share with our lovely readers.
How you would describe Kozha Numbers' overall design aesthetic? Who is your ideal shopper?
We wanted to create something sleek and effortlessly stylish. When we initially created the Staple Collection, we wanted our customers to have that one accessory in their closet that would match any outfit.
Our ideal shopper is a fashion-forward woman who isn’t afraid to express herself with her fashion choices. She is bold and open to new styles, while still remaining that classic look.
What got you into the handbag/fashion/accessories industry in general?
We believe that each person should have a fashion accessory that makes them feel like they can conquer the world. We want to provide that feeling. In the future, we plan to grow our brand from fashion accessories to an entire clothing range.
What informs your design philosophy? Is there anything that inspires you in particular when conceptualizing the image of your store and products?
Our biggest inspirations come from art and architecture. We have been huge appreciators of art since we were younger and wanted to create a product that we consider “wearable art.” With architecture, we are influenced by the materials, form, and durability- we like to follow that same path when we create our pieces. We keep our pieces minimal by focusing on the structure of the bag, rather than adding lining and additional pockets. We prefer to form and stitch in certain areas to create our desired shape, which is what makes our bags unique.
What is a milestone for Kozha Numbers that you are particularly proud of?
Growing up, we always looked to Vogue for fashion inspiration and design motivation. One of our biggest milestones was being contacted by Vogue to be featured in their magazine.
What’s next for Kozha Numbers? Is there anything you're looking forward to in particular?
We are very passionate about expanding Kozha Numbers into a full range label and definitely plan on incorporating clothing into our brand. Clothing is another aspect of fashion we are so passionate about and would be thrilled to design.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in pursuing fashion, design, or retail as a career?
Our main piece of advice would be to never give up. To drop everything and follow your dream is frightening in the beginning, but with hard work and perseverance anything is possible. Be passionate about what you want to create and do not let anyone stop you from obtaining your goals. The fashion industry is tough, but with hard work and determination, you can break through.
Here are some of personal favorite styles from their collection:
THE LIMITED NUDE UTILITY
Featuring smooth high grade box calf leather, two way hold rubber straps, and of course the KOZHA NUMBERS authentic logo stamp, be sure to get your hands on this limited edition bag before it's gone!
All images and material via KOZHA NUMBERS.