Interview with 2019 UpNXT Winner, Mingaile Simenaite On Her Upcoming Fashion Brand, Soap Stealer
Good afternoon, Mingaile Congratulations on being a 2019 UpNXT winner. Tell me what you enjoyed about UpNXT the most? How was your experience?
Participating in the UpNXT gave me an opportunity to meet and work with other creative designers, talented photographers, and amazing models. It was my first runway show and it gave me lots of new exciting experiences both on stage and backstage.
How were the UpNXT facilitated mentorships, classes, and business meetings helpful for you as an emerging designer?
It gave a valuable insight of how the fashion industry works, what is expected from the emerging designers and what difficulties could be encountered along the way.
What would you say has been most useful from these tools given during UpNXT?
Being able to listen and talk with industry’s professionals and get their useful tips as well as contacts for future questions – the knowledge was one of the best tools given.
Tell me, who is the Soap Stealer customer?
I always loved creating and living by the quote “Don’t be easy to define. Let them wonder about you”. My customer is not labeled or defined, and it could be anyone who falls in love with what I create.
As we all know, fashion is such a competitive industry with so many different designers and artistic visionaries. How did you come into your own as a designer? Do you feel you have found your voice?
I was designing and sewing since childhood: experimenting, exploring and looking for my voice. It is a never-ending learning process for me as a self-taught designer and I enjoy every part of it.
Tell me about your creative process and what that looks like for you. Where do you draw inspiration from and how do you begin to process inspiration into your physical work?
I like to describe this process as “Chaos and creation”. It might start with an idea or the fabric piece that speaks to me. Two things that inspire me always wherever I am or whatever I do are colors and textures.
I have found that many designers have an ideal visionary woman that they are designed for each collection. Who is that woman for you?
It really depends on the mood and the idea of the collection itself, the message that I want to communicate to the world.
How would you describe your typical designs for a client?
I have been always interested in designing and creating one of a kind garments using existing textiles, fabric remnants and repurposed materials first. Living and working on limited resources has taught me to appreciate everything I have, look for sustainable creative ways to bring new ideas to life while optimizing materials that would otherwise be wasted.
I try to incorporate all those elements into unique ready-to-wear garments that could be worn for many occasions and would last for many years.
As part of the prize for winning UpNXT, you are awarded a show for 2020 FashioNXT Week. What is inspiring you for your next collection? What can we expect to see this upcoming October?
The inspiration for an upcoming collection is an environmental sustainability and a fabric remnant that was rescued from a secondhand store couple years ago. I hope to express all my ideas and concerns through the resort collection.
Are there any new goals that you are striving for in your career after being a 2019 UpNXT winner?
As before the participation in the UpNXT, I want to focus on personal and professional growth, building a portfolio and just working towards a more sustainable approach to fashion.