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Artist of the Week – Sasa Kovacevic

February 8, 2010 by · 3 comments

Maria Aladzhova’s interview with the designer Sasa Kovacevic


This week’s artist is the designer Sasa Kovacevic. Born in Serbia, Sasa says his innovative work is inspired by the Balkan cultures and other nations and traditions. Sasa studies fashion design in Berlin and is working on his latest collection “I’m a good socialist.”

He was a finalist in last year’s “Designer for Tomorrow” competition presented by Mercedes Benz Fashion Week- Berlin 2009, where he presented his collection “Lapot.” Proof of his creativity and talent lies in the fact that he also designs costumes for theater, contemporary dance productions and films.

In 2006 he started his own label Sadak, which holds a strong ethnographic tie to the traditional attire of Kovacevic’s motherland of Serbia. SADAK draws connections between fashion, contemporary art and tradition. Sadak includes the collections “I’m a good socialist”, “Lapot” and “Klephtis”. For more information go to


Your love for fashion was inspired by the traditional Serbian costumes. Do you see your Serbian roots in the clothes you make?

Most of my work is rooted in Balkan/Yugoslavian/Serbian culture but it is also influenced by different cultures and traditions.

Do you think that Eastern Europe culture is beginning to take over the fashion world?

“To take over the fashion world” is a big statement, but I would say that there are a significant amount of designers coming from Eastern Europe who are creating and participating in a new wave of fashion.


What is the best thing about living in Berlin?

Well, Berlin is in the middle of Europe which makes it easier to travel; it is a “new” city in terms of fashion. It is relatively cheap to rent nice big apartments especially in comparison to other metropolises in the EU.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on my newest Collection entitled “I’m a good socialist” which is also my final graduation project for the Kunsthochschule Berlin (University of Arts-Berlin)


My current collection, “I’m a good socialist” began with research about Socialism in Former-Yugoslavia, the ideas from which I applied to the creation of my own fictional “micro-nation,” named “Ex-Land”. The constitution of “this new nation” is described entirely through itґs fashion. The “laws” of Ex-Land are communicated through statements and “socialist” symbols created on the clothes.

These symbols create an authentic visual language that is present in all lines of the collection and are rooted in my own cultural experiences. The signs, symbols, and statements in this collection (some of which are represented in their original forms and some of which are altered to create alienated, or hybridized forms) are used to create a contemporary “Nationhood”.


What is the negative part of fashion?

To be surrounded by the superficial Celebrities and fashion personalities that glorify each other just to be seen in the front row of fashion shows. I also don’t like the questions that some journalists ask, which are not related to the work or the person that stands behind it.

Living in Berlin gives you firsthand information about the newest trends. What do you think is the next wave in fashion and will you be influenced by it?

I don’t follow “Trends” or “Waves”, I just follow my own ideas; that is the main motivation for my creative process.


Do you think your lifestyle – places you go, people you meet, music you listen to, etc., influences your work?

Yes, very much! Lucky for me I am surrounded by a large amount of people who are creative and naturally we share ideas.


What is your perception of a stylish person?

There are two interesting versions of a stylish person which I like; one is a person that always plays with identity and likes all kinds of different styles and doesn’t depend on any designer (a free style person); the second kind of person has an incredible amount of money and invests a lot in designer clothes yet still knows how to style themselves creatively and playfully.

Which designer do you admire the most and why?

I like many different designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Hussein Chalayan, Bernhard Willhelm, Damir Doma, Marjan Pejoski, etc. For me they are all innovative, always working with a concept and that’s the type of designer which I appreciate.


What advice would you give to young designers who are now beginning their careers?

Follow your heart and ideas and make sure that you are hard working. I totally sound like a preacher!

Clothes made of fur are…

The politically correct answer would be: Clothes made of fur are wrong! I don’t have second thoughts about fur or skin from animals, I don’t particularly like fur and I wouldn’t use it. Sustainable living and thinking is a way of life for most young designers. This question is made for all Italian fashion companies which earn a lot of money from selling fur and skin products.


What your life would be like without your work?

I would always find something to do; I am not a person without work or perspective.

What are you wearing at the moment?

I am crazy about dots, so right now my favorite is a complete dot outfit.


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