Interview: Aleksandra Ristić

Name: Aleksandra Ristić

Where do you live: I am living at the relation Topola-Belgrade. Topola is a small town in the center of Serbia. I grew up there. It is a historical, royal town.

Known for:
I am shoe designer, and I am known through my family shoe brand based in Serbia.

Currently working with:
As I am a student on specialization for fashion management, I’m currently working on developing my family shoe brand, and also preparing models for my first solo exhibition in Belgrade.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
When I was really young, I realized that I will make shoes. There is also my second love, music. I was dreaming about music school but my destiny made a decision for me 🙂 As I remember, I was about 10-11 years old when I made my first shoe-platform sandal and it was inspired by Christian Louboutin shoes. It was funny but I sold them, and I was so happy.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
I would like to live in Italy-Rome, Florence or Austria-Vienna.

How would you describe your creativity?
For my creativity, I can say that it is like magic and power that makes me constantly work to exhaustion. Even when I sleep I dream and plan what I’m going to do tomorrow, which model, which color, which sole.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
This job I seriously began to deal with during the year of 2011, when I realized that this is a job that I absolutely want to do.

What do you do at the moment?
I’m preparing models for new campaign for my shoe brand, and designing models for spring :), at the moment.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
For those who want to start a creative business I just want to say, never stop fighting, and be persistent.

Tell us how it all started.
It all started when I was in elementary school when the parents needed help in the workshop. I was helping them in tailoring. Later we opened a store in town, so I went to work. In the meantime, I’ve dealt with all sorts of things but I started to think about creating a shoe. I started getting interested in designer shoes and found a favorite. I made my first pair of sandals that were inspired by the work of my favorite designer. After that, I wanted to go to a high school to design shoes right after elementary school, but my parents didn’t allow me because they thought I was too young to go to the big city.

I worked every day worthy of my high school days in  Topola, and then I enrolled at the Faculty of Design for leather products. At the same time I launched a Facebook page for the family brand that has enabled us to showcase our shoes. Business is going to be increasingly developed, and I had a difficult task, to devote myself to school and work. I was strongly persistent so we opened our first store in Belgrade. After I finished my undergraduate studies, I enrolled to postgraduate studies for Marketing Management in Fashion. That’s my story.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
The most important thing to me is that the materials and tools are well organized. The work space must be lit and well organized. In addition, the second most important thing is to listen to good music while I work, and the positive energy from the people I work with.

What is your favorite film?
Hm. There is plenty of great movies for my taste, like: Whiplash, Breaking the waves, Paper moon, The Hunt, In the mood for love, Vertigo… And many many many more.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
I would like to invite Philip Kotler 🙂

How do you like to spoil yourself?
I’d like to travel far away with my loved one and turn off the phone and internet, to leave worries behind.

What is luxury for you?
For me, luxury is the possibility of traveling.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I’ve received many compliments, but the most valuable are from my professors and mentor Maja, and Gordana.

What do you fear most?
I’m most afraid of various diseases.

What is a happy life to you?
Happy life is successfully managing and conducting business.

What does a regular day look like for you?
I wake up at about 8, drink coffee, and start to work. The day is too short for a bunch of liabilities. I draw, cut, devise, organize shoes. I send, reply to people on email, Facebook, Instagram. In the evening I’m trying to rest with a film, and if I have the strength I read a few pages of a good book until I fall asleep.

Tell us about your dream project.
I have a lot of dream projects 🙂 I’m dreaming about different projects everyday. For example I’m dreaming about designing my super luxury heel collection and promoting them at fashion weeks around the world.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
My inspiration is my parents.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
My design is reduced, unique, basically reduced with the extravagant details.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
I can’t live without music.

What inspires you?
Music, nature.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
Crime and punishment. I read it when I was in high school, this book has made a strong impression on me.

Connect with Aleksandra via Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @ObucaRistic and Instagram @risticshoesrish
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