Saltanat Baimukhamedova, designer and founder of SALTA was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in the heart of Central Asia. She founded her label in 2008 and has become a famous and commercially successful designer in her native country. Early this year, she moved her label to Dubai to challenge a new experience of becoming a Middle Eastern designer. Slated to showcase for the first time at this season’s Fashion Forward, we speak to her about her inspirations and more.
In conversation with Nupur Jaisinghani.
TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU GOT STARTED WITH FASHION.
I graduated from the Almaty University of Technology where I studied Design. I’ve been into fashion since my childhood- I lived and breathed it. Growing up, I had a few difficult times with my parents as I was really into different, edgy clothes and they wanted to see a nice, manageable, teenager- I was a black sheep among others! In 2008, I wanted to open my own label, Salta- representing my name, my inner thoughts and dreams and everything I have ever wanted to do.
HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRED, OR RATHER WHERE DOES THE INSPIRATION COME FROM?
I discover inspiration in anything that impresses me- small details, emotions of other people, unusual shapes and forms. Most of my inspiration comes when I travel around the world- you have to change your surroundings and feel different scents, vibes, dynamics.
YOUR THOUGHTS ON DUBAI AND ITS FASHION SCENE.
The Dubai fashion scene fascinates me- it is a fashion hub bursting with inspiration and style. I love that you have a more glamorous approach to dressing here- lots of high heels and the glitz and glam; and then you come across people who rock the cool trainers and ripped jeans offering a more relaxed approach to dressing.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXHIBITION LIKE? HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT SHOWCASING AT FASHION FORWARD THIS YEAR?
My first showcase of Salta was the most amazing experience; I felt extremely proud and received fantastic feedback! I’m very excited to show for the first time in Dubai- especially with Fashion Forward. I visited Fashion Forward last season and was blown away by the whole set up and the extremely talented designers in the region.
WHO IN YOUR OPINION IS A FASHION ICON TODAY?
That is a very difficult question because for me, Coco Chanel is still the most fashionable icon today and I think tomorrow as well.
ANY CELEBRITY THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO DESIGN FOR.
There isn’t a celebrity that I have my heart on dressing at the moment but my biggest dream still, is the idea of dressing my mum in Salta. She keeps saying that she admires what I do but so far, I haven’t been able to convince her to wear something from my collection.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR LATEST COLLECTION.
The new AW16 collection that is part of Fashion Forward is inspired by Tibet and consists of lots of oriental layering infused wth simple Western shapes and cuts.