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Modeled after the famous TV program called Inside the Actor's Studio, The Designer's Studio is the place where you will meet a well-known designer and read about her/his designing style, philosophy, most favorite techniques, publications, and many other interesting details of the creative world of knitwear designers. Our guests will be answering a set of 15 questions (the same for every guest) and you will have the opportunity to leave the comment or your question after the interview is posted. We will try to keep up with your questions. This is a very exciting project and I hope you will visit here often and will not miss any of the interviews posted here.


Faina Goberstein.

April 17, 2010

TODAY'S GUEST: LAURA ZUKAITE

If you have read my review of Laura's book Luxe Knits, you know you are in for a treat today. This time I am focusing on Laura Zukaite, the designer. The more I look at Laura's designs the more I admire this young lady. She managed to accomplish so much in such a short time with the level of sophistication and maturity in her designs that inspires many of us to strive for more. She has many years ahead of her and I am sure we will see some amazing and exquisite designs from Laura. Let me start with her background which is a part of her making as a designer.
Laura was born and raised in Klaipeda, Lithuania. In addition to going to a regular school, Laura was attending the Gymnasium of Arts where she was studying painting, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, etc. She also took her first fashion design class there. Laura says:" I’ve been in love with it [FG: fashion] ever since." Laura's family moved to the US when she was 18 years old. Her parents and two younger brothers settled in Philadelphia. Laura has decided to move to New York City to go college. Her choice was the Parsons School of Design where she received her BFA in Fashion Design in 2007. Luxe Knits was a project of her last semester at Parsons that came to life last August.
Here is Laura's work for the 2007 Senior Thesis Show of the Fashion Design department at Parsons.















Laura has been working in sweater design in fashion industry since graduation. Currently, she is an associate designer of men's and women's sweaters at Polo Ralph Lauren.
Having said all this about Laura Zukaite, I am thinking it is time to let you read what she says herself. So, here is her interview for the Designer's Studio.

1. When did you start knitting (crocheting) and who taught you?
I always say that my mom probably taught me when I was about five (and honestly- I do not remember). It seems like I’ve been knitting and crocheting all my life…

2. When did you begin publishing your designs?
My first designs were published in Fall/Winter 2006 with Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, and Knitty.com.












3. What is your most favorite knitting (crocheting) technique?

I like working with stitches and textures… I do not have one favorite technique of all times, but I rather go through modes: one season I like to work on complicated lace patterns and the next season I can not get enough of Stockinette Stitch…

4. When you are thinking about some new design, what inspires you the most? Is it different every time? Could you give us some examples on inspiration for some of your designs?
Interesting that you ask, because inspiration to me is one of the most important parts of design. In my book, Luxe Knits , I describe that the sources of my inspiration mostly come from visual imagery…It could be an old tree, or a modern piece of furniture…but mostly I am inspired by what I see around me…

5. What does your studio look like?
My Studio is where I live and where I design (I rarely execute there…but I will talk about it later)…It is quite a small studio with two exposed brick walls and very tall ceilings & windows…and it does inspire me to create…











6. What is your most favorite place to knit (crochet)?

I am “on-the-go” kind of knitter. I rarely knit at home…unless I am starting a new piece or finishing it… I always carry a project with me wherever I go. I have done knitting on the subways, in the car, at the cafĂ© shops, in the parks, waiting on line to buy museum tickets, during the opera intermissions…you name it…

7. Do you spin your own yarn?
No…

8. Do you belong to a knitting group?
No- most of the time- knitting is my time with myself…

9. Are you in touch with other designers and how do you communicate with the knitters
who knit your designs?
I am on Ravelry.com and created a blog where people can reach me. Every now & then I get emails from knitters that have questions… I welcome any form of communication from other knitters …

10. Where can we see your published designs?
Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knitty.com, Lace Style, Reversible Knitting, Classic Elite Pattern Books and of course my new book Luxe Knits…

11. Do you teach classes? If yes, where do you teach?
Sticks & Strings in Scarsdale, New York- the nicest little yarn shop!

12. What would you like to tell knitters who are timid and do not believe they are skillful
enough to knit some of your designs?
Practice is everything! Always challenge yourself and try things that are just above your skill level- soon you will see that the things that looked intimidating at first are not that difficult after you actually try them…

13. What are your plans in the near future?
I am pursuing my career in the fashion industry…and have the second book coming out in August… It is going to feature Accessories and present the same aesthetics as Luxe Knits…

14. Can you share with us some of your latest designs?
As I have mentioned before I just finished working on my second book, which will showcase accessories. It is a continuation of the first book, Luxe Knits, and will have the same feeling and design aesthetics.
I also have worked with Classic Elite Yarns on their Fall’10 line- so you will be able to see some of my designs there pretty soon…
FG: Laura's website has her newest collections.

15. Would you like to add anything about yourself?
My lifestyle? I like to stay active all the time…I bike crazy mileages when it is warm and ski whenever I can during the winter… I am also training and planning to complete my first Triathlon this summer. My first race this year is coming soon: New York City Half Marathon…

FG: This was wonderful, Laura. Thank you very much for this interview and the inspiration. We will be looking forward to your next book and new designs. Good luck with your fashion career and new publications. I hope to see you again soon.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this interview! I've been waiting for it!

    ReplyDelete