We had the pleasure to speak with Anna Osmiekhina, founder of TTSWTRS. She talked us through her brand, the combination of fashion and art, considering as well the artistic sentiment behind tattoos and the praise of one’s own body. Everything started off casually, she didn’t have in mind something this big. Eventually, even because of her originality in combining tattoo art and fashion, she made a name for herself in the industry.
Art is not the only focal point in her work though; behind the choice of every style, every piece of material, there’s a conscious choice for the sake of the planet. Anna Osmiekhina and her team – children in a sandbox – as she liked to define themselves- keep creating under the flag of companionship, mixing craftsmanship and audacity for a brand new way of dressing.
What does the name TTSWTRS come from? What was the inspiration behind it?
TTSWTRS – tattoo sweaters the working title of the first microcapsule of tattoo sweatshirts featuring my friend, a very inspiring character, tattoo artist Ien Levin. Of course, I was not going to seriously give the brand this name, as it sounded weird. Back then, I had no intention of founding a brand at all. Even until now, at TTSWTRS creative meetings, we make fun of our name. And the logo was reduced thanks to the Selfridges buyer, who was outraged by the absurdity of the name of our brand, and offered to somehow reduce it at least. But we like the name because it is strange and a bit eclectic.
The idea behind the connection between the art of tattoos and fashion is very intriguing. Can you tell us a bit more about this concept? Wearing fashionable tattoo skins is something that also resonates with the idea of a strong connection within body and art, where fashion functions as a bridge.
Yes, you are right this is very intriguing. I am touched by the passion of the importance of the moment when you decide to leave a certain pattern on your body forever. At this moment, your body becomes your canvas. People in tattoos always evoke emotion with their courage. For me, this is endless inspiration.
One of the main DNA’s element of this brand is its collaborative spirit. You’ve worked with several tattoo artists so far. Can you tell us about your experience working with them? Tattoo artists and fashion is not something commonly seen in the industry.
We didn’t want to be somehow different, just by chance our story began with cooperation with the tattoo artist and we enjoyed it. Later, it turned into a strong concept and recognizability. Even later, we became a bit of tattoo artists ourselves. Tattoo artists, photographers, artists all who glorify the nakedness of the beauty of the Body as it is our inspiration and our cooperation is a joint adventure when a new product is born, a new universe. Of very strong masters Nissaco, Nikita Khomiakov, Arthur Muzychenko, Rostislaw Tsarenko, Andrey Volkov, Edtattooer and Tattoo Sinyak.
Where do you take inspiration the most for your clothes?
I sit down and draw when the time comes to submit the sketches. I am not looking for inspiration; it is always in me. The question is what you want to broadcast. Everything starts from the end; I see a video or digital show with several models of certain music and then I finish it together with my closest team and almost family Sveta S and Nina K, with whom we started TTSWTRS 9 years ago.
The last SS21 collection is strongly forward-looking, as it dived deep into the unknown, exploring how could possibly be a galactic outfit, when living far from the earth. What were the messages you wanted to convey with this collection? We find that there’s a connection with what needs to be changed now on Earth to make it a safer and a more sustainable place to live.
SS21’s main message is reminding the people that we should take care of our Planet. So, we were the ones who stopped being afraid and were able to come up with an innovative chemical additive to plastic. In this way, it completely decomposes painlessly. We are the ones who closed zoos and our children no longer play with animals and animals no longer sit in prison for our entertainment. You appreciate what you lose. I imagined that moment that someone will tell us – “Guys get together, Earthlings, we are moving out” What heritage will we take with us?
How to take with us beautiful temples, attributes of religions, tattoos, flowers, beautiful seas and oceans, dolphin languages and songs, all created by nature and man for all these centuries on our planet. I wanted to say that this is all created for us. There, on an ecru jacket with the image of the Earth, I drew a spacesuit for the Buddha, this is my most important metaphor. I want to enjoy the Earth, our planet, with my body, my mind, the possibilities that are in this time of transformations and strength and everything that has been created for us.
The style of TTSWTRS is very straightforward, at times minimal and carefully balanced with tattoo art elements and soft silhouettes. This reflects the philosophy of the brand. How is it related to sustainability issues?
I believe every player in the fashion industry should switch to an eco-friendly way of creating clothing, footwear and accessories. Therefore, we switched to biodegradable packaging and are now choosing fabrics that are made in an environmentally friendly way or whose thread is partly made of plastic bottles. It’s great that fabric manufacturers were able to achieve a very steep quality of environmentally friendly materials in these 2 years, but this increases our costs by at least 30-35%, because you need to pay extra for environmental friendliness, but we go for it deliberately.
I am very pleased that we have reduced our product range from 120 units to 40 in a collection and we do not plan to do unnecessary things. Also now we are presenting yan showing the proceeds of which will go to the organization to save the oceans from plastic waste. We also dream of reaching such a level to make biodegradable packaging for our products from our own waste and then accept the outdated items of our brand for recycling. This is our dream, while it is dear to us, but I hope we will be able to afford it already in 2022.
You’ve dressed celebrities of the caliber of Kourtney Kardashian, Nicky Minaj, Winnie Harlow, Lena Perminova, Nina Kravitz, and many more. How is your experience in celebrity dressing? Do you have a particular anecdote or memory you’d like to share with us? When did you start working as a celebrity stylist?
I have been working as a celebrity stylist from 24 years old for about 13 years. It was like 4 years when I did not have a single day off. I enjoyed my work. It seems to me that any person who is already on stage is initially charismatic. Therefore, you need not to overdo it with the showiness of the image, and in music videos it is always cool to present the artist in a more ascetic manner, this is what exactly works for me.
Once, for a music video in a luxury location in Portugal; I was carrying a spear in my carry-on and had a transfer at Amsterdam airport and some artificial blood in cans and an iron corset to attach the spear. On the custom control several people gathered and I tried to explain to show what the spear and blood were for and in the end they let me through. This was so epic.
Any dreamy collaboration you would like to do in the future?
I would love to collaborate with Mr.K and Doctor Woo. I believe in our team. It seems to me that all my dreams have already come true thanks to the much-unlimited minds of TTSWTRS team and the ideas of our in-house PR and development agency – GOGOLA. We, like children in a sandbox, think about how cool it would be to share ideas and embody them.