Rozhovory

Otázky a odpovede – o dobrých impulzoch, dôležitých ľuďoch, využitých a nevyužitých šancách, užitočných nápadoch. O dizajne a dizajnéroch, ich cestách k víťazstvám, o prekážkach, víziách alebo naplnených snoch. O tom, že dizajn má veľa podôb a pomáha meniť svet k lepšiemu.

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Velvet Generation: Dana Kleinert

Slovenskú verziu rozhovoru nájdete tu.

The interview was created on the occasion of the Velvet Generation exhibition taking place at The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in London as a part of the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of November '89.

Portrait of Dana Kleinert in The Primate's Palace (Municipality seat), Bratislava, Slovakia (© Šymon Kliman)
Portrait of Dana Kleinert in The Primate's Palace (Municipality seat), Bratislava, Slovakia (© Šymon Kliman)

How did you experience the events right before and after the Revolution in 1989? Were the changes immediately apparent or gradual?
I just turned 15 at the time, I was in the first year of high school. It was a breakthrough for me: the high school was one change and immediately at the start, the entire situation changed. We started at the school with the Russian language, and several months later, we could choose another language instead of Russian. Teachers from abroad began to come here, and they brought a totally different feeling. The change was also in the fact that we could travel. Until then, I had been thinking within limits — even geographical. My whole world-view got colours, I suddenly had the impression that anything I want is possible.

How did you experience it as a teenager? Did you attend manifestations, did you participate in any way?
It was very noticeable, also in society, and in the discussions we were having. You’re fifteen, and you suddenly have a feeling that you can be a part of the change in the whole system. We were going to squares from the beginning because we lived in Bratislava-Old Town; we were surrounded by all the happenings, Revolution-related paintings and graphics.

How did your first foreign connections go? Did you have the possibility to travel abroad already in high school?
Since there were teachers from abroad coming to high school, a foreign exchange started. I was probably in the first group — in 1991, when I was seventeen, I got to Boston living in a family for a month; that was another turnaround for me.

You only went there in 1991, but did you also experience a cultural shock in America?
Yes, we could put it like that. For example, they used a car to get anywhere there — even that was strange to me. In a grocery store, they had fridges filled to the top with food, and I couldn’t understand how’s that possible — so many goods in one spot. Even though we had already known Austria, the American extent of consumerism overwhelmed me. It occurred to me that I was in a strange world that I couldn’t grasp at all.

Did you go to college right after school? What year was it?
I did finals in 1993, I didn't get to college at first, so I had a year off. Then I started to study at AFAD in 1994/95 at Textile Design and in the fourth year, I was in Helsinki. Therefore I could compare schools, and it left a deep mark.

That stay left a mark probably rather from the professional point of view?
Yes, especially in the sense that I already could and wanted to look critically at school. The problem for me was that some pedagogues found a cushy job at the school. At the time, the era of more prolonged uncertainty had arrived. Before, we were happy for freedom to come, but after a couple of years, artists realised that it also brings uncertainty; and that it's actually quite comfy to have your own studio and phone at school. When I then came to Finland, I saw a massive difference in the quality of teaching. Of course, also in terms of material provision but I could understand that.

Wasn't the insufficient quality of instruction caused, for example, by the change in teaching staff after the Revolution, and they also needed to get used to the new situation, set up systems, and teaching methods?
Definitely, but in this case, I'd blame the school's management a bit. I'd take it from the point that we have new possibilities, open borders, so let's get here those who can do it.
I needed someone who would know what to teach and what the direction is supposed to be. It seems to me that many people there didn't even teach students a bit more, not even the sense of cooperation. It was very much about individualism — we'll be big artists once.
I'm quite critical in this respect, when I look back, I have the feeling that the six years were a waste relative to how much I learned there. I was a student then; it was very comfortable. Then I went to Finland, where I started to have the ambition that I wanted to achieve something. A self-study of how it actually works in the real world logically took me longer then. In a sense, my own business was also self-study for me. We were all working, and what we earned, we put into the company, to brand-building, and especially to being able to go abroad and present ourselves in design platforms. I keep saying that I had learned too expensively and spent too much time studying. It finally resulted in the establishment of the Slovak Fashion Council to support others. It's better now, there's more travel, students and pedagogues understand more things. At the time, many businesses were shutting down. There was not even a place to get experience. There were not even shops where I could go selling local clothing, where I could meet with how a customer reacts. There was absolutely no space to support local work.

Do you think that it's easier for today's generation than it was for you at the start of a professional career?
I think it's certainly easier for them today. On the one hand, the public understands authentic design a lot more, and I don't only mean fashion. We're increasingly more perceptive of the need for local support; we get that small brands are emerging. Indeed, it's enormous pressure and expensive business; basically, in the first ten years, you do it as a hobby in which you put all the money. But at least they know what to do and who to turn to.

How did you get from high school to textile? Why did you decide to study it?
I always had a close relation to it. My grandpa established the Faculty of Architecture at AFAD, designed the SNP Monument in Banská Bystrica; design has always been a part of our family. Honestly, I don't know why textile precisely, I always enjoyed it. I've always liked to see things, also textile design, in overlaps, and when I was doing something; I already saw it as a whole and what to do with it further.

Did you start with your own business right after school?
At the end of my studies, a classmate and I made a big graduation show. I enjoyed its production and communication part a lot. Immediately after school, we wanted to travel with my husband, but at that time, I found out I was pregnant. Finally, in 2000 – 2001, we settled down in Canada. I packed my whole practical part of the thesis and started from scratch. We were in West Vancouver where we spotted some interesting shop. I came there, asked for the owner, showed her my stuff, and she liked it. So I sold my things in Canada right away.

Did you continue working in Canada then?
I was selling my clothes through this lady, but I wasn't making new ones at that time. My daughter was born, I wasn't working. But I was learning "Business English", and I tried to get a different way of thinking under my skin. Then we returned to Bratislava, I started to work. First orders came in, at the start of zero years, there was work for Superstar. I noticed the Viennese, I liked that they not only worked with garments but also styling — that was new. Then I just marched in STV and did my first Superstar that way. A had a bold idea to dress the finalists and presenters in the clothes of our designers. But it didn't pass because they were already preparing some deal with commercial brands, and people not yet "felt" the local concept. It was a good experience, but once was enough; it wasn't entirely for me. At that time, I had already been approached by my client to start a business together.

What was this offer about?
My partner wanted us to open a boutique in the city center. She'd take care of the orders and the financial side of things, and I'd do the realisation. In 2005, we opened a boutique right in downtown. I still remember the first two customers: one from Australia, the other from Paris. It was a great lesson of finance, production, and also of how business works. In the beginning, I sublet smaller knitwear manufacture in Nitra, so my clothing was produced in small series — it taught me to see things differently. During the time, an opportunity to go to Japan through the European Commission arrived. I've learned a lot there. I didn't know the basic things, and I already had my own business, the Paris people envied me for that. When I had a boutique, I learned a lot about Bratislava's tourism. For example, what the city really needs and can't do — it navigated me to my work today.

Why did the business end?
We were pouring a lot of money into it; I travelled a lot, it just wasn't sustainable anymore. Then also I had a child, then second, and with the third, I wanted to decide. I was already tired, and it wasn't even manageable for one person to do.

Did you travel so much as a part of the business?
Yes, for the brand's promotion. We also did business; we got orders in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Holland, London, Vienna, Prague ... But in the fashion business, it was still too little to really make money efficiently. Finally, you reach a point where you have to get an investment to make it grow. At the same time, I had already established the Slovak Fashion Council, there wasn't time for everything. The company still exists, we make prototypes which we put into small boutiques, but that's just a tiny fraction of my work.

What was the driving force to establish the Slovak Fashion Council?
Since I'm a person networking others, I really enjoy it when people come together because then they can have a lot better results. At the time, nobody understood what I wanted — some "creative industry". In 2011, I won a competition for Slovakia, it was held worldwide by the British Council – Young Creative Entrepreneur. We met in London from various countries, and that's when it hit me: that it's me who had to do it. And when I saw that Nigeria and Ghana have their "fashion councils" and we don't, I had to do it.

Have you established it with somebody or all alone? How do you work now?
I went around designers, the Slovak Design Center also helped us — we cooperate until today. It's a civic association having no official members. At first, we thought we would introduce a membership and do things together, but we found out we have no financial strength in our designers. So we solved it with the private segment, it worked better, and with grants. We've put our own energy, finances, time, everything into it. We've really done a lot already.

What's your target with SFC?
We've built it on three pillars: first are designers and the communication between them, the second is production support, and the third is wholesale and retail. When these three components work, and of course also mutually; the whole ecosystem starts working. Now it's great, in the meantime, awareness and brands have emerged. We're doing things to support these pillars.

Can we say that the overall situation in your field in Slovakia is changing somewhat for the better also as regards education, public, and abroad?
Yes, we can see it in the SFC. In the seven years that we're here, shops opened up, somewhere new manufactures were established. And I'm really convinced that we've contributed to it a great deal. I haven't mentioned the Bratislava Fashion Map yet, and now we're going to make another issue. We basically already have an app ready which has proved us we can extend it to the whole Slovakia.

When you go abroad with our designers, is there any interest in our environment, Slovakia or Central Europe? Do you feel feedback from them?
We do, they just place us more to the east. At first, I had a negative impression from that, but then I accepted it. They call it differently — as "emerging designers". That's quite a good definition of the situation in which we are. They see us as people with huge potential and enjoy discovering it.

Apart from these fashion- and art-related activities, you've also had projects with public space, even activities in the municipality at present. How did you get to it, was it related to the family architectural background?
It all rather results from me seeing things in context, I've got a feeling for solutions, and I can call them their names. Sometimes it's just about feelings, but I also try to grasp them with data or experiences of others. Even in Japan, I was at one meeting with about 80-year-old Japanese who had been a businessman for years. He told me that I can consider in the years ahead, that I'm that type. Some designers are like that, while others can perfectly capture the time — those are the ones who earn the most. The first ones are there to open the doors.

What are your positions within municipal politics?
I'm a member of the Bratislava-Staré Mesto Municipal Council; Chairwoman of the Commission for Culture, where we decide, for example, about subsidies. And then I'm also in commissions for social affairs and education. We're also starting up the Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava. I'm setting up and running the Department of Interdisciplinary Activities, together with the Department of Culture, we're addressing systematic support of culture, and culture and creative industry in the city. My ambitions in politics are to improve the conditions for culture and the creative industry overall, not only in Bratislava. Now I can see it's possible to change it.

Don't you miss creative design work in all that?
Not that much, I find. Perhaps because we're setting up so many new things, and that's also a creative activity. And I actually enjoy it a lot, when we're in showrooms and the like when designers sell and are happy. In a way, I've been through it, so I don't feel unfulfilled, and now I enjoy helping other people.

Hypothetically, do you think that if no change happened in the system, your life would be different in something? If so, in what?
I don't know how much courage I would have in civic life if the former regime continued; I have considered it repeatedly. I cannot assess myself. Since now I have the feeling that when some injustice was going on, I always dealt with it, and I was one of the first to claim that it was not fair. But today we're in a different society. I do not know if I would not have been silenced then if I would have had the courage. I keep dealing with it in myself.

Well, at least your trips abroad could not be realised, or at least not to such extent.
But hypothetically, I wouldn't even miss it because nobody would show it all to me. Maybe I would just pipe down and be happy knitting somewhere. In the first days, I could actually feel that I could suddenly travel. But before, I hadn't even thought of wanting it, and I wasn't even old enough. Maybe it would be a matter of two years when it would hit me, and I'd be able to say on what I wanted to focus.

Do you think that any of your work, or in your case, of your activities, would have been troublesome or forbidden?
I can't precisely define how it would be. Probably the civic activity, that's what I definitely wouldn't be able to do. I've got a strong feeling of gratitude that it happened.

Dana Kleinert (15-year-old in November 1989), fashion designer, lives and works in Bratislava. Her work in organising culminated when she established the Slovak Fashion Council — a professional non-profit organisation focused on educating and support in the field of fashion design. She is currently active in local politics as a member of the Bratislava-Staré Mesto Municipal Council, where she is also the Chair of the Commission for Culture. Currently, she is starting up and running The Department of Interdisciplinary Activities in the new Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava. It aims to support the creative industry in the city, interconnect social, cultural, and educational themes.

Interviewed by: Barbora Komarová
Translation: Katarína Kasalová






Rozhovor bol vytvorený pri príležitosti výstavy Velvet Generation konanej na Slovenskom veľvyslanectve v Londýne ako súčasť osláv 30. výročia Novembra '89.

Portrét Dany Kleinert v Primaciálnom paláci, Bratislava, Slovensko (© Šymon Kliman)
Portrét Dany Kleinert v Primaciálnom paláci, Bratislava, Slovensko (© Šymon Kliman)

Ako si vnímala udalosti tesne pred a po prevrate v roku 1989? Dali sa zmeny vycítiť hneď, alebo sa to menilo postupne?
Mala som vtedy čerstvých pätnásť, bola som v prvom ročníku na gymnáziu. Bolo to pre mňa prelomové, stredná škola bola jedna zmena a hneď na začiatku sa zmenila celá situácia. Nastúpili sme s tým, že sme mali ruštinu, a za pár mesiacov sme si mohli vybrať namiesto ruštiny iný jazyk. Začali k nám prichádzať lektori zo zahraničia a tí doniesli úplne iný vietor. Zmenou bol aj pocit, že môžeme cestovať. Dovtedy som rozmýšľala v limitoch, aj geografických. Celé moje nazeranie na život sa „rozfarebnilo“, zrazu som mala pocit, že môžem všetko, ak budem chcieť.

Ako si to ako tínedžerka prežívala? Absolvovala si manifestácie, nejako si participovala?
Bolo to veľmi citeľné, aj v spoločenskom dianí, aj v diskusiách, ktoré sme viedli. Máš pätnásť a zrazu cítiš, že môžeš byť súčasťou zmeny v celom systéme. Na námestia sme chodili od začiatku a keďže sme žili v Starom Meste, boli sme obklopení aj všetkými happeningmi, maľbami a grafikami, ktoré s revolúciou súviseli.

Ako prebiehali tvoje prvé kontakty so zahraničím? Mohla si už na strednej škole vycestovať von?
Tým, že na gymnázium začali prichádzať lektori zvonku, začala sa aj výmena smerom do zahraničia. Bola som asi v prvej skupine – v roku 1991 som mala sedemnásť, keď som sa dostala do Bostonu, do rodiny na mesiac, čo bol pre mňa ďalší zo zásadných zlomov.

Išla si tam až v roku 1991, ale zažila si v Amerike aj kultúrny šok?
Áno, dalo by sa to tak povedať. Napríklad všade sa chodilo len autom, už to bolo pre mňa zvláštne, v potravinách mali plné chladničky až po strop, a ja som nechápala, ako je vôbec možné, toľko tovaru na jednom mieste. Hoci sme už poznali Rakúsko, ohúrila ma americká miera konzumu. Prišlo mi to, že som vo zvláštnom svete, ktorý som nevedela vôbec uchopiť.

Na vysokú školu si išla hneď po gymnáziu? Aký to bol rok?
Maturovala som v roku 1993, na vysokú ma najprv nezobrali, takže som mala rok voľno. Na VŠVU som nastúpila teda v 1994/95 na textilný dizajn a vo štvrtom ročníku som bola v Helsinkách. Tým pádom som školy vedela porovnať a veľmi ma to poznačilo.

Tento pobyt ťa ale poznačil asi skôr z profesionálneho hľadiska?
Áno, hlavne v zmysle, že som sa už vedela a aj chcela kriticky pozerať na školu. Pre mňa bol problém, že niektorí pedagógovia si na škole našli akoby teplé miesto. Vtedy už prišla doba dlhšej neistoty. Predtým sme sa tešili, že prišla sloboda, ale po pár rokoch umelci zistili, že to prináša aj neistotu a že je vlastne celkom pohodlné mať vlastný ateliér a telefón v škole. Keď som potom prišla do Fínska, videla som obrovský rozdiel v kvalite učenia. Samozrejme, aj čo sa týka materiálového zabezpečenia, ale to som vedela pochopiť.

Nebola nedostatočná kvalita výučby spôsobená napríklad tým, že po prevrate sa celý pedagogický zbor vymenil, a teda aj oni si zvykali na novú situáciu, nastavovali systémy a spôsoby výučby?
Určite, ale v tomto prípade by som z toho trochu vinila vedenie školy. Ja by som sa na to pozerala tak, že máme nové možnosti, otvorené hranice, takže poďme sem nabrať tých, ktorí to vedia robiť. Potrebovala som niekoho, kto by vedel, čo sa mám učiť, kam to má smerovať. Mne sa zdá, že veľa ľudí tam ani nenaučilo študentov niečo viac, ani len cit k možnosti spolupráce. Bolo to veľmi o individualizme – raz budeme veľkí umelci.
V tomto smere som dosť kritická, keď na to pozerám spätne, mám pocit, že bola škoda tých šiestich rokov v zmysle objemu toho, čo som sa naučila. Vtedy som bola študentka, bolo to veľmi pohodlné. Potom som išla do Fínska, kde som začala mať ambície, že niečo chcem dokázať. Samoštúdium, ako to reálne v praxi funguje, mi potom logicky trvalo oveľa dlhšie. V tomto zmysle aj moja firma bola pre mňa samoštúdiom. Všetci sme robili a čo sme zarobili, sme dávali do firmy, do budovania brandu a najmä toho, aby sme mohli ísť do zahraničia a prezentovať sa na dizajnérskych platformách. Ja stále tvrdím, že som sa učila príliš draho a príliš dlho, čo nakoniec aj viedlo k tomu, že sme založili Slovak Fashion Council na podporu iných. Teraz je to lepšie, viac sa cestuje, viac vecí chápu študenti aj pedagógovia. V tej dobe sa veľa podnikov rušilo. Už sa nedalo ani nikde praxovať. Neboli ani len obchodíky, kam by som mohla ísť predávať lokálne oblečenie, kde by som sa stretla s tým, ako zákazník reaguje. Vôbec nebol priestor pre podporu lokálnej tvorby.

Myslíš si, že dnešná generácia to má ľahšie, ako ste to mali vy na začiatku profesionálnej kariéry?
Myslím si, že oni to majú dnes určite ľahšie. Na jednej strane verejnosť oveľa viac chápe autorský dizajn, a nemyslím len módu. Oveľa viac vnímame potrebu lokálnej podpory, rozumieme aj tomu, že vznikajú malé značky. Samozrejme, je to veľký tlak a drahý biznis, v podstate prvých desať rokov to robíš ako koníček, do ktorého dávaš všetky peniaze. Ale minimálne vedia, čo treba robiť a majú sa na koho obrátiť.

Ako si sa z gymnázia dostala k textilu? Prečo si sa rozhodla ísť ho študovať?
Mala som k tomu vždy blízko. Môj dedo založil katedru architektúry na VŠVU, navrhol pamätník SNP v Banskej Bystrici, dizajn bol stále súčasťou našej rodiny. Pravdupovediac, neviem, prečo práve textil, vždy ma to bavilo. Vždy sa mi páčilo vidieť veci, aj textilný dizajn, v presahoch a keď som niečo robila, videla som už celok a čo s ním ďalej.

Po škole si začala hneď vlastný biznis?
Na konci štúdia sme so spolužiačkou urobili veľkú absolventskú prehliadku. Veľmi ma to bavilo po produkčnej a komunikačnej stránke. Hneď po škole sme s mojím terajším manželom chceli cestovať, ale v tom čase som zistila, že som tehotná. Nakoniec sme v rokoch 2000 – 2001 zakotvili v Kanade. Zbalila som si celú svoju praktickú diplomovú prácu a išla som úplne od piky. Boli sme vo West Vancouveri, kde sme zazreli nejaký zaujímavý obchod. Prišla som tam, spýtala sa na majiteľku, ukázala jej moje veci, a jej sa to páčilo. Takže som v Kanade hneď predala veci.

V Kanade si potom pokračovala v práci?
Predávala som svoje veci cez túto pani, ale nevyrábala som vtedy nové. Narodila sa mi dcéra, nepracovala som, ale učila som sa „business English“ a celkovo nasávala iný spôsob rozmýšľania. Potom sme sa vrátili do Bratislavy, začala som pracovať. Prichádzali prvé zákazky, začiatkom nultých rokov práca pre Superstar. Všimla som si tú viedenskú, páčilo sa mi, že pracovali nielen s odevom, ale aj stylingom, čo tu predtým vôbec nebolo. Vtedy som „na drzovku“ prišla do STV, a tak som robila prvú Superstar. Mala som odvážnu myšlienku, aby sme do priameho prenosu dali finalistom a moderátorom našich dizajnérov. Ale neprešlo to, lebo už chystali zmluvu s nejakou komerčnou značkou a ten lokálny koncept vtedy ešte ľudia „necítili“. Bola to dobrá skúsenosť, ale raz stačilo, nebolo to úplne pre mňa. V tom čase ma už oslovila moja klientka, že spolu založíme firmu.

V čom spočívala tá ponuka?
Moja spoločníčka chcela, aby sme si otvorili v centre mesta obchod. Ona sa chcela starať o zákazky a o finančnú stránku vecí a ja som mala robiť realizáciu. V roku 2005 sme otvorili obchod priamo v centre. Doteraz si pamätám na prvé dve zákazníčky, jedna z Austrálie a druhá z Paríža. Bola to veľká škola, finančná, produkčná, aj ako funguje obchod. Na začiatku som si prenajala menšiu úpletovú manufaktúru pri Nitre, takže sme moje autorské veci vyrábali v malých sériách, čo ma naučilo vidieť veci inak. Do toho prišla možnosť ísť do Japonska cez Európsku komisiu. Naučila som sa tam veľmi veľa. Nevedela som základné veci, a to som mala už svoj obchod, čo mi zas ľudia z Paríža závideli. Keď som mala obchod, naučila som sa veľa napríklad o turizme Bratislavy o tom, čo mesto reálne potrebuje a nevie robiť, čo ma priviedlo až k dnešnej práci.

Z akého dôvodu skončil ten obchod?
Nalievali sme do toho veľa peňazí, veľa som cestovala, jednoducho to už nebolo udržateľné. Tiež som hlavne mala jedno dieťa, potom druhé a pri treťom som sa chcela rozhodnúť. Bola som už unavená a ani to nebolo zvládnuteľné, aby to robil jeden človek.

V rámci firmy si toľko cestovala?
Áno, v rámci propagácie značky. My sme robili aj biznis, dostali sme zákazky v Japonsku, Saudskej Arábii, Holandsku, Londýne, Viedni, Prahe… Ale v módnom biznise to bolo stále príliš málo, aby sme dokázali naozaj efektívne točiť peniaze. Nakoniec príde istý strop, kedy musíš dostať investíciu, ak chceš rásť. Zároveň som v tom čase už založila Slovak Fashion Council, nedalo sa všetko. Firma stále existuje, robíme prototypy, ktoré dávame do malých obchodíkov, ale je to len pár percent mojej práce.

Z čoho vzišla myšlienka založiť Slovak Fashion Council?
Keďže som človek, ktorý sieťuje iných, mám veľmi rada, keď sa dávajú ľudia dokopy, lebo vtedy môžu mať oveľa lepšie výsledky. V tej dobe nikto u nás nerozumel, o čo mi ide – o nejaký „kreatívny priemysel“.
V roku 2011 som za Slovensko vyhrala súťaž, ktorú robil celosvetovo British Council – Young Creative Entrepreneur. Stretli sme sa v Londýne z rôznych krajín, tam mi to „doplo“, že to proste musím urobiť ja. A keď som videla, že už aj Nigéria a Ghana, všetci majú svoje „fashion council“ a my nič, tak už som to musela urobiť.

Zakladala si to ešte s niekým alebo úplne sama? Ako fungujete teraz?
Obehla som dizajnérov, pomohlo nám aj Slovenské centrum dizajnu, s ktorým spolupracujeme doteraz. Je to občianske združenie, ktoré zatiaľ nemá oficiálnych členov. Najprv sme si mysleli, že spravíme členské a budeme robiť veci spolu, ale zistili sme, že v našich dizajnéroch nemáme finančnú silu. Tak sme to riešili cez súkromný segment, čo fungovalo lepšie, a cez granty. Dávali sme do toho vlastnú energiu, financie, čas, všetko. Už sme naozaj veľa spravili.

Čo je vaším cieľom v rámci SFC?
Máme to postavené na troch pilieroch – prvým sú dizajnéri a vzájomná komunikácia medzi nimi, druhým je podpora výroby, a tretí pilier je veľkoobchod a maloobchod. Keď tieto tri zložky fungujú a, samozrejme, vzájomne, začne fungovať aj celý ekosystém. Teraz je to super, medzitým už vzniklo povedomie, aj značky. Robíme veci na podporu týchto troch pilierov.

Dá povedať, že sa v tvojom odbore u nás na Slovensku celková situácia mení skôr k lepšiemu, aj čo sa týka vzdelávania, verejnosti a zahraničia?
Hej, my to vidíme v SFC. Za tých osem rokov, čo sme tu, sa otvorili obchody, niekde vznikli malé manufaktúry a ja som naozaj presvedčená o tom, že sme veľkou mierou k tomu prispeli. Nespomenula som ešte Bratislava Fashion Map, teraz už budeme robiť ďalší ročník. Už v podstate máme hotovú aj aplikáciu, ktorá nám ukázala, že ju vieme rozšíriť na celé Slovensko.

Keď chodíte s našimi dizajnérmi do zahraničia, je tam záujem o naše prostredie, Slovensko či strednú Európu? Cítite od nich spätnú väzbu?
Cítime, akurát oni nás viac zaraďujú do východnej. Na začiatku som to vnímala ako negatívne, ale potom som sa s tým zmierila. Oni to nazývajú inak, ako „emerging designers“. Je to celkom dobré zadefinovanie situácie, v ktorej sme my. Oni nás vnímajú ako ľudí s veľkým potenciálom a baví ich to objavovať.

Okrem týchto aktivít spojených s módou a dizajnom si mala aj projekty s verejným priestorom, až po súčasné komunálne pôsobenie. Ako si sa k tomu dostala, súviselo to s tým rodinným architektonickým prostredím?
Celé to vyplýva skôr z toho, že viem veci vidieť v súvislostiach, cítim riešenia a viem ich pomenovať. Niekedy to je len o pocitoch, ale zároveň sa to snažím uchopiť aj dátami, či skúsenosťami iných. Dokonca v Japonsku som bola na jednom stretnutí asi s 80-ročným Japoncom, ktorý bol roky obchodníkom. Ten mi povedal, že viem rozmýšľať roky dopredu, že som tento typ. Takí sú niektorí dizajnéri, iní zas vedia perfektne vystihnúť dobu, to sú tí, čo najlepšie zarábajú. Tí prví skôr otvárajú dvere.

Aké funkcie máš v rámci komunálnej politiky?
Som poslankyňa Starého Mesta v Bratislave, predsedníčka Komisie pre kultúru, kde rozhodujeme napríklad aj o dotáciách, a potom som ešte v komisiách sociálnych vecí a vzdelávania. Zároveň rozbiehame Metropolitný inštitút Bratislavy. Zakladám a vediem Útvar prierezových činností, spolu s Oddelením kultúry riešime systémovú podporu kultúry a kultúrneho a kreatívneho priemyslu v meste. Moje politické ambície sú celkovo zlepšiť podmienky pre kultúru a kreatívny priemysel, nielen v Bratislave. Teraz vidím, že sa to dá zmeniť.

Nechýba ti pri tom všetkom kreatívna dizajnérska tvorba?
Zistila som, že až tak nie. Asi tým, že nastavujeme teraz toľko nových vecí, čo je tiež kreatívna činnosť. A hlavne veľmi ma baví, keď sme na showroomoch a podobne, keď dizajnéri predajú a tešia sa. Ja som si to svojím spôsobom „odžila“, takže nemám pocit nenaplnenia a baví ma teraz pomôcť ostatným ľuďom.

Z hypotetického hľadiska, myslíš si, že ak by zmena systému nenastala, líšil by sa tvoj život v niečom? Ak áno, v čom?
Neviem, koľko odvahy by som mala v občianskom živote, keby bývalý režim pokračoval, viackrát som nad tým rozmýšľala. Neviem sa zhodnotiť. Lebo teraz mám pocit, že keď sa diala nejaká nespravodlivosť, tak som to vždy riešila a bola som jedna z prvých, ktorí sa hlásili k tomu, že toto nie je spravodlivé. Ale dnes sme v inej spoločnosti, neviem, či by ma to vtedy nezomlelo, či by som mala tú odvahu. Toto si stále v sebe riešim.

Tak minimálne tvoje výjazdy do zahraničia by sa nedali absolvovať, alebo aspoň nie v takej miere.
Ale hypoteticky by mi to možno ani nechýbalo, lebo by mi to všetko nikto neukázal. Možno by som len sklapla päty a niekde by som plietla a bola by som spokojná. Ja som vlastne od prvých dní pocítila, že som zrazu mohla vycestovať. Ale predtým mi to ani nenapadlo chcieť, ani som nebola natoľko veľká. Možno by to bola otázka dvoch rokov, kedy by to u mňa prepuklo, že by som ti vedela povedať, že kam by som sa asi orientovala.

Myslíš, že niečo z tvojej tvorby, alebo v tvojom prípade z tvojich aktivít, by bolo problematické či zakázané?
Neviem presne definovať, ako by to bolo. Asi tá občianska aktivita, to by som určite nemohla robiť. Mám silný pocit vďaky, že sa to stalo.

Dana Kleinert, odevná dizajnérka a organizátorka, žije a pracuje v Bratislave. Jej organizátorská práca vyvrcholila v založení Slovak Fashion Council, profesionálnej neziskovej organizácie na vzdelávanie a podporu oblasti odevného dizajnu. Je aktívna v politike, je poslankyňou miestneho zastupiteľstva Bratislava-Staré Mesto, kde je aj predsedníčkou Komisie pre kultúru. V súčasnosti rozbieha a vedie Útvar prierezových činností v novom Metropolitnom inštitúte Bratislavy, ktorého cieľom je podpora kreatívneho priemyslu v meste, prepájanie sociálnych, kultúrnych a vzdelávacích tém.

Zhovárala sa: Barbora Komarová

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