Meet the man who made it all happen. Style Me Prague sat down with Prague Fashion Week CEO, Lukaš Loskot, to talk about all things fashion. From the time he came on board to how the organization operates today. The busy CEO opened up about what makes Prague Fashion Week such a success, the challenges of retail and how the young generation is breaking the fashion boundaries. Discover what the future holds for Prague Fashion Week and the industry in general from the man at the center of Czech fashion.
You are a very busy man. You are the creative director of Prague Fashion Week, a co-founder of beauty heaven Ingredients and an editor-in-chief of Blue Paper magazine. Tell me how do you have time for everything?
Blue Paper magazine is issued twice a year, the fashion week is twice a year and Ingredients is closely curated by my business partner, so it’s not so bad actually. I have some free time. (Laughs).
Before coming on board with Prague Fashion Week you were in the fashion retail business and still run a luxury boutique Simple Concept. Was retail something you always wanted to do?
I hold a degree in Fashion design but I never really wanted to actually be a designer and create garments. I was more interested in the business side of it – retail. Everything that I do is connected to retail because the designers we present need to sell their collection afterwards. We help them to sell their goods so it’s still retail. The only difference is that I’m no longer in the shop.
You are also a co-founder of a beauty boutique Ingredients. What made you to switch from fashion to beauty?
To me fashion and beauty go hand and hand. We used to stock some exclusive perfumes in Simple so when I found out that Simple was going to be closed I knew that there would be a gap for niche perfumer. There are already a lot of fashion stores in Prague but there is no premium perfumery boutiques so my business partner [Jakub Kopcak] and I decided to open Ingredients along with exclusive beauty salon Sisley.
You’ve done a good job. The store is absolutely beautiful.
As for Blue Paper, how did you come about the idea of launching a fashion magazine?
The idea behind launching a magazine was to support Prague Fashion Week. There was nothing like that on the market, not in that format or design anyway. The magazine is connected to the Fashion Week, however if you look through you won’t find a single feature about the actual event. We write about Czech and international designers, artists, industry influencers, we talk about fashion and culture. However, there is a special edition of Blue Paper is coming out in August that will be completely dedicated to Prague Fashion Week.
How do you select what goes in the magazine?
The magazine is a reflection of my vision. I mean, I have a team of graphic designers, photographers and assistants that I work with, however I supervise the whole process from start to finish.
Lukas, let’s talk about Prague Fashion Week. First of all, congratulations! Prague Fashion Weekend has officially become Prague Fashion Week. How did that come about?
Two years ago Vaclav Dejčmar [the owner of Czechoslovak Models] came to me with this concept of Prague Fashion Weekend. He wanted me to take a creative director position however I said ‘No’ because I didn’t like that concept of promoting commercial brands. It took sometime before I finally said ‘Yes’ and they let me run with it so I changed the whole concept. Before it was a mix of commercial brands and Czech designers, now it’s only about the Czech designers. It’s a much stricter process now, we chose the designers individually. We have a good blend of [designers] from every field, those who do commercial collections and those who are more avant-garde. There was a lot of work to make it happen but now it’s done, we focus more on details and promotion. We want to make Prague Fashion Week attractive not just for locals but also for the international crowd. We collaborate with designers, industry personalities and journalists from France, United States and the UK.
That’s great. There is also a new name, new logo and new visuals. What should we expect from Prague Fashion Week?
We will have many interesting people coming in September. We have established designers along with some new talents. We also included a few young designers and students. We partnered with Harper Bazaar and Dolce Vita magazines so there will be special Bazaar’s and Dolce vita’s events, a designer competition and so much more.
Prague Fashion Week Spring Edition was an amazing event, a lot of interesting people, a lot of press coverage, how did you make it such as success?
There is a lot of work. Before I joined people didn’t know what to expect and what direction it’s going to go but now they understand my vision, however to please them becomes more and more difficult. You have to be creative and bring new things. We are going to change location in September as well, it will still be in ZIBA just a different venue.
In the previous years you had Jimmy Choo and Rick Genest, in Spring Adam Katz Sinding and Jessica Michault. Are you expecting any big names to join Prague Fashion Week this September?
There will be more international guests this year however I can’t tell you who exactly just yet.
Czechs are known for their restrained attitude toward fashion. What’s your view on that?
Yes, they are very conservative, sporty and they don’t like to dress up. However, it’s changing now. We need to educate them [people] about the fashion outside the Czech Republic. I think everyone who works in the fashion industry needs to spread the message and help people explore.
Three years ago there was hardly anyone outside Prague Fashion Week, and in March there were dozens of people, photographers, and bloggers. We receive a lot of requests from bloggers interested in attending the shows, so it’s getting better. It takes time, maybe more time that it should, but it’s definitely improving.
Do you think it will change?
I think it will, especially with the young generation. Youth are much more progressive and open. You know, before we didn’t have shops like Zara, H&M or Parizska street. Today, street-style pictures from Prague Fashion Week can be found on the websites like WWD or Style.com, it wouldn’t have happened 5 years ago.
When it comes to fashion, we have many talented Czech designers that could compete against German or Scandinavian designers but it’s about the people on the streets. For example, if you are going for a beer, and everyone else is wearing sport clothes, you will feel uncomfortable being all dressed up. It’s not popular to be different here like, say, in London, but it’s changing now. People pay more attention to what they wear today.
There are a lot of retail stores in Prague, some are successful some are not so much. What do you think is missing in today’s Prague market?
I think there is a gap in the mid-level sector of brands like Isabel Marant. For example, we have a lot of customers in Ingredients, who would be happy to shop this type of affordable luxury brands. Perhaps, it’s not the right time yet. Czechs are very much into commercial brands like Michael Kors and Guess.
What are the milestone moments you are the most proud of?
I would say Ingredients. It’s like my baby.
What advice would you give on how to land a job in the fashion industry?
Photo: Courtesy of Lukas Loskot / Prague Fashion Week Official