Yulia Kjellsson is a fashion student based in Berlin, born and raised in Malmö, Sweden. Moving to a different environment changed her approach to fashion, pushing her to investigate its meaning under a political and social approach. Inspired by people and interested in humanity and life, Yulia questions her role in the fashion system meanwhile looking for the meaning of life.
How did the environment you grew up in influence your way of thinking and working?
I think everyone has a heritage from the geographic place we’re born in, it became more clear to me as I moved away from Sweden. But what influenced me much more is what I went through growing up and that I have lived with a constant presence of mental illness around me.
Why did you move to Berlin? What were you expecting to find in this city?
As I was applying for different fashion schools I went here and fell in love. It was really time for me to leave my home country. I was looking for a challenge and to get some perspective by changing environment.
Did it change your way of approaching to fashion and visual arts?
Well, I definitely have become more political and my own language has grown. But I think that would’ve happened regardless of where I was living. But Berlin is a city that encourages you to find your own way.
What is your muse?
I never felt I had a muse. I’m inspired by people, friends, conversations we have, books I read, sociology, psychology and politics.
What are you interested into?
Humans, humanity, life. I’ve always been a seeking person. I even tattooed ”the meaning” on my arm. I think it’s an absolutely ridiculous word, but still I’m looking for it.
How do your interests reflect on your work?
They are totally connected. I don’t think I could work with fashion in any other way. To make visually pretty things only gets boring after a while. I think it’s important to connect my work to other things that I'm passionated about and find important. I use my work to educate myself and to give myself time and opportunity to really dig deep into a subject that I’m curious about.
Your latest collection is called Happily ever after and it’s about the connection between capitalism, consumption and how the consumer relates to our economic system. Did you find an answer to this question? What did you want to say with this project?
The only answer is that the role we as citizens take in capitalism, is sacrificing our happiness. We have to look for it forever for this kind of economic system to keep on going. I just wanted to bring awareness to that fact, and believe me, a lot of people never ever thought about it.
Can you tell me more about your work as a fashion designer? What do you want to achieve? What do you want to say with your work?
I’m definitely not finished developing, so I don’t want to say anything definite. I never think I will. But I think I will keep on using my drive and lust for seeking within humanity and our minds and build my work around that. I want to use my work as a tool to have a conversation about our time which I think is horrible in many ways. Also I’m focusing a lot on sustainability and for every collection I make I want to amp up that game more and more.
What kind of person would you like to wear your designs?
Any person that also have a need to talk about things. I will never define my collections with genders, age or seasons. It’s irrelevant.