One of my favourite accessories designer, Fiona Kotur of Kotur recently came down to Dubai from Hong Kong to promote her collection at Etoile Boutique. I had the opportunity to sit down with the designer and talk about how she got into accessories, how she took the leap with starting her own line, the importance of clutches (day and night) as well as her handbag essentials.
Hi Fiona! Is it your first time here in Dubai?
Yes it is. I just arrived last night from Hong Kong. I like it a lot actually.
I have never been to HK but I have heard Dubai is a bit similar. It is very cosmopolitan.
Yes. Actually I felt immediately comfortable here. There is a lot of energy, which I love!
Do you have a good amount of time during this trip?
We are leaving tomorrow night sadly; I am already packing everything in.
Tell me… How did you get to accessories?
You know, before, when I used to be a child I was already into accessories! I have always been into it. I have always collected shoes and handbags, and I have always enjoyed decorating my body with things. Then I started professionally when I was out of college. I worked for Ralph Lauren. I was the accessories designer… I had a kind of liberal education, but I had a family who was into arts and design; so I guess I had some knowledge. My mum for example is also a fashion designer. And then when I was at Ralph Lauren I started doing accessories and I just loved it. I have always loved it. It is like a sculpture. You can have more fun with accessories and make a big statement with little things.
What made you go and start your own line?
Well, when I moved to HK. It is always something that I have wanted to do; but I had never had a plan for the future. When I arrived in HK I had a design background but not in productions and selling. There anything can happen, so I decided that I would just jump in. It took me a year to find everything; the boutique workshops, the small factories that could do the level of work I wanted to, and the kind of products. So after a year, I started doing it on my own.
Amazing… And you focused on such fab clutches…how important to you are clutches? How prominent are they?
You know, I started doing clutches, that was the first accessory I made because I find them very useful. For the day you just put them in your big tote bag and take it out if you are running for a lunch. In the evening I have always felt it is easy with a small accessory, to create an impression and have a lot of fun. I do not know how much you really need it; I think when you are going out, sometimes less means you will have a better time.
Do you always wear clutches in the day?
So what makes a day clutch different to a night one?
It depends on what your statement is during the day. I think you can wear sparkles during the day. But I usually tend to wear a more snakeskin one. I usually carry it in a tote bag. It is a model we do. I carry it every day, like a wallet almost. It has everything in it, and more. Because it is in snakeskin, which is a very versatile material, it can go from day till the evening, and I like bright colors; this one is black and white but I intend to wear more classic colors. I think you can really make a statement with your bag and shoes too.
What is behind the names? Because every clutch has a different name.
They are named after friends usually. The very first bag was named the Darbo (D’Arbo) bag but we do not make it anymore because it does not carry an Iphone. It was the pre Iphone days; and when the Iphone and the Samsung came out I knew that bag would disappear. But I named it after my girlfriend who has a huge personality, and who loves going out. Well, I try to think of different friends. Usually something of their character is reminding me of a bag or maybe they are giving me an idea for a bag.
What is next for your brand?
We are going to continue always with bags; big and small.
What are your handbag essentials?
Well, my essentials are not much. A couple of credit cards, little bit of money and a lipstick.