Olga Kholodenko Occupation: founder and designer for OKOhandbags Instagram: @okohandbags
Where were you born? I was born in Kiev, the Ukraine. Why do you do what you do? As a little girl I was never pleased with plane outfits of my dolls; so, I was always trying to spruce them up with small pieces of scrap fabrics, ribbons, buttons and other trims. Ever since then I love to create fashion items that stand out in a crowd and show individuality of its owner. What is unique about your work? At one point of my life I came to a conclusion that I have a greater passion for accessories than clothing. To me, accessories (bags and jewelry) have greater impact on an outfit than any other fashion item. Accessories can easily create a new story for an old dress. So, when I work on a new design, I simultaneously start creating a story that could bring that particular design to life. A job of a new owner of that bag or piece of jewelry is to write their own grand finale to the story and make that item unique in their own way. Also, all my accessories are made from leather remnant that otherwise would be put in landfills. What inspires you? Life on its own is a great inspiration. Yet, there are certain events and people that caused the greatest impact on my life. Names of my designs speak for themselves. For example: Zhanna clutch was made for my mom; every detail of that design could keenly describe her personality-black color, leather shell and satin lining describe her classic taste in fashion; straight lines of the design convey strength of her inner self; fluidity and shine of the trim material show her soft side that I've known as her child. Personal style: In general, I prefer simple silhouettes with unique details. I favor proportionally correct and balanced outfits. I have my "all black" and "burst of color" days. I'm not a fan of white color, chunky heels, or bows. Ultimate must-have: comfortable stylish shoes of any heel height. What superpower would you have and why? Fun question that got me thinking :) Super speed. I'd like to be able to move quickly from place to place. Never late! Avoid traffic! Don't have to buy tickets! Can spend more time at your destination! When someone needs you, you can be there right away! And, yes, more time to design! What is next for you? This year, besides working on new designs, I'm planning to participate in more fashion and sale events to gain greater exposure and more raving clients.