When life gives you lemons, make lemonade - so the saying goes. In this case, life gave Sascha half a lemon and a shittone of Siberian snow and she made them into a Stoli-spiked lemonade cocktail that would be sold at a the hottest new bar in Williamsburg.
Born and raised in Siberia, Russia, Sascha learnt from an early age the business of hat making and the business of, well, business. Raised by a single mother, Sascha would often be cared for by her Grandmother who ran her own fur hat making enterprise. "She would purchase rigid, untreated fur at the farm, soften it and make fur hats all by hand, and sell them at the local market in the freezing weather." After a difficult start in life Sascha told me: "Enduring hardship early on in my life made me appreciate the little things so much more and be grateful for all the abundance, comfort, and prosperity that I’ve created for myself. When I immigrated to the States at 19 years old all by myself, I was unstoppable in achieving things others could only dream of. It felt like nothing could hamper my personal and emotional growth and success. Then, the recession hit, and it became extremely difficult to survive, and, without the support of my family, it was that much harder to make ends meet."
So she went back to school for her Masters Degree. After graduating and working as a marketing executive at a restaurant in the LES, she decided to create her own fashion line, but soon she realized that the fashion industry is run by (for the most part) "big egos, and fortunes that are made by child labour and overworked, underpaid people in third world countries; it’s the industry that completely disregards the environment and wastes precious resources of those countries while producing disposable clothes that do not disintegrate naturally and create enormous amounts of waste".
After going back to the drawing board and then attending the Burning Man festival, something clicked: "I realized that all of these people (Burners) need headpieces, because it’s the hardest thing to make for a complete look. With the rise of 3D technology, I decided to give it a try and the very first piece we made was a complete success. It fit perfectly and was durable, lightweight and looked stunning. I was ecstatic because working with and making something special for Burners or any festival-goers is a dream come true. In addition, bypassing traditional fashion production made it so much more pleasant and fun adding peace of mind to the process".
From fur hats in Siberia to 3D printed headwear in New York City, this girl is on a journey and this is only the beginning!
Check out her work below and you can also see all of her incredible (and I mean incredible) designs on her website kovabysascha.com
Photos by the great, the only, Denton Taylor.
Just for fun, here's a little behind the scenes video of the shoot. Please enjoy the car aggressively honking at me. Oops.