Designer Profile – Anastasia Stallcop

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What should everyone know about you?
AS: I bring with me an extensive background of success in the apparel industry with a unique skill set in fashion design, development and production.  Skillful in forecasting trends and defining lifestyle directions, I have been instrumental in enhancing leading brands in highly competitive markets.

How would you describe what you do?
AS: It’s a constant evolution. My ability to design is intertwined by my desire to constantly evolve, grow and learn. I have been gifted the opportunity to work for smaller companies where my creativity isn’t limited to just creative and technical design.

In the process of evolving I have become a graphic designer creating designs for fashion, wedding and real estate companies; in addition to creating original interior designs. I have also developed exceptional merchandising skills from my experience of working intimately with merchandising and buying, sales and marketing, web development and management teams-to design and merchandise cohesive collections both in-store and online. My diverse experience allows me to go beyond design, to be involved in all aspects from A to Z.

Why did you choose to be a designer?
AS: I did not choose it, it chose me. A series of events ultimately brought me to what I am meant to do…design. It all started with my sculpture class in 11th grade, I had finished my project early so I was free to do what I want…for no reason at all I drew a body with a beautiful red dress on it, with a purpose of drawing-not designing. When my teacher and friends saw it they told me I should be a designer, out of the sudden everyone wanted me to design their prom dresses… but their praises were hardly enough for me to want to pursue it as career.

My teacher told me a FIDM representative was coming to our campus; I had no plans on going, I wasn’t going to waste a lunch with friends on some silly rep! The day-off the visit I was avoiding the hallway my teacher’s room was in but my friend had to go to her locker there; as I was telling to hurry up that same teacher got pulled out into the hallway by a student. She spotted me, it was too late to run! She had called me in  and said the representative was here.

After that session I still wasn’t sold on becoming a designer, but it must have impacted me enough to share it with my dad. My dad noticed my interest and scheduled to visit the campus that same week. That Friday we visited the campus and once I saw what apparel design was really about-I was in love! That is when I official chose to pursue my dream in design.

Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
AS: The best part of what I do is that there is always room to grow and learn something new. The most challenging part is finding a healthy work/play balance, when you love what you do as much as I do-it makes it hard to stop, and to separate your work from your personal life.

If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
AS: I would have pursued engineering, computer or fundamental science.

What do you like about what you do?
AS: I love the balance between creative, technical and business in design. I didn’t want to pursue fine arts because I would have been bored doing the same thing; apparel design allows me to experience the creative, the science and the business parts of fashion.

What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
AS: A lot of people think fashion is about glamour like runway shows, sketching, photoshoots, etc. While those parts play a major role in fashion, it’s just a fraction of the role in actual design. Designing is far more complex than just sketching, it’s very technical and multifaceted, and it’s these complexities that make me love what I do.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
AS: I see myself running my own design house and company. Designing beyond apparel – like home, interior, beauty, accessories, etc. I want to run a company founded on integrity that is ethically and environmentally responsible; one that takes care of its employees first because without them none of it would be possible.

Are there any types of clothing/footwear/accessories that you avoid wearing?
AS: Jeans! I haven’t owned a pair in over 8 years; I find them extremely uncomfortable and restricting–even the super stretch jeggings!

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
AS: What I am really fascinated at the moment is the metaphysical, particularly lucid dreaming and spiritual philosophy. Lucid dreaming is when you become conscious of the fact that you dreaming while dreaming; then once you become conscious of it you can manipulate and control your dreams, it’s a lot of fun! Our minds are capable of extraordinary things; I love exploring what’s beyond our traditional education.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
AS: You can’t discover new talents if you don’t try new things; so just keep trying until you find new things to love doing.

What advice would you give to young designers?
AS: I think the most important advice I can give is do internships-as many as you can before you start school and during. Don’t limit yourself to just one company, explore a variety from ready-to-wear, to active, to swim, to accessories. In addition, be proactive and never stop asking questions especially when interning. If someone isn’t willing to give you answers, find someone else that will…otherwise you could waste away the opportunity to learn.

Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
AS: To some degree I am superstitious, I believe in fate. If I share my entire life story you would to see specific seemingly insignificant events that lead me to this moment; when those events happened I had no idea I would end up here but looking back I realize it was all simply meant to be…

I went from a homeless 7 year-old escaping an abusive alcoholic family in Saint Petersburg, Russia who had never heart of “art” or “music”; to a successful designer, artist and musician who had found not only my passion but also my soul mate. Fate isn’t just about happy events; sometimes the worst ones shape you into the best person you can be, with every trial you become more resilient.

What’s your motto?
AS: “Be – don’t try to become” –Osho. And for when life gets crazy –embrace the chaos!

Born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Anastasia first discovered her artistic talents when she was placed into an orphanage where she experienced creativity for the very first time. It’s where she experienced her first time dancing, first time singing, first time sewing, first time playing an instrument…first time discovering what magic imagination can create.

Today, Anastasia is an insatiable learner; cultivating her imagination into apparel and graphic design, merchandising, writing music and problem solving. A leader and motivator; managing ambitious projects from concept to launch, optimizing outcomes through cross-functional, collaborative initiatives.