INTERVIEW WITH ANASTASIA AGURBASH, FOUNDER AND DESIGNER OF PORT’ARTE:
I am Anastasia Agurbash (@anastasia_agurbash), I am originally from Russia, but I have been living in Milan for over 10 years. I am founder and designer of Port’Arte (@portarte) – jewelry brand, where all pieces are created and hand made by me.
How was your passion for fashion born?
I loved sketching and putting together outfits since I was little (I know, it sounds very cliché, but it is what it is). It happened so, that by accident I ended up studying Fashion Design in Milan, even though I was aiming at a different city and department at the beginning. After university I had worked as stylist and digital graphic designer, but always in the fashion sector.
How did you get into designing jewelry?
A few years ago, there was a trend for velvet chokers, remember? I have a very small neck, and I couldn’t find a choker that would fit me and would not cost a fortune. I made a few pieces for myself; long story short, I made my own website, while chokers slowly evolved into jewelry and accessories.
What do you love most about your work?
The process of making every piece (it feels like a meditation) and seeing my jewelry on others: I like to see how my customers style it. In addition, a lot of men buy my jewelry as a gift for their loved ones – that is very special to me, too.
What is the process when designing a creation?
For every piece it is different. However, there are some “rules”:
I always create something that I “miss” in my own look/closet (a piece that I would wear myself non-stop with everything); I make sure I can find the right materials for that particular design. Lastly, I test for a month (or more) every single sample before I put it on the website – I make sure I actually like it and I watch how the piece “wears” over time (I check how materials are behaving, if the length/weight is ok and if the piece needs any further adjustments).
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I love art in every form. I love paintings, movies, literature, design and photography – I consume a lot of visual information; I study and research art on daily basis.
If you could use 3 words to describe your brand, what would they be?
Elegant, with historical/art references yet easy to wear on daily bases (I know, it’s more than three words, but that’s the best I could do!)
Grace, artistry, eternity.
What was the inspiration behind the styles of the designs?
As I said previously, all inspiration comes from art (Port’Arte literary means “wear art” from Italian “portare” – wear, carry and “arte” – art). For instance, I have the Grace Pearl Necklace on my website – I got inspired to make it after I watched Rear Window with Grace Kelly (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954); Regina Necklace (pearl necklace with an organza bow), for example, was inspired by a portrait of Princess of Liechtenstein (painted by Louis Michel van Loo, 1701-1771).
Where do you source from?
I source all materials from local shops and producers.
How do you see the future of your brand?
In the future I would like to expand my brand and make capsule/limited collections of clothing and home/interior design objects.
How important is Made in Italy for you?
It is important; however, I care that my jewelry is being made with love, good energy and in a sustainable way.