Online fashion in Croatia – a little idea goes big
Croatian fashion brands. Not many people know about them, but the scene surely exists. To learn more about what’s happening on the Croatian catwalk, we talked with Ivana Rusan Ibrahimpasic, founder of the increasingly popular web shop, Konceptich. Its name means “a small concept,” a cute little title for a growing business enterprise.
Can you tell us what Konceptich is exactly?
Konceptich is a Croatian online platform with the goal and strategy of gathering domestic designers and promoting their creativity and production. I got the idea for it after exploring the scene of unique domestic designers over the last two to three years. I was able to centralize around 15 different designers, explore and organize a whole business process, and develop the required technical support for Konceptich’s launch and operations.
As time went on, more people got involved. I am proud to say that we were also joined by photographer and stylist Ana Mrdjen. We are very proud that such talent agreed to be a crucial part of our team. She is literally my right hand.
But Konceptich is also a blog?
Yes. In addition to photographing the material for our-web shop, Ana also writes Konceptich´s web diary. Its task is to reflect what’s going on in Croatian fashion world and promote our motto “Do not copy, create something yourself.”
In the future, we plan for Konceptich to organize special and unique events in order to promote and sell its products. Even beyond the borders of Croatia.
How did it all begin?
One day, I wanted to buy some unique fashion items for myself. That proved to be more difficult then originally planned. It was only then that I noticed I’m not the only one frustrated by this situation. I realized the market is very much interested in unique fashion items, but they are not easily available to the public. Konceptich was founded to fill in that gap.
It takes a lot of work to organize this kind of business. A lot of organizational, management and financing things need to be done. Konceptich has managed to encompass all these fields and today enjoys the support of the designers which it targeted.
Can people abroad shop on Konceptich?
Konceptich is an online place where cash, e- banking and card payments are possible and secure. We are working on the webshop’s English version and will be ready to ship our products abroad when Croatia enters the EU. The shipment costs are too high now but they’ll be much lower once we’re in the EU.
What makes Konceptich unique?
There are many reasons, actually. For the starters, we immediately knew that we want quality over quantity. From the first day, we knew that we woulnd’t have more then twenty contributors on our site. By all means, we are open to everyone and glad to cooperate, but it’s simply impossible to provide good service with too many options.
We also work together with our members, organize meetings on a regular basis and develop private connections with them. It is the only way to do this job the way we do it. Trust and respect are the most important features of a good company. That’s why I am so proud of our designers, as they recognized our desire for a different approach to the market, not to mention more private relations with our customers.
Who are these Croatian designers?
There are many, including Morana Krklec, Jelena Aleksic, Sonja Lamut, Aba Tomicic Drvar, Kornelija Herman, Marei, Zvjezdana Ivic, Selma Strkljevic Mravak, Romina Anzek, Dancing Monkey, Andrijana Subotic Pjajcik, Iva Viljevac, Irena Vucinic. As you can see, some of them desire to be anonymous, and we respect their modesty. After all, we don’t work with people who are arrogant and unproductive. Such people won’t find their place on Konceptich.
What is your opinion of fashion in Croatia?
Croatia is a beautiful country with beautiful people. It’s a shame that there is still some kind of fear among people of being different, disregarding what others say. This is reflected in the way that in Croatia many people are all dressed the same. Our designers have the capacity to produce different and unique products by which people would stand out and also not look ridiculous.
We are a web store with high-quality, unique items. Such merchandise doesn’t come cheap. However, we tend to be customer-friendly so we are not that expensive either. Good original design is worth paying for, after all. Also, we fight against the prejudice of Croats that our domestic fashion industry is not that good. That is simply not true. Croatia is full of wonderful, passionate people just as it is full of natural beauty and historical sites.
What are Croatian fashion designers like? Who would you recommend and why?
Konceptich appreciates all the hard work that designers put into their collections. The conditions of working as a designer in Croatia are not easy so we really admire everyone who decided not to give up and stayed focused on their beautiful creative work.
I can’t speak on the behalf of the entire firm, but my personal favorites are the wonderful dresses of Aleksandar Zeravc, a name I believe will soon mean a lot in Croatian fashion scene. For those who like slightly unconventional fashion, I recommend the works of Jet Lag, which makes clothes for men, women and children. I am also frequently amazed at the work of Lokomotiva and the Boudoir sisters.
I am not a fan of the idea that we need to follow fashion brands and trends like they are the only thing in the world. That’s what happened in Croatia. A lot of women wear identical clothes. Not in a literal sense, but most of them lack the courage to experiment with their own looks. And for that, all they need to do is to turn to domestic designers.
So being different is the key to success?
We have a unique philosophy of being different, whatever we do. This is also our approach to fashion. Take the fashion business seriously because a lot of work has to be done (sometimes really boring work, such as paperwork) but enjoy it as much as you can. Fashion is a way to express yourself without boundaries, to be creative and unique. Don’t take it too seriously, play with it and be different!
What are Konceptich’s plans for the future?
To slowly grow and create a recognizable Konceptich brand as a place for simply the best! As for our customers, we want them to enjoy being themselves and to set themselves apart from others.
Find your best dining options wherever you are in Croatia with Like Croatia’s Good Restaurants app, available on iTunes now!