A Serbian apparel designer, Roksanda Ilinčić was born in 1970 in Belgrade. As a child, she travelled around the world with her mother and father (a triumphant businessman). However now she is based in London with Philip Bueno de Mesquita, her husband. Bueno founded Acupuncture, a sports shoe brand.
Roksanda studied design and architecture from the University of Arts in Belgrade at the Applied Arts department. Afterwards, she joined Central Saint Martins in 1999 in the metropolitan city London. She graduated with a master of arts in women’s wear degree.
Known for her evening and elegant dresses, the designs she creates are worn by clients belonging to high-profile backgrounds. Roksanda introduced her eponymous brand and showed her collection for the first time during the 2003 London Fashion Week. The range flaunted in the show included swimwear, hand bags and dresses.
She is recognized for boldly using colors, luxurious fabrics and defining outfits with stylish and clean lines. In addition to her mainstream label, she has made diffusion lines for well-known stores such as Debenhams and Whistles. In the mid of 2012, Roksanda launched a fresh children’s wear collection, called Blossom, which was inspired by Efimia, her daughter.
Roksanda has dressed royalties including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and notable ladies like Samantha Cameron and Michelle Obama. Other than this, her client list includes Lady Gaga, Thandie Newton, Róisín Murphy, Liberty Ross, Rosamund Pike, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Emily Blunt, Nicole Richie, Kate Hudson, Margherita Missoni, Serena Rees, Björk, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jamelia among others.
The designer caught the fashion fever early in her life when she grew up in Siberia and was attracted by her mother’s enchanting wardrobe that shelved Yves Saint Laurent‘s designs and some that were made by her personal seamstresses. Thus, Roksanda accumulated vintage pieces from Laurent’s collections. Her mother was the dearest and most important source of inspiration for Roksanda. Not only did she like dressing up herself, but she dressed Roksanda as well.
Roksanda spent long hours gazing at the pages of The Face and i-D. These were like bibles for all those madly in love with fashion. As a little girl, she customized her own apparel although fashion was not taken as a serious job back then in her town. Her mom use to take Roksanda to the movies, theatre and ballet and these were considered as significant fields. She took up architecture but later on she couldn’t resist from the various embellishments and materials, the glamour and eventually became an eminent fashion designer.
When she moved to London, Roksanda felt a sense of freedom and that she could break the boundaries that had been around her for long enough. Instead of merely following the existing beauty standards, she could transgress and not just experiment but invent and create too. According to Roksanda, it is an era of standing out and bringing new things to the fashion platform.
Moving away from her work-life, Roksanda wakes at 7 a.m. and after spending time with her daughter, she eats breakfast of yogurt, fruits and muesli. A combination that she loves. She reaches work by 9:30 and gets busy not only with designing clothes but also in meetings, managing the business and planning to expand it.
As far as her personal dressing is concerned, she assembles an outfit very quickly and if it doesn’t turn out good, she has backup of her favorites. Roksanda wears her own designs, or vintage. Apart from this, she likes clothes by Richard Nicoll and Jonathan Saunders.