This week we caught up with Dora Staszko, the director and co-founder of growing luxury accessories label YASKULSKY. Find out how this brand draws inspiration from a unique European history and invests in handpicked ateliers to create products that never compromise on style and craftsmanship.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHO YOU ARE?
I am one of three co-founders of Yaskulsky. The label was first established in 2016 in the US, and we’re now ready to win over Australian hearts. Our strength is in our diversity and we each contribute to building Yaskulsky in our own unique way.
We grew up in Europe and our family was into fashion for generations. Our parents definitely instilled a visual sensibility in us – let’s say good taste. Our grandfather is an excellent tailor. He used to make busby hats and fur coats for us – today this is called luxury but that was just a standard for him and for many tailors at that time in Europe. Quality and substance were clear and I think this is what we inherited.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR BRAND? WHAT WAS THAT JOURNEY LIKE?
We saw an opportunity in creating a niche accessories label that may co-exist in between leading luxury players. In the beginning, we really didn’t know what to expect, especially in such a competitive market, but we all felt we were ready to take a risk. We believed in our competitive edge given our background and fusion of experiences, and we saw a gap in the global market – bespoke accessories for those who truly want to distinguish themselves from crowd-puller brands. We focussed on giving our customer a unique, quality product.
We’ve learned a lot about the manufacturing process because we didn’t want to compromise on the highest quality craftsmanship. Now we work with a trusted team in New York and skilful production partners from New Jersey to develop all our designs. It took us time to select the best hands to put our trust in but now thanks to these people, we create only what we are proud of. We believe that building strong and long-lasting relationships with our partners and clients is a key to success.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AT YASKULSKY? CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR TEAM?
Four time zones, three continents, sand and water resistant phones and always connected to Wifi – very often with singing child on the backseat!
Running a family business means that you never stop working, but you never feel burned out or overworked. The team is constantly growing and their experience is diverse. We work with young creative people as well as fashion super troupers like Elysze Held who has taken a lot from her dear friend and ‘accidental icon’ Iris Apfel.
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE CHALLENGE OF BEING IN SUCH A COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY?
We talked to many people along the way who explained what the harsh realities of the fashion industry, but we remain passionate about what we do and never compromise.
WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST ‘PINCH ME’ MOMENT SINCE CREATING YOUR BRAND?
Every time my job allows me to interact with people I consider icons, or inspiring and interesting personalities. I love learning from them. An example could be my encounter with Barbara Hulanicki – a visionary and very accomplished woman (OBE-awarded). She told me that I shouldn’t listen to ‘expert’ advice and urged me to believe in myself and my views on fashion. This is the only way I can stay original and innovative.
WHY IS PR IMPORTANT FOR YASKULSKY? HAVE YOUR GOALS CHANGED MUCH SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?
I always knew the importance of building strong brand awareness. Now I know that our message must be amplified by experienced people who know how to get the most from the well-worn PR paths. As we grow globally, we can see that there are different expectations in each market and we need to be able to respond to those expectations accordingly. This is why we use different channels in each market. Flaunter has been a great addition because it makes life easier for brands, PR’s and media – no matter where you are in the world.
YOUR PHOTOSHOOTS ARE ALWAYS STYLED TO PERFECTION. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 TIPS FOR CREATING BEAUTIFUL MEDIA READY IMAGES?
Have a concept and know your audience. Then work with professionals at every stage so you don’t have to worry about the quality of their work. Also, don’t be afraid to let people be creative. Fashion photography is a part of contemporary art – you must tune in with people you work with.
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YASKULSKY?
We hope to complement the array of Australian sought-after designers with Yaskulsky’s life inspired designs. Our old-school Eastern European sophistication and heritage should give new choice to the discerning Australian customer.
And some quick picks…
FAVOURITE DESTINATION FOR INSPIRATION
Always Europe – with its diversity in culture, architecture, fashion and lifestyle.
FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT/S
- @trevorvictorharvey – to see the celebration of the arts during our recent soiree in Sydney and to stay tuned with the greatest selection of contemporary art.
- @s_arisphoto – our favourite Sydney photographer
- @eduardorezende – our favourite New York based photographer.
- @littlemiss_corporate – a friend and our brand ambassador in Sydney.
- @flauntermedia_ – for those looking for visual inspiration.
FAVOURITE ITEM ON YOUR WEBSITE RIGHT NOW
Our Emerald Alligator Varsovia. However, the newest desire will have its premiere in March 2019… can’t tell yet.
YOUR BRAND IN 3 WORDS
Dare to be.
Find and follow Yaskulsky at @yaskulskybags or their website www.yaskulsky.com.
Calling all media – view and download hi-res publishable images from Yaskulsky on Flaunter now.
Banner image: @littlemiss_corporate