Czech Republic: Successful Romani hairdresser launches fashion designs
Alexander Slepčík has been a hair stylist for more than 10 years and has owned his own salon for more than five. He also advises people on their clothing as a stylist.
Now this member of the Romani community in Ústí nad Labem is planning his first fashion collection. He told the Czech News Agency that he is fulfilling a lifelong dream by doing so.
The young man from an extended Romani family believes he can be a role model for other members of his minority group. Since childhood he has enjoyed hair styling and all kinds of creative entertainments.
Back then he used his sisters' long hair to try out different styles. He has a certificate as a tailor, but was attracted to hair styling nonetheless.
He worked for five years in a salon with another hair stylist and then launched his own salon five years ago. He has no shortage of clients.
"I have many longtime clients whom I consider members of my family," he said. His services as a fashion stylist have developed alongside his hair cutting.
Slepčík advises his clients, primarily women, on how to dress and from time to time has collaborated on photo shoots. He has long dreamed of designing and producing his own fashion collection.
He has now spent more than a year designing 30 different items. "It might have happened faster, but I'm a full-time hairdresser. It's a collection for women who want to demonstrate their imaginativeness. The items are not just for young women, but also for women around 45. I am making my dream come true," Slepčík told the Czech News Agency.
Most people anticipated that this collection from a Romani designer would be very colorful, but the stereotype has not been confirmed - the opposite is the case. "The colors I love are earthy and natural. The collection features black, brown and khaki. It's not focused on a specific season, though, it's a year-round collection. There are dresses, skirts and trousers," he said.
The designer will present his work on 9 June at a show in Ústí nad Labem. There will be 30 models wearing his items, including Romani women.
Slepčík, who is 29, hopes he might become a role model for other Romani minority members. He believes anybody can succeed if they try.
"You have to have an aim, you must want to do something, and then do what amuses you," he said. The stylist said he is not considering leaving Ústí nad Labem, though.
"I always thought I might end up in Prague because it amuses me, in terms of both fashion and hair, there are more chances there, more clientele. However, I would regret having to leave here," he said of his home.
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