Falling in love with the Nordic Lolita

QooQoo Lolita collection

QooQoo Lolita collection

She’s colourful. She’s carefree. She loves to dream. She’s inspiring and hugely desirable. Who is she? She’s the Nordic Lolita of course – the muse behind the emerging Latvian label ‘QooQoo’ – who loves to live a vivacious life. You may have already seen her at the online boutique www.kristinagoeswest.com in the label’s Autumn / Winter 12 collection. And now, like a butterfly, she’s ready to spread her lustrous, flirty wings for the coming season. We caught up with the label’s Creative Director Director Alyona Bauska and asked her about the label, the name and what inspires her to create such beautiful and colourful garments in this exclusive interview for the Kristinagoeswest blog.

KGW: QooQoo is a very unique and impressive name for a womenswear label. What does it mean?

Alyona Bauska (AB): The source and inspiration behind the brand’s name is the cuckoo bird and the sound it makes. This sound has different meanings in nearly every language and culture. For some – it’s a way of saying ‘Hi’, for others – it stands for ‘crazy’ and in China it means ‘Cool’.

KGW: Who inspired you to choose a career in fashion?

AB: I started QooQoo to express my desire to create. While working for other companies, I had a growing need to express my own ideas. It’s important for me, as a designer, to enjoy the process and, as a result, create something extraordinary. I have chosen clothing as a medium for my art and creative ideas. It all began with a passion for experimenting with fabrics and we launched it as a label in 2010.

KGW: How does your observation of the world, colours and experiences help to offer your customers unique and desirable garments?

AB: I get inspiration from many things and events around me. My designs are reflections of the world around me, colours I see and everyday experiences.

Rainbow Palm dress

Rainbow Palm dress

KGW: What aspects of being from Northern Europe and the Baltic states – play out in your work?

 AB:I think this plays a very important role. I grew up here and the surroundings, events and experiences have shaped the person I am today and my work.


KGW: Tell us about your current collection. What is it special about it?

AB: In our latest Spring / Summer 2013 collection ‘Botanika’ we have chosen to use more luxurious and high quality materials. All our garments in our previous collections were made from polyester, but in our current collection we use natural silk, cotton and viscose.

‘Botanika’ is inspired by plant features known to people for generations. Our ancestors believed that each plant has its own mystical symbol and purpose. This knowledge of the miraculous plants’ features is symbolised in various cultures and folklore, and we have borrowed these codes to create our latest work.

Botanika collection 'Night Glory'

Botanika collection ‘Night Glory’

KGW: Which of the garments is your favorite? And why?

AB: My favourite piece is the Poncho dress from SS13 collection, which can be worn in 4 different ways.

QooQoo Hypnotic poncho dress

QooQoo Hypnotic poncho dress

KGW: How would you describe the perfect QooQoo woman and your muse?

 AB: Every girl has her own ways to have fun, like wearing neon pink to work instead of office grey. There are different reasons why a girl will pick a certain garment every morning. It may be a day in the office or a need to look good in the eyes of a guy she fancies. And then, there’s a wish just to have a little fun. That’s the exact moment you know you want to wear QooQoo. To sum it up, we see our customers as ‘creative individuals who like to have fun’.

QooQoo Florabiotika dress

QooQoo Florabiotika dress

KGW: QooQoo also offers garments for men. How do they react to your colourful creations?

AB: We have had a few items for men and we have some unisex products. Our products are definitely not for every man, but those that do chose to wear QooQoo seem to love it 100%. I guess once a man choses something this colourful, he must truly love it.


KGW: What ‘s next for you in the 2013 collection?

AB: First of all I have to mention our latest product – socks for both men and women. We are going to launch this new product very soon. And then we have a couple of great and interesting collaboration projects in mind that you will hear about very soon.

QooQoo Sky High skirt

QooQoo Sky High skirt

KGW: There’s a lot of vibe about this Northern part of Europe at the moment. Slowly but steadily the fashion crowd’s opinion about this part of the world is shifting and becoming a space to watch. With KGW’s motto being all about changing people’s perceptions and letting the world know about the Baltics fashion and its industry, how would you describe it? What does this region offer, that others can’t? Is there anything to get inspired about? And if so, what?

AB: I think that the Baltics region has a lot of undiscovered and hidden treasures to offer. The Fashion industry, as such, is very new and rather young here. However, I think that we have a lot of great, super creative people about whom fashion world will hear more of. There are also a lot of production possibilities too with a huge potential for producing locally resourced and made items. Plus you can get inspired here wherever you go. For example, the unique Latvian nature has inspired our SS 13 work.

SS 13 collection is coming soon. Browse the current QooQoo selection on www.kristinagoeswest.com today.