Sasha Knysh on her burgeoning career and current hopes for the industry

Images by Nick DeLieto

As much of the world tentatively explores opening up after the tumultuous past few months; the fashion industry, labeled “non-essential” during this time, seemingly wants to be mindful of the realities of this new world. It seems like a lifetime ago that the model mannequins de cabine were being trotted around the globe and there’s no word out on what will take the place of that seasonal pattern. A couple of months back we spoke to our most recent Hot List-er, Sasha Knysh about what she was doing which included some wishes for an industry that she loves so much.

Where are you now and how are you spending your time every day?

I’m in New York with my boyfriend and my friends. I’m very thankful that I’m with the people I love during this overwhelming time. We’ve built a creative space in our apartment so we can draw, shoot, make music, sew some clothes. I’ve started to learn French and I’ve been teaching my roommates Russian. I’ve discovered that cooking is actually fun so I’ve been spending much more time in the kitchen than I used to. I like taking this time to discover new sides of myself.

Where are you originally from and how is your family sheltering in place? Are they in a big city or small town, are you in touch with them often?

Originally I’m from Ukraine, from the city called Dnipro – one of the biggest cities in my country. But my parents are spending this time in our countryside house so I know they are in a safe place and I have nothing to worry about. I’m happy we have plenty of time now so we can FaceTime every day.

You first appeared on the scene in the Fall of 2018 and had a great 2019. What were some of your stand out moments of the last year and a half?

My work with Miu Miu, Prada, Marc Jacobs are some standout moments for me. When I first started, I couldn’t even imagine that I would have a chance to work with so many major brands and amazingly talented people such as Miuccia Prada, Marc Jacobs, Katie Grand, Steven Meisel, Olivier Rizzo, Mert & Marcus, Emma Summerton and so many more. I’m grateful for all the amazing jobs and experiences I’ve gotten.

It’s been a slow and steady rise for you; what have been the important learning moments for you in the steadiness of your rise?

I’ve definitely learned how to be patient and I’m trying not to hold any expectations. The fashion industry is unpredictable and opportunities are coming from where you least expect them. We all have our ups and downs and I’ve realized that it’s important to stay true to yourself but never stop learning.

Congratulations on entering our Hot List in March, which was based on your spring 2020 Prada campaign, your continuing slots at top shows, and your high-end editorials for the first half of this year. This happened right after COVID 19 hit though. How are you getting through this while we wait for the industry to recover?

Thank you! I’m trying to stay creative and hope that the world will be back to normal soon because I really miss working. I like to see that people can always find ways to be creative like all these FaceTime, Zoom shoots are a new interesting experience.

I live with photographers Nick DeLieto and Jeff Sutera, so we are very lucky. We can just turn our living room into a studio and shoot whenever we feel inspired. We’ve done a few quarantine projects so far. Nick helped me to take pictures for this interview.

Regarding your artwork, tell us a bit about it.

My artwork is usually abstract and it’s all about colors and forms. I get my inspiration from nature so when the weather is nice I love to draw outside in our backyard. It’s like meditation for me. People are also inspiring to me. I like creating abstract shapes of humans’ bodies in my paintings. I’ve been using acrylic paints when I need some bright, rich colors and watercolor paints when I want something soft and gentle.

What do you miss about our industry that you’ve come to realize because of the Coronavirus?

I miss all my friends from the industry. I miss traveling. I miss being a part of the creative processes. I miss calls from my agents with some exciting news, honestly, I miss everything. After fashion week I felt like I needed a little break and vacation, but now I feel like I’m 100% ready to be back to work.

What practices/mindsets do you hope that the industry will change as a result of this massive pause for the world?

I hope and I’m pretty sure that our industry will become more sustainable. The global pandemic has affected the industry and its economy a lot. So I hope our creativity will help the industry to recover faster but also I hope fashion trends will slow down and designers will be creating seasonless clothes.

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