We chat with a Los Angeles-based fashion designer, who grew up in Ohio, about her growing design business that’s catching the eye of high end retailers, celebrities and even TV shows.
Natalia Fedner has an extensive background in the fashion industry. She’s currently based in Los Angeles but the Ukranian-born design mastermind grew up in Columbus before receiving her education in Paris and New York.
Fedner says that as early as age 4 she recalls an interest in designing and inventing, when she started collecting pretty colored wires that were left as trash outside of a local telephone communications company in her native Chernovtsy, Ukraine.
After collecting the wires, she would turn them into bracelets for herself and friends, and thus the budding inspiration of one of the country’s few, genuine haute couture design houses, Natalia Fedner Design, was born.
Fedner’s inspiration and desire for design has led her down a prestigious path. Following her graduation from Parsons School of Design, Natalia worked for Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs. “My designs have been on runways in Paris and New York, and featured in the holiday windows of the original Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City,” says Fedner.
Fedner also competed on Project Runway: Under The Gunn, where she created the first working mechanical dress in the history of the series. She says that in addition to her design accolades, she’s also created and produced video fashion content for Getty Images, Perez Hilton, Defy Media and Magical Elves.
Fedner says that each of her collections are inspired by something different, but overall the company philosophy is to never do anything that’s been done before. “Why do something that already exists,” she says, “when there is still so much that is yet to be invented?”
Much of her inspiration comes from technology, chemistry and developing new solutions to old problems. Additionally, everything she creates is made by hand. “Each sweater is sewn up by hand,” she explains. “We even make our own yarn. There’s a joke at our design studio that the only electricity we use in our garment making is to power our laptops.”
With plenty of experience under her belt, Fedner began work on her first collection for Natalia Fedner Design in 2013 and formalized her company in 2014. She says that since its inception, Natalia Fedner Design has taken off. “[At Natalia Fedner Design], we specialize in one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces,” explains Fedner. “We are known for our avant garde knit chiffon gowns, patent-pending 4-way stretch metal tops and chainmail style jewelry.”
While Natalia Fedner Design mostly caters to women, the company does occasionally create custom pieces for men. “The vast majority of our garments are knit-but these are not your grandma’s sweaters,” she explains. “We mix real gold and silk chiffon and create body conscious confections that make our clients feel like empresses. Sometimes we even design LED pieces when a client asks for it. Overall, the line can be described as sexy, avant garde, rocker and form-fitting.”
Fedner’s designs are a top-rated choice for many celebrities. She currently creates avant garde designs and jewelry for celebrities including Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Lenny Kravitz, Giuliana Rancic, Pamela Anderson, Steve Aoki, Shakira, Fifth Harmony and Rose McGowan.
Fedner says she mostly works directly with stylists and celebrities, but also sells her items to high-end boutiques and online. “Currently, Lenny Kravitz is wearing our metal tops during his Strut tour and, yes, that was our top he wore for his Super Bowl performance,” says Fedner. “You might have also noticed Charlize Theron in our gown in the May issue of Esquire.”
When asked what it is that she enjoys most about running Natalia Fedner Design, she says that she loves inventing new things. “I’m an artist first and foremost,” she says. “Like most artistic people, I get bored easily. If I could invent something new everyday I would. I like mixing materials that don’t belong together. I love creating new textiles. I love watching people’s eyes grow big the first time they touch my stretch metal. And I absolutely love watching a woman try on a gown of mine—that they think might be ‘too sexy’—and then fall in love with it, fall in love with their curves, fall in love with their strength.”
Fedner says there’s a lot to look forward to in the near future for her business. She’ll be releasing new textiles that she hasn’t even revealed publicly yet. Fedner adds that her designs will be in boutiques in Miami and New York.
To add to her celebrity, Fedner’s designs are featured in Pamela Anderson’s book “Raw,” which comes out in September. The designs will also be featured in upcoming Steve Aoki music videos as well as editorials that will be highlighted in high profile magazines.