having moved around a lot, nina’s style is all over the map. a buyer at manhattan's beacon’s closet and a stylist with an eye for the eclectic, see her combine these two backgrounds in this month’s “styled by.”
what do you do outside beacons?
i’m in school studying patternmaking and sewing. i’ll begin private classes soon where i’ll learn to work with leather and other interesting materials. in moscow, i went to the academy of fashion for a year but then the war started and i had to go back to my country, georgia. when i moved to the states i pretty much taught myself.
i lived in georgia for 11 years and then i moved to russia and lived there for 8 years. i pretty much grew up there and lived there until i was 18. sadly, for political reasons, i moved back to my country and lived there for a year. then luckily, out of nowhere, my mom applied for the green card lottery and we won. they give you 6 months to leave but we were packed and sold all of our stuff within 2 months! we moved to california, which we didn’t like. i started a company there actually, of handmade t-shirts, called caviar and cigarettes. it was doing pretty well. we got into stores in tokyo and hong kong. i left and it’s been about 2 or 3 years since i dropped designing. i’ve been kind of struggling with that since then. i’ve started doing styling because it comes pretty easy for me but i still have this feeling that i’m made for creating, not just putting stuff together. i love to style and it’s one of the easiest ways to express your creativity but i want to make my own stuff and have had this feeling ever since i was a kid. my grandmother never bought clothes, except shoes and bags. she made all her outfits since she was 15. she and my other grandmother had such unique style, they really created an atmosphere for me with their sewing machines, mannequins, clothes, fabrics...
can you talk about the fashion coming out of russia?
fashion in russia is pretty random. my style is inspired by it, actually. my style is like everywhere i’m from, everywhere i’ve lived. i have a little bit of russia, georgia, l.a., new york. i’m always on the edge of being either really tacky or stylish. i’m always in between. my mom once said i’m always playing with fire. i can get really close to looking just like russian or italian tacky.
how would you describe your style?
if i over think it then i don’t like it. i don’t take too much time in the morning. it’s always quick. i go by my mood.
photos by gwen chitadze
nina is a stylist and aspiring fashion designer. she was born to artist-parents in the republic of georgia. she cites her parents as her biggest inspiration in all she does. the paintings in the photos are her father’s.