Born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1975 Tamara studied at the painting school and then at the State Academy of Art where she studied Fashion Design. While she was studying she worked in a small factory making handmade shoes. In her words
"I believe in life training, what I see through my eyes. And what I see and feel become mine."
Tamara is happy to have been born in a time of big changes, in her country and the world in general. "It guaranteed an interesting life and I gained tremendous experience, and my career is my life's work"
Join us on our voyage of discovery of the eclectic figure that is Tamara Barnoff, whose love for life and her art is present in each of her designs.
How would you define Tamara Barnoff the brand?
Actually, I am the brand.
How would you define Tamara Barnoff the designer?
Sure. Interesting. Still working hard daily to discover her, and I hope it remains this way.
You were born and raised in Georgia, why did you decide to move to Hungary in 2004?
I wanted to leave Georgia anyway, even though I love my country, I was led by my life philosophy, myself vs. myself. Life brought me to Hungary and I accepted it.
In the 19th century Hungary and Budapest in particular became a centre for innovative and avant-garde arts, design and architecture on a grand scale much of it still visible today, and even during the Cold War Budapest was always a City where wherever you turned you would be faced with incredible art and architecture. What is it about Budapest that you love the most?
The city is beautiful, the people are kind and interesting, as everywhere in the world in their special way. I like the experiences I gain here, the timeless encounters and summer evening sky. Deep, incredibly beautiful blue.
How has your Georgian background influenced your designs and work in general?
Hard to answer, because I do not have inner borders, past or future. Design is one of the chances to express myself, that I love dearly.
My parents are my Georgian background - they gave me love and freedom. I can give away the same. And maybe, I am a little bit similar to Georgian nature - It begins from the sea level to the mountains are 5000 meters high.
You design everything from clothes, accessories, footwear and eyewear…. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Eyes, everybody has them , but we all see differently. What I see is the source of my inspiration. Life offers everything on silver plate, we only need to see it.
When do you actually get a moment to relax, and what do you do?
When I design, draw or paint I feel that I 'm relaxed and alive.
What has inspired your latest collection?
Sadness. When light and shadow meets, they are friends but they never have the same point of view.
You also work in theatre and film, how does this influence your designs and vice versa?
My collection - it's me and you, but when I design for particular characters then I become the character. These are two separate things for me.
You are also an accomplished artist and painter – out of all your incredible skills which one gives you most joy?
Making Order from Chaos.
What do you love about being a designer?
Funny question, I was born like this, if I don't design I can become sick. Creating gives me the possibility to breathe.
What do you think is the most difficult thing about setting up your own brand? i.e. design, production, sales, finance, marketing, advertising etc
Giving it a structure has always been the hard part of it, It took several years to learn from my own mistakes.
Have you ever regretted it?
Oh no. never had time for it.
What sets Tamara Barnoff’s brand apart from other bespoke brands?
We now talk about invisible things, the difference is in level of sensitivity of feelings and experience someone puts into the creation. You never see it, but you feel it.
The Difference is me, as all personalities are different.
What is the single most recognizable feature of your work as a designer?
Nature has four seasons and each season has its beautiful and less beautiful days, but in general all days are good the way they are, and they belong to one whole year. 365 days.
Who are your clients?
Till today they were humans… But aliens also will be accepted :)
Out of all your designs which one do you believe represents you the best as a designer and as a person?
All of my creations are part of me and when I present them to people, I make sure that they represent me and my brand.
Where are your designs sold?
Hungary, Barnoff Showroom, Ourstyle Boutique, and online www.ourstyle.hu.
Spain - www.34chic.com
What is your favorite fabric this season?
For Barnoff SS12 collection . cotton, viscose, silk, prints.
What do you think the trend will be for this Spring/Summer?
More open-minded, Funny and joyful, fresh and slack.
Colorful, full colors, yellow, blue, red, green, grey, Little bit of black.