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Angela Bacskocky

Age 33, Richmond, VA - Out Episode 1
out

Describe your family?

I’m the oldest of four children, with 2 brothers and a sister. We’re a close family, and my siblings are definitely some of my best friends. We’re second-generation Hungarian immigrants, and I’ve always really embraced that side of my heritage.

Current occupation?

I've been designing full-time for my own label, Angela Bacskocky, since 2011. I showed my debut collection in 2012 and just showed my second collection in March 2013.

Past jobs?

I interned in the print and textile department at Alexander McQueen in 2008, 3-dimensionally developing some of the exploding gemstone prints that walked the runway in Paris that season. I also interned for London-based German design duo Felder Felder in 2007 sewing, patterning, doing technical design and assisting backstage at London Fashion Week. While living and going to school in London, I also worked as a fit tailor for London suitmakers A Suit That Fits. As a kid, I worked in my grandparents' chain of video stores and have a vast knowledge of terrible '80s/'90s movies. One of my first paying jobs was guessing people's ages and weight at an amusement park. I've cooked, waited tables and bartended at various restaurants, including Pizza Hut, Cracker Barrel and a truckstop Chinese joint. I worked for a few years in a Capital One call center, stuck in a cubicle and going slowly insane. I sold pro audio equipment and keyboards on commission at Guitar Center. I worked for three lovely years as a residential counselor in a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. And more recently I’ve worked as part of the visual display team at Anthropologie, building the elaborate store displays and fixtures. I also occasionally take shifts bartending and serving for a catering company (which allows me to attend events and serve the likes of President Bill Clinton and Steven Spielberg).

Pets?

Two gray brother and sister kitties, Ninja Cat & Joe. And Glory, my beautiful collie-mix doggie.

Nicknames?

Friends call me Angie. Family (and British people, for some reason) call me Ange.

When did you realize you had designer potential?

From as early as I can remember I’ve made my own clothes, either for myself or someone else. As a teenager, I was in a rock band, and I loved making stage costumes and super funky looks for myself and the boys in the band. It occurred to me somewhere in that time that I liked planning our onstage look more than actually playing the music! I left the band and enrolled in art school.

First garment you ever made?

I started out making clothes for my dolls, but I think I’ve gotten rid of all my dolls since then.

What's your design training/schooling, etc.?

I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Fashion Design. It's an amazing art school within a university, so it’s very versatile and allowed me a lot of freedom. While at VCU, I studied abroad 3 times, studying architecture at Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, intensive French language in La Rochelle on the coast of France, and fashion design with an emphasis on menswear at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London.

Have you won any awards for your designs/work related to design?

In school, I won several scholarships and awards for design, which definitely helped with the high costs I’d racked up from studying abroad!

Strengths as a designer?

As a designer, I'm creative and clever. I'm skilled in all aspects of design and couture construction, obsessive over detail and presentation, and quick and efficient due to years of honing my skills under tight deadlines.

Weaknesses as a designer?

I always worry that my love of a sharply tailored line will prohibit my creativity. I'm continuously trying to push myself to think beyond my favorite go-to silhouette.

What are your influences?

I’ve always looked to the past for inspiration in design, and my pieces are often vintage-inspired. I love history and politics and allow my personal emotions to completely influence my process, which breathes new life into my very classic looks.

What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?

Mostly '80s new wave (The Cure, The Smiths, New Order), often late '60s poetic goodness (Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Syd Barrett), and regularly The Clash if I’m trying to work fast and lift my mood!

Favorite material or fabric to work with?

I love working with leather! Every collection I’ve done includes significant leather, even for spring!

Item you're most proud of designing?

I’m really proud of my Cocoon leather tote bags that have sold amazingly well and really represent my "minimal, classic, with a modern rock 'n' roll edge" design style.

Favorite designer(s)?

Alexander McQueen and Viktor & Rolf for concept and art. Chloe, Celine and Burberry for classic silhouettes and color. And Rag & Bone for ready-to-wear I can actually afford!

Sketch or drape?

SKETCH. For sure. Plan, plan, plan. Then the details come later with draping…

Patterns or solids?

Solids, please! I think better in solids. Then I develop my own very specific conceptual prints around each garment.

Favorite colors?

Red. Gray. Olive green. Camel. Neutrals with punch.

Biggest fear as a designer?

All of my designs are my precious babies, so I always fear they won’t be loved as much as I love them… but usually they appeal to a lot of different people, so I’ve been lucky so far.

Fashion must?

Boots! Boots for everything, for every day.

Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy?

Flip-flops. I refuse. Unless sand is under your feet, just say no.

Ugliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn?

I’ve worn a lot of atrocious vintage… Technicolor-dreamcoat-printed muumuu tent dresses that were so unflattering.

Favorite style icon?

Audrey Hepburn, Johnny Rotten.

What would you design for the First Lady?

Classic preppy separates… with a little leather.

Celebrity you wish you could design for?

Lana Del Ray would look amazing in a feminine but edgy leather jacket that I would make her. I only want to dress rock stars.

Favorite supermodel muse?

Twiggy

If you had to name your label, you'd call it...?

I have a label and it’s my name, Angela Bacskocky. Each season I give the collection a different title (Nest, Ghost).

If you weren't designing, you'd be...?

A photographer/filmmaker/art director. I love that side of fashion. Storytelling is my favorite.

Dream place to set up your business?

Paris or Budapest… I’m really torn.

Websites that feature your work?

angelabacskocky.com, needsupply.com

How were you described as a kid?

Hyper.

How are you described by your family and friends?

Kooky.

Why do you think you're easy to live with?

I’m blunt and direct and I don’t hold my feelings back, so you always know what I’m thinking. This can be either great or not so great.

Favorite hangout?

My studio, always working.

Hobbies?

I played in a rock band for seven years, and music still has a huge impact on my life. All of my friends are amazing musicians, and I can’t escape its draw. I don’t really have time to play as much as I’d like, but I use music as a muse almost exclusively. I’m a huge foodie and I’m obsessed with finding great recipes that fit my healthy diet, and my Plan B is to open a vegan bakery if I get completely bored with fashion.

Favorite movies and TV shows?

"Singin' in the Rain" and '60s musicals in general. "The X-Files" NEVER gets old.

Favorite books/authors?

E.E. Cummings, Oscar Wilde, romantic poetry… and I’m obsessed with "The Scarlet Letter."

Favorite websites?

loveandlemons.com, forkandbeans.com and all healthy but decadent food blogs.

iPhone/Android/Blackberry?

I just got an iPhone last month, but I often miss my old clunky Nokia brick that I’d been keeping alive forever.

Fast food or gourmet?

Gourmet!

Cooking or takeout?

Cooking!

Favorite foods?

Guacamole. Coconut macaroons. Nachos. Pizza (vegan, of course).

Beer or wine?

Green juice! (Sometimes red wine, if I’m feeling naughty.)

Guiltiest pleasure?

See above. Sneaking sips of red wine…

Biggest pet peeve?

Passive-aggressive behavior

How did you end up auditioning for PR?

I launched a Kickstarter campaignto raise money for my second collection and it had amazing success. Casting directors that saw my online video for the project reached out to me and suggested I apply. Otherwise, I never would have.

Favorite past PR designer?

I’ve always loved Christian Siriano’s work, Leanne Marshall’s final collection was flawless, and Michele Lesniak Franklin’s designs were exactly my style.

Challenge you wish they'd bring back?

Any challenge that involves traveling to Europe.

Challenge you hope they don't?

Designing for stilt walkers.

Your take on team challenges:?

I love working with someone else to bounce ideas off of. I always collaborate when I’m designing at home. But I’m worried about collaborating with my competitors!

What do you look for in a model?

I’m such a face girl. I’m drawn to round Eastern European faces (that look like mine.. the more she looks like me, the more I’ll fall in love). And legs! At least 5'9" with a slender frame, but I love a good curvy hip.

Do you think you can win "Project Runway"?

Of course! I put on an amazing fashion show, and my designs are classic but totally now. Recipe for success.