Though jewelry-making began as an accidental love, it grew into a unique and compelling passion for fashion jewelry designer Oksana Ruth'Indhira Toussaint-Vig. Her design interests are global, reflecting the rich culture of Haiti, new trends, culturally diverse, and infused with artistic inspiration. Her designer jewelry is a melting pot of Old World aesthetics with New World fashion trends, resulting in breathtakingly unique, wearable works of art.
Oksana sat with Haitianbeatz.com to explore her journey through this very interesting interview:
HB- So, who is Oksana and where did your first love of fashion come from?
OV- My name is Oksana Ruth'Indhira Toussaint-Vig, I am 30 years old, mother of a little boy. I am a fashion stylist who is living between Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Budapest (Hungary). I am addicted to fashion since I was a child. My mom always took care to buy me things that were fashionable. At the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, I was always among the most well-dressed little girls. I grew up with this habit. From the age of 13 already, I was a subscriber of fashion magazines like Vogue. There were a lot of posters, photos all over my room. I knew all the designers, I was an unconditional fan of John Galliano who I still considered as my idol in the industry. I remember the day of my graduation in high school, one of my classmates described me as a reference in fashion. I am always buying clothes, I have a particular appreciation for shoes.
HB- What were your first fashion inspirations?
OV- I was 10 years old when I saw in a magazine a few pictures from a photo shoot conducted by Steven Meisel with the strict supervision of Isabella 'Issie' 'Blow. Since that day, I started to follow everything that Ms. Blow was doing. That is why I have a considerable love for Alexander McQueen who she discovered. Growing up, I started to love the remarkable works of people like Anna Wintour, Anna Dello Russo, Rachel Roy, Mario Testino, Naomi Campbell, Iman, Grace Jones etc ...
HB- What kind of presence do you have in Hungary?
OV- Actually, I am working mostly with contestants of beauty contests in the countries of Latin America especially Puerto Rico and I represent the Indonesian fashion designer Anaz Khairunnas in America. People do not know me in Hungary because I devote myself more to work with Spanish-speaking despite I married a Hungarian since 4 years.
HB- How do you learn new techniques? Do you take classes?
OV- In 2012, I joined '' the European Fashion Academy '', but a few months after, I had to abandon the academy because of my son who was not even aged 1 year. I learn new techniques, new trends, new fashion stuff from Youtube is a very large source of learning and magazines as well. I carefully keep in touch, maintain good connections with people in the industry of fashion.
HB= So has it been hard being a young designer
OV- It is not easy for a young designer to succeed in the industry. It requires a lot of support. It is even more difficult for me as a perfectionist. I am very meticulous. Fashion is in my blood and my mission is to become a reference in the world.
HB- What advice do you have for other young people who want to get into designing?
OV- It is essential to have passion, determination, dedication and to be always up to date because it is an industry that is constantly renovated.
HB- Do you feel there’s a significant interest for young designers at the moment?
OV- Yes. Actually, young designers are in the spotlight. There are a lot of designers who are very known like Olivier Rousteing (Balmain), Wes Gordon, Alexander Wang (Balenciaga), Jason Wu, Anaz Khairannus, Alexis Mabille, Stella Jean.
HB- How do you balance creativity with business?
OV- Creativity is part of the business. I must be always on all the new trends this is how I can keep customers. People always want to wear anything that is new. I also have the spirit of competition with respect to other designers. The market is full of talented young people, I have to be aware of all aspects of the business if I want to be known and have success.
HB- Was there anyone in your family who made you feel like designing?
OV- My Aunt Tessia who lives in New York for over 30 years is an fashion icon.
HB- Who inspires you the most in fashion? Anyone who stands out?
OV- I have a very long list of people who inspire me in the field of fashion. I would like to mention some of them John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Gianni Versace, Michael Cinco, Stephane Rolland, Olivier Rousteing, Giambattista Valli, Krikor Jabotian, Anaz Khairannus, Stella Jean. They are my favorite fashion designers.
HB- What are you most proud of, out of all you have accomplished and learned in the last two years?
OV- I am very proud of my fans. People follow me and support me unconditionally on social networks. They often write me kind words and encouragement. Every day, I receive dozens of message. I never thought I would have been able to influence as many people. I can not accept more requests on my personal Facebook page. I am also proud to have met wonderful people like Jean Raymond Alexander, Ciano Clerjuste, Kiki Barth, Nathalie 'Tico' Armand, Nadege Telfort, Manuel Lugo, Anaz Khairunnas, Alexis Mabille, Yorhann Emmanuel Alexander, Emmanuel Jean Alezy, Pedro Angel, Fernando Gantier, Luis Omar Rivera, Aleyda Ortiz,Nicole Marcelin, Anathalie Durand, Nadyalee Torres, Socrates, Gulna Marcelin etc ...
HB- What do you love most about your job?
OV- I like the feedback from the public, that stimulates me to continue forward.
HB- I know you do some humanitarian work in Haiti after the earthquake can you elaborate on that?
OV- I volunteered for seven months after the earthquake in Haiti with the Church of Scientology, the organization of Topos Mexico, US Army, Mexican Navy, Colombian Army etc... I even received a medal from Margarita Calderon who was the first lady of the Republic of Mexico then for my collaboration with the Mexican Army. I wanted to help the victims of my country. I decided to give one of the most precious things in life: my time. I have met great people from all over the world who are still my friends. It was a rewarding experience that made me see life in a simpler way. I have became more humble and modest. If I have to do it again, I will do it again without even thinking a minute. I discovered that I had a lot of love and most important things to share with people in need. Sharing my meal with a little orphan girl, or receiving a hug from an old lady who lived in precarious situations and many other things have completely changed my life. After being mother of an adorable little boy, that was the best experience of my life.
HB- What kind of project have you been working on lately?
OV- I am working on several projects at once, but I do not want to reveal anything to the public for now.
HB= We know that this type of work can be stressful sometimes, where do you go to unwind? Do you have a favorite spot, bar, cocktail?
OV- My favorite hobby is music, I am always singing, I also practice volleyball. I love Mahiki Bar in London, it's my favorite spot. I do not have a favorite drink.
HB- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
OV- I see myself as a successful woman, owner of an international brand.
HB- Anything you wanted to talk about I did not ask?
OV- I would like to thank the staff of Haitianbeatz.com for giving me this opportunity. It means a lot to me. I truly appreciate it. I wish you all the best. Thank you to all my supporters and followers.
Long before I arrive in Haiti I get a sense of what the name itself conjures up. There are no direct flights from the UK, so I’ve flown in via the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s conjoined twin on the island of Hispaniola. The tourists on my flight cannot understand why anyone would risk Haiti: “I hope you survive!”; “Will you have armed guards?” and, perhaps the key question, “Why?” But tour operators like the one I’m travelling with, Wild Frontiers, feel that Haiti’s time has finally come, especially with Cuba looking more visitor-crowded and less adventurous than before. There is also a sense that responsible tourism to Haiti could put money where it is really needed.
Hispaniola is shaped like a large canine tooth extracted from the gob of Mexico and thrown into the centre of the Caribbean Sea. Haiti is the western third of it, and I’m arriving on a small plane from the east of the island, gazing out at the mountainous terrain and totting up reasons for Haiti’s unsavoury reputation. So far I’ve got deadly earthquakes, dire poverty, the brutal Tontons Macoutes, the tyrant Papa Doc Duvalier, plus, of course, the zombies – mustn’t forget the zombies. On the plus side, I scribble “fresh fruit”. Then, out of the aeroplane window, the verdure of the Dominican Republic is giving way abruptly to something eroded and bone-like. Over Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, we enter a pall of dust, and the plane bounces and sways before landing. I cross out fresh fruit.
It was not always this way. Expectations of this land were high when Columbus touched down in 1492, noting the extreme fertility, the abundance of food and clean water, the gold, and the handsome, happy people. “With 50 men,” he noted ominously, “we could subjugate them all and make them
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Murielle Creation which started in the early 90's was the first of it's kind in the entire history of the country and its contribution to the Haitian culture is none to second. Through her amazing hand-made products, she quickly rised up to the top and earned her status as the carribbean queen of design winning many prizes including a prestigious fashion design competition in the Bahamas in 2013.