We catch up with Branko Popovic, one of the founders of emerging designer festival FASHIONCLASH.

How did you get started in fashion? Looking back to my life, I was always interested in fashion. I remember being fascinated with my grandmother's knitting and spinning. My real interest came to light at art academy in Maastricht (MAFAD) where I enrolled to study fine arts but eventually decided to study fashion design.
What do you love most about it? Like no other, fashion knows how to renew itself again and again by creating a new atmosphere each season, using the past as an infinite source of inspiration and by selling and presenting the past as the new future. Designers look back to the past but also dare to speculate about the future. From this perspective, designers are shaping the future of the shape of things to come.

I believe that the art of fashion can stimulate critical debate about controversial issues in our society. By researching and questioning ‘fashion’ we learn to understand the psychology of human behavior and its role in undermining stereotypes. The central question being asked, “How can we develop the fashion industry to improve well-being and equality?"

What is the FASHIONCLASH? FASHIONCLASH is an international and interdisciplinary platform for new generation designers and artists. The ‘clash’ in FASHIONCLASH represents the encounter between talent, cultures, artistic disciplines, the audience and fashion. FASHIONCLASH provides a platform by developing and organizing projects and events such as the annual festival ‘FASHIONCLASH Festival’ in Maastricht.

Since the first edition in 2009 more than 900 talents from 50 different countries have joined FASHIONCLASH Festival and were given the opportunity to show their talent and work.
FASHIONCLASH Foundation is an cultural institution based in Maastrcht (The Netherlands) and is managed and directed by me, Branko Popovic, Laurens Hamacher and Nawie Kuiper.

How did you become involved? I am one of the founders of the platform.
What’s an average day for you look like? I am more of night person, which makes it that I start my day around 9 am and my days are long. Even as a child I was not fond of sleeping, when I was five I told my mother: “Sleeping is a waste of life”. I never leave without breakfast and preferably I start with Bosnian coffee after breakfast.

For the rest of the day, I spend many hours behind the computer, meetings, eating snack and listening to music. I work a lot, which means that I spent more hours with my computer than my partner J, but is like me in that matter. My life and work are very much intertwined and I enjoy myself most of the time.

What’s one thing people don’t realize about what you do? Since I am doing different things, people often don't know everything that I do. Even I find it hard to describe myself. Mostly people know me for being one of people behind FASHIONCLASH. In addition, I am a fashion designer, and I teach and coach designers. I am also reporting about fashion for some magazines, and I have blog.

What advice would you give to those who want to work in fashion?

  • Drop the attitude! don't take yourself too seriously
  • Be patient and go step by step; it really takes many years and hard work to get there
  • Take what you do seriously, fashion communicatesand tells a lot about who we are and where we are heading.