Ukrainian-born Kristina grew up watching her mother making clothes for her and her sister. From a young age she began to make her own pieces, before moving to Dubai to study fashion design at Esmod, and launching her namesake fashion label in 2014. The womenswear brand brings to life Kristina’s vision to “set a trend for women worldwide to keep their femininity in modern life.” Her pieces are elegant with a fashion edge. As Kristina puts it: “Elegance and femininity are the backbone of my label… I take into consideration a woman I design for – the KF Woman.”

Why did you choose to have your brand in the UAE?

I felt there was a gap in the market for a local brand to offer a European, elegant and timeless design outlook. Middle Eastern women are very versatile and feminine. I like that when it comes to fashion, they are closely connected to their cultural roots while keeping up with the latest international fashion trends. We have already successfully explored global expansions with recent shows in Paris during Paris Fashion Week, international showrooms and more exciting plans for upcoming seasons.

What opportunities do you think being based here has given you?

Dubai is a very cosmopolitan and modern place. Geographically, it is central between Europe, Middle East and Asia. People living and visiting Dubai have a great interest in fashion – it is a great launching platform in a creative, fashion-forward, luxury audience.

What about struggles as a fashion business here?

In such a creative environment, the potential struggle is always whether or not people will understand your vision and warm to the designs, even more so when looking across the waters. Translating creative ideas into a business project is tough; having creativity doesn’t necessarily mean you can run a business. Fashion is a serious business and it takes lots of energy and commitment to make it. I am very comfortable in this region, and understand the market and how my brand is received, it’s going to be both thrilling and challenging developing a wider understanding for the European market for the coming couple of years.

What do you see as the future of the fashion industry in the UAE?

The fashion industry in UAE is shaping out, and becoming more visible internationally. Over the past three years, we have participated in several great fashion events in the region, and I was very pleased for my brand to receive a great response from the industry professionals, media and clients.

What trends are you seeing in the local fashion industry?

It is fascinating to see how local women cherish their traditional dress but add a modern touch to them in terms of colours, shapes and accessories in a most complimentary way to highlight their natural looks.