2010 February 18

A Moment with...Sophia Kokosalaki

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(NEW YORK) After a memorable showing in New York on Tuesday, The Daily sat down with Sophia Kokosalaki, the new creative director of Diesel Black Gold for women, at the brand's headquarters. BY EMILY POPP

How are you enjoying New York?
I’ve done a show in London, Paris, Milan, but I’ve always wanted to show in New York. I just love the atmosphere. The one thing that surprised me—in a good way—is how fast you can do things in New York. If you try and do things in London, you might need a week. In New York? One day. I’ve been so busy working on the collection, but if I had a whole day to myself I would slip away to MoMA and then Barneys.

How is this job different from designing your own collection?
Diesel Black Gold is different from what I was used to. It's a different price point and clientele, and working with these new elements has been very interesting. But we also have quite a lot in common. It’s urban, a bit sexy, a bit rock and roll.We both love leather. Leather makes me happy! I tried to do an honest collection—not too conceptual, avant garde, or too weird. I just wanted to do it right. The very right trouser, leather jacket or dress. I try to elevate these pieces with craftsmanship. You can do a pair of distressed jeans by simply cutting the knee out, and there you have it. But no! I have to do everything with my own fabric. It looks like patchwork, but it’s actually just one fabric. I live in London and so it was easy for me to blend with the Diesel Black Gold style. I like that toughness and rock and roll. I enjoy aggression.

Are you a rock and roll girl?
You know, growing up in Greece, it wasn’t about pop. It was all about heavy metal.

Were you a part of that scene?
I tried to be! But I wasn’t very good. It’s hard for me to go unwashed for very long.

Do you have a favorite home-cooked treat?
Oh, I do not discriminate! The problem with Greece is that it is difficult to resist.

You adore visiting New York, but what do you love most about your homestead, London?
I love to frequent pubs. I could sit here and tell you how much I love contemporary art, because I do, but it’s a little bit pretentious, no? Instead I’ll tell you how about how much I love London pubs.

What’s your drink of choice?
Again, I don’t discriminate! But I love Guinness. It’s very rich in iron, so I never feel guilty.

Any secret hobbies other than pub-hopping?
I tried to surf once with Julie Gilhart and it was a total embarrassment. I’m not a natural born surfer.

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