In convo with Rrez Adores
by - OG magazine

With thousands of followers and her own clothing line (Dorres) launching this week, most would say Rrez is successful. Everyone but her that is.  The London-based designer seems somewhat of an overachiever that has constantly been pushing her creative pursuits since the age of 16. And recently single-handedly styled, directed and shot all of her collection.

Intrigued by her work, we spoke to the young designer and influencer to find out a bit more about her brand, Albanian culture and what it means to be an ‘influencer’ on social media today- the good the bad and the ugly.

So Rrezolinda tell us more about yourself?

My family & I moved to London in 1995, I was just 2. I love Kosovë, I spent the whole of summer there this year & hope to live back & forth between there and the UK.

I’ve been chasing my creative dreams since I was 16.

I’m into ALL things creative, I’ve been chasing my creative dreams since I was 16, literally.. It started off with my love for art & photography,  gradually lead to being a freelance makeup artist (both freelancing and working for Dior as a makeup artist on the counter) to my most recent job role as a content creator. I’ve been in and out of jobs, always trying to move forward and find the next best thing for me.

You said you were a freelance make-up artist; how did that work for you? Was there anyone that you’ve done makeup on that has inspired you in any type of way?

I don’t think I’ve done anyone’s makes up that necessarily inspired me. I gather inspiration from all aspects of life, people I meet, conversations I have, stuff I read about, it could legit be anything. Sometimes just a trait/quality someone may show or whatever else that may grab my attention, can inspire me.

I loved being an MUA, I was so passionate about it. I love natural looking makeup and enhancing natural beauty, I use to live for that moment they’d take a look in the mirror and their faces just lit up, I could see the confidence boost. Being a makeup artist played a huge role in my confidence – I had to constantly meet new people & always interact with strangers on a regular basis so it taught me how to adapt, be confident & friendly around others.

Seeing as you’re Kosovan but raised in England, do you think that if you’d be living in Kosovo you would still be as successful as you are? Has living in London made it easier for you to be a social media influencer, and if so why?

It’s funny because I don’t see myself as successful, yet. I think living in London has definitely shaped me into the person I am today, mentally, emotionally & spiritually as I feel I am exposed to certain things/opportunities that maybe I wouldn’t have been if I lived in Kosovo. However, I don’t think living in London has made it “easier” for me to be a social media influencer. I think with social media, if you just take nice pictures or show something that people take a liking to; anyone can be a social influencer, from anywhere.

Now, speaking of being a social media influencer we know that nowadays the easiest way to reach a wider audience is by posting online, how has this experience been for you especially knowing that online content can lead to personal demands from your audience? Which are the negative sides of it?

Honestly, I would say it’s mostly all positive for me. I’ve had amazing jobs, I’ve connected and collaborated with amazing brands & people, I’ve made great friends & I’ve met people who have inspired me to push harder, ALL thanks to Instagram.

Social media is really what you make of it, especially nowadays people can be whoever they want to be online. It’s crazy & that’s where the negatives begin. For some, it’s all about likes & anything for the likes. From portraying unrealistic or unattainable lifestyles to overly edited photos where the person has completely morphed their body into a different body type.  A lot of us have large platforms with a large following, but not everyone is using it to do something BETTER with it, but rather adding to the negatives. People may think editing their faces/bodies is harmless, but it really isn’t. Even for that person, it’s unhealthy as well as the fact that they are just adding to the notion that only a specific body type or facial features are desired/attractive. It sounds cliché but we’re all beautiful in our own ways, we all have something that makes us stand out from others, whether that’s mentally or physically. I don’t understand why people don’t try to embrace that more.

As for personal demands, I don’t put much personal info about me AT ALL on my Instagram, so it isn’t that often that I feel that line is crossed. However, some people seem to believe that because they see you posting images online, they know you and are entitled to ask you personal questions. It’s really quite bizarre. You’ll never realise how nosy complete strangers are until you have some kind of following online, I can only imagine how actual famous people must feel!

We know that you’re currently working on “Dorres”, your upcoming clothing line, elaborate more about it. How did u come up with the idea, and what inspires the designs of your clothes.

Ah yes! So I’ve launched it already but I had a few setbacks & wasn’t able to release the whole first collection as planned, unfortunately, so I only launched a couple of tops. I’m working on the new collection now and I’m so excited about it! Every piece is SO me & that’s where the idea and inspiration came from. I want to create pieces that are missing in my wardrobe, that are missing in high street stores that I WANT to wear. I go out and look for all the materials myself, I want good quality materials. Everything is handmade in London. I don’t want to mass produce in Asia, I want quality pieces all made ethically in London where I can be hands on 100% of the time.

Albanian culture grew from that of Illyrians with strong beliefs and a specific way of life and a specific way of dressing, do you ever see “Dorres”  line including elements from Albanian traditional clothes?

I love that I come from a background with such a strong culture & tradition. I do feel it’s both a blessing and a curse, though! I feel like (certain) really old traditions, should be kept in the past because with old ways, comes an old mentality & I just do not have the time or patience for old mentalities. In terms of how far back we go as an ethnicity and our traditions & clothing, it is absolutely beautiful & I wish more people knew more about it.

I don’t think I’ll necessarily have any traditional inspired clothes because the concept behind my brand is the total opposite, it’s based on modern cuts & designs.  I wouldn’t know how to combine the two together & make it work.  I 1000000% want to incorporate my heritage within my brand in other ways, though. I have some things planned but it’s all just about the feeling I get if something feels right. I will go ahead with it. When I come up with my designs; it’s always at random times. I don’t sit and think “right I need to create something” –  I get ideas almost every day from random things so it’s a gradual process and then I’ll go over them all & finalise what I want to create.

For now, the only way I’ve incorporated being Albanian in my brand, (no one knows this I guess) but it’s through my first shoot I did for my website. I made sure I shot it whilst I was in Kosovo, with all Albanian girls, (shoutout to my beautiful cousins).  I could’ve waited to do it here, but I wanted it done there. I shot everything on my iPhone, styled it,  done the make up, directed it, edited the photos, too! It was really fun for me & gives me a buzz like no other. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my visions come to life.

The future of Dorres?

Honestly.. Hopefully to just be in a position where I am able to continue making clothes for years to come. I don’t want to set myself certain expectations & put too much pressure on myself, this is a passion of mine so I want to love & enjoy the entire process & see where it takes me.

Enjoy the entire process and see where it takes me

I hope to start some new business ventures in Kosovo (eventually), as well as one FOR Albanian women. I always want us to do more as a nation, we are capable of a lot & I hope that these little ideas of mine will pan out effectively.

What is your advice for Albanian women working in the same industry as you?

“Be honest with yourself “

Do you baby girl! We are so talented, we have so much we can show & give to the world. Don’t allow the patriarchal views & mentality that’s still very strong in Albania/Kosovo get in-between you and your dreams. Don’t let others cloud your ideas, your visions, your plans, your passions.. Go after what you want, always. Be honest with yourself, be honest with your family.

I’m so blessed to have such supportive parents, I’ve always been honest with them from day one and I want that for everyone else! It breaks my heart when I speak to or receive emails from fellow Albanian girls regarding their career, for example, they want to be in the creative industry but their parents just aren’t seeing it as an acceptable job and would rather they chose something more academic. A more traditional line of work. The older generation don’t always understand or accept creative jobs as “real jobs” but if you keep at it, keep trying & when you start to get REAL money, others will also be accepting; it’s up to you and your drive/work to prove them otherwise.

Site:  Instagram: @RrezAdores

Interview by Frosina (@__Frosina)

Intro: Geri