It’s love-love for Sharapova
“No, no, not nervous. I’ve been lucky to work with quite successful women in the past,” says a relaxed David Koma on dressing Russian players Maria Sharapova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. An understatement yes but there’s not a hint of arrogance in the voice of the London-based designer as he rattles off megastars wearers such as Beyoncé (as seen at the MTV Europe Music Awards), Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Kylie Minogue.
The Georgian-born designer seems to know exactly what women want. His body-conscious dresses emphasize the hourglass figure – perfect for body confident, powerful women. Beauty for Koma isn’t just physical, the women he dresses all share his confident but not cocksure attitude. He says of Sharapova, “She is number one because she has always worked incredibly hard, she’s humble – and I think that’s what makes us a good match.”
Celebrity collaborations are something that Koma insists must happen organically. He didn’t pursue Sharapova; he was in fact approached by her stylist last year. He explains, “A woman has to fit with my aesthetic – it needs to be a natural process.” Koma adds, “Tennis players look good in sportswear and I reference this style in my work, so it fits.”
It also helps that the young designer is an avid tennis fan and he’s given some thought to a future sportswear line. In Koma’s words, “I think music, sport and fashion are very much related. If it’s true to the designer’s aesthetic and it forms part of their identity, I think that it works perfectly.”
My impression of Koma is not of a celebrity-obsessed designer who wishes to see his designs splashed across the glossies’ party pages, thanks to a publicity push but of a man who sees global stars as part of what he refers to as his “natural [career] progression.” However, he does have his moments of almost boyish joy when he coyly, almost giggling says: “She’s [Sharapova] an extremely beautiful woman and she’s number one.” Although he’s never wanted to be a slave to celebrity endorsement, Koma admits: “It’s working for me and I do get a kind of double pleasure when I see my designs on a celebrity.”
Designs, of course, that we’ll have the pleasure of seeing during the Wimbledon fortnight. Although Koma, who spent much of his early life in St.Petersburg, does hint that Sharapova’s look will be from the autumn / winter’12 collection. He lets on, “It will be made of a lighter material like silk crepe de chine and the sheerness will be in the right places. Perhaps on her beautiful shoulders, or on her back and some detail on the sleeve.” Perfectly placed to pique our interest.
– Richard Peckett