MUSIC FOR TOUGH TIMES
George Mikaia, creative director of Crosty sneakers brand, knows a lot about tough times. Being raised in war-torn Georgia, he has his own list of priorities and the main one — is freedom. We asked George to make a playlist of encouraging tracks and share his thoughts on success, future of fashion and challenges we are all facing today. In the end we created a Crosty Mixtape, afterall mixtapes are like pictures but with sound.
Crosty — is a designer sneakers brand born and made in Georgia. The signature sign is a word “freedom” — tavisupleba — written in Georgian right on the top of almost every shoe. Their sneakers were worn by famous athletes and other celebrities around the globe. In an exclusive IERI video interview George told us about his challenging journey to success.
WHAT IS SUCCESS TO YOU?
Success means the accomplishment of your self-defined goals. Success is my team — to me the main accomplishment is CROSTY team. I am truly proud of us. All of us are united by the idea of freedom, for which we keep on fighting every day.
One of my favorite quotes that I base success on is: ‘I have learned not to measure a man by his success in life, but by the obstacles, he has overcome while trying to succeed.” Booker T. Washington.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
My favorite place in the world is untouched massive snowy mountains. Silence and a lot of snow. It’s the place where you feel yourself free, where you stay alone with yourself. All emotions, I’ve got here, are a source of inspiration reflected in my creations. Items that tell you the story of my freedom.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE FUTURE OF FASHION?
I think the future of fashion looks like a cocktail mix. Different styles combined and mixed with each other. The balance between cutting-edge design and natural human expression. Where it’s about being continually in conversation. I think interesting niche brands with true stories, middle size communities, and pop-up stores will be more relevant in the future, and of course e-commerce and e-fashion.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT NOW THAN YOU WERE, SAY, FIVE YEARS AGO?
I feel the difference in everything. The way of thinking, and the confidence in what I do. Only one thing has not changed – my desire to create something global.
DOES CRITICISM EVER ILLUMINATE ANYTHING FOR YOU ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
People sometimes criticize what they do not understand, and it takes time. First, when you criticize another’s ideas, you need to tap into your creative mind as deeply as possible. I am trying to analyze the criticism of competent people and turn them into a benefit. Here the balance is important.
HOW DO YOU CHALLENGE YOURSELF?
I challenge myself with impossible goals. It motivates me and gives me energy for moving forward. Big goals – Big results.
DID YOU EVER HAVE A MENTOR OR SOMEONE TO GUIDE YOU?
I think that the mentor is important in everything. I have a mentor in the business side, and I’m in the process of finding a mentor in fashion as well.
WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER A PERFECT DAY — FROM THE TIME YOU RISE TO THE TIME YOU FALL ASLEEP?
The perfect day starts from morning running, 10-minute meditation session, reading some industry news, going to work and during the day doing something that brings us a little closer to our goal. After that, spending time with friends and family.
The main motto of a perfect day is to feel free and do what pleases me.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR TURN TO KEEP YOURSELF GROWING AND CHANGING AND EVOLVING
First of all, I explore myself. Why do I make this or that decision, how do I react to different things. I’m trying different things to find weaknesses and develop them. I know where I want to be in a few years, on this basis, I try to develop myself in this direction.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN ASTROLOGY?
I didn’t believe in astrology before, but after I began to apply and test various instruments of astrology in my life, and some of them really work. It’s impossible to ignore. I’m still studying this science, but now I can say that I believe in astrology.
WHAT INTERESTS YOU OUTSIDE OF FASHION?
First of all – snowboarding. I’m interested in graphic design, art, and minimalistic architecture, retro car designs. And everything connected to freedom.
IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE A YOUNG DESIGNER?
If you can do something to get somebody excited – not everybody – but if you can be the best for somebody, then you can win. Start with what you have, and learn — absorb all the information like a sponge. Mistakes are not the end, it is important to learn how to fix them.
WHERE DID THE BRAND NAME COME FROM?
In the early stages, designing the first prototype, we were experimenting with a crocodile texture. We combined ‘croco’ and ‘style’ and came up with ‘Crosty. ‘ Later we dropped the Crocodile texture, however we liked the sound of the name and kept it.
WHAT’S ONE SONG THAT’S GOTTEN YOU THROUGH A TOUGH TIME?