In a world of labels and production lines fashion designer and artist Marina Toybina
and her handmade, hand plucked designs stand out to say the least. Toybina's custom designs have been adorned by some of the biggest names in movies and music, including Juliette Lewis, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, and Adam Lambert. Though this is her first true love, her passion doesn't stop at fashion design. Her love of movies has driven her produce her own short film and her love of music may drive her to dress some of the most popular musicians of our era but it's also inspired her to adorn herself in some lyrical ink. As far as Toybina is concerned, the sky is the limit.
Inked: Tell us about your start as a designer - What sparked your interest and desire to make clothes in particular?
Toybina: The spark that started this endless flame, came natural and at a very young age. Born and raised in Moscow, I had the opportunity to attend one of the top art academy's in the city. I took sewing classes at a fairly young age, theater, dance and art inclined programs were my full time obligations. My grandmother taught me how to crochet and be patient while creating. I always doodled weird designs and characters, attended a lot of theater, traveled to unique places and had a slight obsession with different cultures, art, history, architecture, music, movies, cartoons and people, all before my teens. When my family and I moved to the states, my life became my inspiration, which evidently needed an outlet.
I had my first fashion show right after graduating high-school. I then moved to LA, got my degree in fashion design, started my clothing line at the age of 20 and Ive been "cursed" with my destiny ever since. Designing for me defines my character. I take pride in my work and through my art, I can express emotions, values, morals and my beliefs.
Inked: Who were/are some of your fashion icons? How do you feel about being an inspiration/icon yourself?
Toybina: Fashion icons, where does one begin. Centuries/Decades of human masterpieces. Some of my favorites are, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Twiggy, Grace Jones, The Runaways, David Bowie, James Dean, Jim Morrison, Bjork and the list goes on and on.
I am very flattered but it would take a lifetime and then some to have the privilege to ever call myself an icon. I can only hope that someday my work gets recognized in a fair light and becomes inspirational to others. If there's anything i could ever ask for, is that my story and journey awakes young designers and artists of all avenues to believe, accomplish and fight for their dreams and values.