The Producer: Where did you grow up and how did you come to be a stylist?
Agga: I grew up in Poland in a small city called Chelm, not a fashion capital but rather a small industrial district with few fashion manufacturing companies. One of those was my parents' company where they manufactured collections like Max Mara, French Connection, Hugo Boss and many others. I guess this is where I learnt all about the industry -- and hard work.
After one year of studying Law in Lodz University in Poland, I moved to NYC where I had my first fashion show with my new AGGA B. collection in Manhattan. All I had was the collection, one suitcase and very little money, but decided to stay and pursue my American dream of designing. I was about 19 at the time.
TP: What was your first job?
AB: Selling my dad’s collection at skateboarding events. My brother and I were about 16, and we loved skateboarding and partying. We drove a pickup van covered in stickers to different events, competitions and shows. I don't think we knew exactly what we were doing but I know for a fact we gave away a bunch of stuff and always had a blast. I think we got fired pretty quickly.
TP: What’s an average day like for you? What do you like the most about your work?
AB: I’m always working. Until very recently I was full time designing my clothing line, while styling and collaborating with companies like Toyota or Macy's on different design projects. Today my everyday is styling, traveling from set to set. I’ll start working on a project while I have new one already in production. I work as wardrobe stylist, set designer, and prop stylist, on still shoots, TV commercials and TV productions. I do like the fast speed of my job, I like the collaboration aspect and of course being able to express my ideas by creating live images on set. Besides that I'm constantly shopping and returning, shopping and returning ... lots of adrenaline, ha.
TP: What’s the most challenging part of the job?
AB: Money and budgeting. If you are broke you can’t really do too much. Most of the jobs require full financial coverage from your end which means you’ll pay for everything from your own pocket until you return everything and submit paperwork with presented expenses. For me this is the biggest responsibility and the most stressful part of this job. Editorial photoshoots most of the time are purely at your own investment because the budgets are very small or nonexistent. You always have to make sure you are not wasting your time and won’t end up with huge bills under your name.
TP: Do you have a highlight or success story you’d like to share?
AB: As you probably see I’m a big fan of collaborations and throughout my career I've always tried to network with people from all around the world to create new exciting ideas. I think one of the highlights and success stories was my collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation, working on both their concept car design team and their urban planning design team. That collaboration gave me a lot of amazing opportunities; not only I was able to showcase my collections on runways in Tokyo, Bilbao, Bangkok and Paris but also work on designing concept cars for Toyota and have my name embroidered on the Chicago timeline 2008 as one of the designers that started this type of active collaboration with a Japanese company of that caliber.
TP: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from anyone?
AB: An old friend said one very simple thing that always comes back for some reason: “Always do your best.” I feel like there is no other way.
TP: When you have an assistant working for you, what do you look for in someone that you would hire?
AB: It has to be someone who is not afraid of hard work, should have great people skills and be easygoing and trustworthy.
Styling is physically very hard work: you need to be able to drive, sometimes huge trucks or spaceships; you need to be able to organize your work, sometimes you’ll deliver loads of boxes, or furnitures, or random things never even heard of. You should always be prepared for the worst, know how to hire your team and make things easy on yourself and production. I like people with initiative and an easygoing attitude, people who are happy and fun to work with.
TP: What would your advice be to an aspiring stylist or fashion designer?
AB: No matter what you want in your life you need to believe in it and work very hard for it, its never as easy as we wish it were. Don’t look for confirmation and compliments from others, just keep doing what you love and it will pay off as long as you don’t give up. Having a great luck usually can't hurt as well!
TP: What’s next for you? What are your future goals or your dream for your career?
AB: I’m hoping to get new gig as a costume designer for a TV show about super heroes. I’m really excited about possibility of designing costumes, creating characters and working more on movie sets.
I’ve also developed line of home decor toys www.pupartshop.com that Im planing on presenting to the world as well.
TP: From which sources do you draw your inspiration?
AB: My travels, music, love, people with beautiful minds.