When I was just 7 years old, I decided to become a fashion designer. Some people are allured by the glamour of the fashion world, but I am inspired by the human hands that craft and create glamorous fashion.
The beauty of storied traditions, such as embroidering napkins, crocheting patterns, knitting Aran fishermen’s sweaters and Italian shoemaking techniques, are the anthropology of humankind.
This is my new family, the owners of APIA—the Italian factory that handcrafts the beautiful women’s flats, smoking slippers, booties and boots for Autograf New York.
Three generations of this wonderful family live above the APIA factory in Marche, which is the manufacturing hub for the highest quality shoes in the world.
After 20 years in the world of fashion design, I proudly acknowledge that I am still learning—and what a pleasure to learn from the man who, coincidentally, started the APIA factory the same year I was born!
This is a photograph that was taken in 1939—shortly before World War II—of my grandparents with their four children; my father, Stefan Kusinski, is the youngest baby. They moved from France to Poland because my grandmother missed her native country. That year, they lost their freedom. They spent their life and died in Communist Poland without the right to travel and see the world.
I dedicate my freedom to my family.
Today, I live in New York—a happy home for my family and two kids. Family and tradition are important to me, and I appreciate the multicultural influences and diversity that this one-of-a-kind city offers.
I want to celebrate families through stories, videos and blogs that showcase where we come from and how fashion and our local environment influence who we are and how we dress. Culture, food and fashion shape the world around us.
It is my duty to educate my children about these cultural aspects to create global citizens who are well-prepared for the future with fewer borders, creating a less divided world of humanity.