We asked Fashion Designer and Couturier Malgorzata Wieteszka-Slocomb, how she got started in her industry, what her big achievements have been, advice she has on how women can take the lead in a male corporate world, advice for women interested in climbing the corporate ladder and how she defines happiness. Scroll down for the full interview.
Who is Malgorzata Wieteszka-Slocomb?
Fashion Designer and Couturier Malgorzata Wieteszka-Slocomb was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland, where she showed a precocious talent for drawing and was considered the heir apparent to take over her father’s architecture firm. Malgorzata was recruited to come to the US as a recipient of a coveted fashion scholarship by Marvin Traub, the former president and CEO of Bloomingdale’s. She attended Centenary College in NJ and Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. After over 10 year design career in the New York Fashion Industry and on Broadway, Malgorzata moved to San Diego.
In 2009 she launched her own design house, Malgorzata Couture, providing custom, couture design and expert tailoring for discerning women throughout Southern California. Her creations are opulent, elegant and Red Carpet worthy. All designs are one of a kind, inspired by individual clients and created with utmost care for fit and their personal style. Malgorzata’s especially enjoys designing for brides. Her wedding gowns capture the personality of each bride she collaborates with, and feature the most luxurious silks and opulent trims and jewels. She is known for her attention to the smallest detail and her ability to make her client’s fashion dreams come true.
Malgorzata Couture studio is located in Poway, California and is a proud supporter of San Diego charities as well as art and education outreach initiatives.
For appointment please call 858-228-6398 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
How did you get started in your industry?
I come from a family of artists and engineers. A wonderfully creative blend. My father, an Architect, my godfather a Sculptor and Painter, my brother a Graphic Artist and an Illustrator and my very talented mother and grandmother. In fact it was my grandmother who taught me sewing, crocheting and bought me my first pattern making magazine when I was 7 years old. It was a very artistic yet competitive environment to be growing up in! By the time I was in high school I was already designing and making my own clothes. Fashion Design was not even a major at any of Polish universities at that time so I had not even consider becoming a Designer until the luck would have it that I was introduced to the scholarship program which put me in touch with Marvin Traub, a President of Bloomingdales. It was Marvin who brought me to the United States and financed my fashion design studies.
While in college, I was very active in the equity theater located on campus, and started designing costumes as well as being a Stage Manager. Through that experience I got my first job in the industry – at a Broadway costume design shop in Manhattan. I always wanted to dress women, regular women, not just actresses who are told by the Director what to wear. I wanted women to chose to wear my designs. So my next step was joining Rousso Apparel Group and subsequently other Fashion companies in the Manhattan Fashion District. I designed for Loft, Three Girls Running and Castle Hill Apparel amongst others. After moving to California, I decided to put all my designing, costuming and manufacturing experience into a new venture – Malgorzata Couture – a made to measure, couture evening wear Design Studio. At Malgorzata Couture I am able to dress individual clients and brides, creating one of a kind gowns and cocktail dresses for them. I am trying to make their fashion dreams come true as each design is created exclusively for particular client with close attention being paid to her preferences, her lifestyle and her silhouette. I feel very privileged having been able to work with some of the most elegant members of San Diego society.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
There are few things that I am proud of and consider a true achievement in my career. Being able to manage a sizable design department crew while at Castle Hill in New York City; spending a wonderful time in Hongzhou in China working hand in hand with most talented Chinese artists hand painting silks and rescuing a collection that almost did not happen; and finally, having the guts to open my own design studio here in San Diego area.
An achievement that gives me most personal joy however is the ability to listen to a client, and to interpret her passions and personality into a beautiful, hand crafted garment. Taking woman’s inner beauty and making her even more beautiful on the outside. Creating a gown that does not overpower the woman but gives her confidence and is one with her own vision of herself, making her shine!
Do you have any advice on how women can take lead in a male corporate world without alienating male employees? What advice would you give women interested in climbing the corporate ladder?
To function well in a male corporate world, I believe, a woman has to start by choosing the right profession that is consistent with her interests and personality. If she chooses well she will be able to remain true to herself, fulfilled and thus be most creative, productive and appreciated by her male colleagues. She does not need to be “manly and mean” in order to fit in with men. She just needs to show the men how good she really is at what she does, how consistent she can be in her job performance and how well she can manage a team of people. From my experience I learned that there would be no advancement without certain amount of leadership coming from me. I moved up as a Designer based on my creative talent, but I moved up in the corporation because I was able to listen, delegate and motivate my ever growing team.
Finally, happiness is…
Happiness is… accepting yourself for who you are and yet, never ending exploration of who you may still become. Letting your passions take over and not trying to be everything for everyone.
As women, there are lots of expectations put on us by the society, but it is OK to push back! Multitasking is a myth. We don’t have to be perfect at everything we attempt, but we may be happy by making a choice of what is it that fulfills us most and then realizing the impact it will have on the rest of our pursuits. Let’s not be afraid to chose and declare to the world who we are, be it the women who thrive in the corporate world and devote themselves to that pursuit; the women that find most fulfillment being wives and mothers, staying at home and making our society stronger one family at a time ; or those of us that want to realize ourselves through arts, for we feed the souls of our communities. Happiness is… to be OK of being an imperfect creature, and proud of being a perfectly wonderful woman that you are!