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Fashion » Moda | 59 I nt e rv i ew: Bor i s K argot i ć, fash i on des i gne r Fashion should always be fun and never a burden Demode grew swiftly from a hobby to a brand. Before I’d even foundmy footing, there were already employees, dresses were already being sewn and we were already being worn by Madonna. Yes, that Madonna! BorisKargotić (35), owner of extravagant fashionbrandDemode, is a fashiondesigner, appliedartist, graduateactor andnativeof Split, who arrived inBelgrade in2012, in the belief that –ashe says–hewould reach the lightsof the stage in the ‘BalkanHollywood’.That didn't happen, and his life’s journey turned in an unexpected direction when he discovered that he is capable of creating jewellery, but also that he was being sought by Madonna… Your dreams of acting brought you from Split to Belgrade. How do you recall that period? “I remember arriving in Belgrade late at night and thebus crossingBranko'sBridge.Orange lights, theUšće confluence and energy that filled me from head to toe, overwhelming andmesmerisingme…It was then that I thought that if I was to live in the Balkans, then I would definitelydoso inthiscity:Belgrade. Idreamt that Iwould performat theatreAtelje 212, and that I would cheat on it with Terazije Theatre. I considered Belgrade the Hollywood of the Balkans, a cultural capital and a metropolis. I felt the energy of a real metropolis, I felt the possibilities, I felt alive. I fell in love. Acting happened for me, but not in the way that I’d wanted...” You’ve always been excessively ambitious and forceful in everything you’ve wanted and done. And insufficiently patient to await your role in Belgrade ... “My acting life unfolded too slowly, so I worked in parallel byopening anacting school and starting tomake jewellery.Thatwas all I knewhowtodo. If I’dknownhow to clean, I’d probably have done that too. I didn't sit and wait, but nor did I sleep peacefully. I spent my nights sitting and sweating on what tomorrow would bring.” And then came your fateful descent into a basement… “I was received in an adorable apartment on Petlovo brdo, in a cute basement that had been decorated like a room, by a wonderful family. They cared for me and lovedme like their own child. I have anunbreakable bond with them today; they are my Serbian family. In a sea of melodrama, dreams, insomnia, one wonderful acquaintance of mine helped me figure out what to do and that led to the emergence of Demode.” So, the brand was born as handmade jewellery in a basement? “It was meant to be a temporary way of maintaining myself until I experienced my Hollywood. Demode was salvation to prevent me from dying of inactivity, but Demode grew swiftly from a hobby to a brand. Before I’d even foundmy footing and figured out what was happening, it was already no longer a home craft operation; it wasn’t jewellery, but a firm. There were already employees, responsibility, banks andpost offices. Dresses were already being sewn. And boom - we were being worn by Madonna. Yes, that Madonna! Six months after I started making clothing! Demode became my life, and acting disappeared somewhere.” Remind us of the interesting story of how you almost missed Madonna's call. “One evening, I was sitting in my then studio. And someonecalledandstartedspeaking inEnglish. I thought someone was messing with me and I hung up. He later called back and explained what it was about. He’d sent Kad kreiram modele, zamišljam jaku ženu, pametnu i nezavisnu As my designs emerge, I imagine a strong woman, intelligent and independent Foto: Koca