Fashion Q&A with Annamária Haľková

CD: Hi Anna! Please introduce yourself…

AMH: Hello beautiful people! I’m Annamária Haľková, and I’m from the East part of Slovakia but I currently live in Vienna. I’m a 26-year-old Master student in Marketing with a specialisation in Fashion. I study at IMC University of Applied Sciences in Krems an der Donau/Austria; this is my last semester, in which I’m in the process of writing my master thesis, the topic is related to little people / people with Dwarfism. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in International Sales & Marketing in January 2018 in Horsens/Denmark. I’m a #photoDWARFer, Photoshop & Instagram-lover with Achondroplasia, the most typical form of Dwarfism and I’m 123 cm tall. I enjoy taking photographs of portraits, events, snapshots and also action & urban life. I love travelling because I enjoy the feeling of freedom and getting to know diverse cultures, people and their traditions because I love getting to know different people and their different life stories.

We love that! What is your favourite piece of clothing and why?

In the summer I love wearing dresses and playsuits a lot, they are super easy and fast to put on, plus they let your body breath in the hot summer days. My favourite pieces for the upper body is cropped tops and bodysuits. I prefer leggings or denim shorts for the lower body.

And where do you usually shop?

Mostly in kids’ section of Zara, in kids’ section of H&M and Lindex but also in their adults’ sections. My favourite brand is Tommy Hilfiger, where I also get some clothes but then I also go to outlet shops and online at brands like Sinsay.

So when you’re shopping, what do you look for in a garment?

Normally a simple style, so something in black and white or for spring & summer vibes I prefer pastel colours, and something with patterns  like  flowers or cute  animals.  I  also  look  for  interesting  text-prints,  or  slogans  that  express  my  personality  or that  are  meaningful  to  me. In  general, I  love  when  a  garment fits perfectly on my body without any alteration. 

I bet that’s tough sometimes to find a good fit, what do you find are your biggest challenges with clothing?

I think there are 4 challenges I face most: The length of clothing, I have to send my clothes to the tailors to adjust it for my shorter legs and hands, the size of a collar is sometimes small for my “intelligent,” so big head to get through, and also our bigger bust doesn’t fit clothes from kids’ stores / sections. Plus, I, as any intellectual human, dislike wearing clothes that make me to look like a kid. I believe I can say it for each of little person that we want finally clothes that will be as available as for average-sized people.

Yes! I think every little person can relate to that! Is there anything you’d love to wear but feel like you can’t?

High-heels are no.1 in my fashion world that I miss out on the most - to have a pair like any other human would make me  feel finally included in the fashion industry. My dream is always to wear skirts without awkward feeling of how my ass looks in them. I have also noticed the challenge with leggings that have a pattern on their lower leg has to be cut off in order to match with my size and I don’t see it fair to pay the same price as the others that use the whole leggings. The same applies for any trousers. In the winter season, I’d love something cosy, for instance knit sweaters but they’re a bit complicated to alter the length, because you need to  be careful when cutting from sleeves, as knitwear starts unravelling and is super hard also to match colour of wool or any material with the colour of used-material.

I’m sorry that you struggle so much, again, I know so many other women like you probably feel the same. We’ve considered developing heels as part of our collection too so rest assured, heels are on their way to you! We agree that it seems unfair to pay the same price for a garment that you cut half of it off and have to pay for alterations too.

So, how much do you know about sustainability and how does this affect your buying decisions?

To be honest I didn’t care a lot about this stuff until I started to study a masters in marketing with a specialisation in fashion. Since getting certain knowledge about sustainability, I take it into consideration when shopping for clothes. One thing I know for sure, I won’t buy clothes in Primark. I think 5 years ago I saw a behind the scenes video of how they sell cheap T-shirts and how they treat their employees, I said to myself “no, thank you, I’ll never buy that again”. However, I would prefer fashion companies / brands to start making more appealing clothes which are made in more sustainable way because as far as  I could see is such clothes are mostly one-coloured produced. 

Yes, we couldn’t agree more, once you know how poorly fast fashion brands like Primark treat their employees you can’t buy from them again. We’ve also found that eco-friendly clothing is often very frumpy, basic and expensive which isn’t always the most appealing: of course, our first collection will be for fashion staples so they may seem ‘basic’ but as we progress and grow we cant wait to start experimenting with pattern, colour and shape.

If you could send one message to today’s Fashion Designers, what would it be and why?

I do not exactly know who said this thought, but I totally agree with it - “About disabled people without disabled people”. So therefore, please designers, don’t include us to just exclude us in your design. I love that Chamiah Dewey is a great inspiration for other designers and people in the fashion industry – keep up the great job, Chamiah!

Ah thank you! That does truly mean a lot to us/me, it’s really important for us to inspire other designers to include the people they’re designing for and collaborate and help future designers, we think that there’s room for everyone in the fashion industry. Where do you look for style inspiration?

Sinéad Burke surely with her bold attitude towards the fashion industry - I love this woman. She has achieved big things so far and she is doing a remarkable job! Then Lorna Luxe and fashion brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Moschino…

Sinéad is such an inspiration to many, she’s achieved what lots of people thought wasn’t possible in the fashion industry. And lastly, what style tips do you have for other women with the same condition as you?

I have heard many times from my friends and relatives that colourful clothes suit me a lot; from the dresses, A-line skirt’s and empire waists. Since we’re smaller people we shouldn’t wear horizontal- striped trousers, as I think they would make us to look even smaller. But this is my subjective opinion ;)

Haha, I think that’s a fashion tip for lots of people, if you want to look longer, wear vertical lines! Thank you so much for joining us, we loved talking with you and finding out more about you! You can find Anna on Instagram at @dwarf.annamaria.

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