Mariya Dykalo » Press » Mariya Dykalo, creative director of luxury leather goods brand Aspinal

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Mariya lives in Sussex with her husband Iain and their son Jack, seven.

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Mariya shares her design secrets

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I loved to draw and paint as a child, and now do all the designs and technical drawings for Aspinal’s handbags by hand after Jack has gone to bed.

 

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I’ve designed clothes since the age of 13 and studied art and design in the Ukraine, where I grew up, before moving to England to try to make it as a fashion designer nine years ago. My friends gave me this book as a leaving gift.

 

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I got my British passport and became a British citizen last year. The Ukraine will always be home, but it’s an honour to call England my second home.

 

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Iain has a great eye for gifts and jewellery. He gave me this exquisite necklace for my 30th birthday. I think the mixture of silver and gold is so chic – I wear it all the time.

 

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Christmases in the Ukraine were so much fun. My brother Bogdan and I would wear traditional dress to visit Santa Claus. As it was a Communist country at that time, all the children wore the same clothes and were given the same presents. I’m five in this photo and Bogdan is four.

 

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We have a 300-year-old weeping beech tree in our garden – we’re told it’s one of the biggest in England. When you’re underneath it, you feel cut off from the world – it’s quite magical.

 

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We commissioned this photographic portrait of Jack when he was five and it hangs in our bedroom. Living in the country is a little boy’s dream – he’s always climbing trees and running through fields.

 

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Jack kept asking for a brother or sister so we got him a dog! Daisy, a miniature schnauzer, is a little bundle of energy and a complete joy. I’m now pregnant so Jack will soon have a little brother or sister as well as a dog!

 

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I worked my way up from intern to creative director at Aspinal. This Marylebone tote is my baby. I designed and conceived it and carry the monochrome version everywhere.

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