FROM CROATIA WITH LOVE
Đurđica Vorkapić and I became friends in an interesting way, but that story would last too long and I want you to get to know her as well. Đurđica became known as the (passionate) creative director of fashion brand Hippy Garden, but she is the type of person who keeps thrilling (not only me) with her creations, ideas, and perfectionism. She is a gifted artist and innovator (she already owns several patents!!!). Đurđica has an excellent sense for business and she selflessly shares her ideas. A workaholic above everything else. While we sip on a glass of wine in Food Lab restaurant, in the late hours of the day, she tells me that she’s (literally) swamped with sewing orders, and she can’t even reach her desk because of the several tons of material in her atelier.
What thrills me most about Đurđica is that this Karlovac native is always ready to promote her own city (now Zagreb) and Croatia through her work. She has recently successfully launched a line of skincare products inspired by Croatian Mediterranean herbs. This last summer, she found inspiration in the traditional Croatia souvenir – the licitar heart – to which he gave new value and a designer signature, making modern, wearable designer souvenirs in the form of T-shirts, bags, umbrellas… Thanks to Đurđica and her small creative team, one of the most famous and patented (!) Zagreb souvenirs gained the signature From Croatia with LOVE.
Even with all that work, Đurđica will always find time for our small, inspirational gatherings. I asked her what the secret of her success was. “Everything I do I do with heart so I see creation as a form of love. I don’t know any other way of working and creating (living).”
So here are here thoughts on the top places and things that make living good…
Good wine and where to have it in Zagreb?
Since I love fine things, Konoba Jadera in Vrbik is my choice of delicious home-made cooking. As far as wine is concerned, I’d recommend the excellent Grimalda, Benvenuti-Malvazija made of dried berries.
Best brunch in Zagreb? Why?
Since I’ve been a vegetarian for years, the best stews are at Boban, that is, Leonarda Boban – that’s my no. 1 choice. Stews are home-made cuisine and the best choice for a light lunch! And the name is creative as well – Cušpajz (“stew”, regional) – try translating that to foreigners. I also like to stop by the Ginger Sushi Bar.
“Everything I do I do with heart so I see creation as a form of love. I don’t know any other way of working and creating (living).”
Sweet and salty treats – your recommendation?
If you haven’t visited Mak na konac, you don’t know what you’re missing. Ana Grgić from hotel Esplanade does wonders, and in Dubravkin put you’ll eat the treats of the best pastry chefs. Sweets I take in small doses and occasionally.
What places would you recommend to someone who is coming to Zagreb for the first time and they’re not listed in tour guides?
Hippy Garden in Masarykova street, of course.
Best places for a night out (for a woman like you)…
Johann Franck, Sax, theatres… I love everything Zagreb has to offer. And Konoba Jadera, of course.
A trip around Zagreb you’d recommend to everyone…
Marija Bistrica and Restaurant Kaj – a great little hotel and excellent restaurant Akademija, ideal for a spa gastro weekend for me and my love.
What souvenir should you bring from Zagreb and why?
Hippy Garden From Croatia with LOVE T-shirt, chocolate, bag… and many lovely new things to come soon. :-)
Do you know???
BRITISH TOP MODEL AND HIPPY GARDEN!
Do you remember the British Top Model (we’ve had similar shows)? One episode was filmed in Zagreb last summer, and Hippy Garden was directly chosen by the British fashion experts headed by fashion guru Hilary Alexander, proving once again its position in the top of Croatian fashion. Nine British models wore the spring hounds tooth and retro zig-zag patterns, posing at the specially decorated set of the Dolac market, the unique symbol of Zagreb. The filming was followed by Lifetime TV, which broadcast the episode on 11 February. The host and jury member was Nicky Johnston, the coordinator of the entire fashion shoot.
Photo: Hippy Garden
Translation: Nevena Erak