Nothing says unique like a dream deferred until later in life. And so is the story of Nataša Jeletić. She is the creative mind behind Atelje Jeletić, a cozy, sophisticated lady’s boutique specializing in catering to the unique shape and style of each woman who walks into her store. The dresses are all hand made by Nataša, and she incorporates bold patches in most of her designs in order to accent the vintage look that her creations mimic. Like a woman, no one dress is exactly alike, and that to me spells U.N.I.Q.U.E.
To understand better the dynamics of the shop owner, it is important to delve a little into her past. Nataša grew up in the small village of Vrbovsko where designing clothes for a living was easily not the highest priority in life. Fortunately for us, her modest background didn’t stop her from leaving a meager waitress job and persevering towards a dream of becoming a seamstress and dress designer; at the age of 27, when most have settled into their careers, Nataša was making her way to the capital to begin the study of fashion designing and art.
With the help of a beloved art professor, Emil Robert Tanay, who taught her that drawing was the key to the fashion industry, by the age of 30, she was well on her way to creating new looks that her patrons now adore. After taking a few more courses (while cleaning houses and working as waitress on the side) to truly learn how to have an eye for art, in cooperation with a friend she started making clothes and exhibiting in a rented apartment. This critical choice led to more doors being opened in the way of mentors and job offers from the creator of Stolnik brand, and after a few years of practice, confidence building, and networking, she finally opened up shop at the corner of heavenly and divine, in the center of it all, Zagreb city center.
Just walk down Radićeva ulica and stop in front of #21, where the antique picture has been perched beside blue cursive letters for the past ten years. Here you will find light linen textures that keep the skin cool and dry. Colorful sashes accent each piece masterfully, and if you need assistance in accessorizing, the designer herself is always on staff.
But, if you are not in the market for a new dress and just need inspiration to follow your own heart, then stop by and chat over some dress fittings, talk about painting, and remember to tell her that UNIQUE Zagreb sent you.
And if you are to ask Nataša what she wants to do for the remainder of life, she will continue, despite all the growing pangs she has experienced, to remain faithful to her one true love, creating fashion.
Written by: By Tamuriel Dillard