Fashion writer and journalist Kara Becker introduces her new series of articles exclusive to Unpolished Digital.
Words by Kara Becker
Form follows function – a principle associated with modern industrial design is literally the heart and soul of the sensational Hungarian brand. „I founded Nanushka in 2006 after finishing my studies at London College of Fashion. I was very excited about my final theme which was connected to the Bauhaus movement”, said in one of her interviews, Sandra Sandor. The connection was so strong she decided never to abandon it.
Brick walls, concrete floor, exceptionally well-selected vintage furniture, patterned oriental rugs, huge plants and hangers full of ready–to–wear, one of a kind clothes, that you simply want to have. I remember very well the first time I’ve visited Nanushka’s boutique in Budapest. Till recently the only traditional retail store of the brand. I felt instantly welcomed and enchanted by the warm concept of a cafe, creative space, fashion store hybrid, where right at the entrance greets you an all smiles barista behind a beautifully designed counter. So you can easily just drop by and buy a coffee to go or order one and sip on it slowly while sitting on a vintage swing. A lot has changed for Sandra Sandor since I’ve been there two years ago. But the core and vision has stayed the same.
“Fashion has been part of my life since childhood. My mother launched a kidswear business back in the Seventies, so since my earliest memories, I have always been surrounded by clothes. I remember I was often her fitting model and starred in my mother’s ‘children fashion shows’. It was definitely a fun time for the six-year-old me. Growing up in this environment I think it came natural to me that I would follow a fashion path when choosing a career”, said the designer to Who What Wear. For Sandor, inspired by her mother’s courage to build a business under the communist regime, fashion was a no brainer. The name of the brand wasn’t hard one to find either. And it couldn’t be more true to herself. Nanushka was simply her childhood nickname. It’s a similar case when it comes to her inspirations. She mainly draws them from what she knows best – travel and the mix between eastern and western culture. “What drives me as a designer is how I can create a bridge between distant cultural references from different times and places. How to create balance and harmony in the clash of cultures”, Sandor says. The effect? A remarkable mix between modernity, effortless and bohemian style.
For Spring 2020 Nanushka took as back to Greece and the hot summer of 1972 when Loulou de la Falaise visited a small island on the Aegean Sea, Patmos. Unfortunately, during the travel her huge suitcase with all the fashion goodness inside was lost, so she had to style herself with anything she could possibly find on land. As usual, she did it splendidly and images of her wearing a simple piece of fabric as a turban, became so popular, that Yves Saint Laurent decided to do a whole collection inspired by her looks from Patmos. Nanushka also gave her newest collection this effortless, holiday ease. Perfectly constructed, asymmetrical blazers in ivory, colourful, printed long tunics with a deep slit, beige shirt dresses with decorative belts, sari–like dresses and woven skirts are among many eye–catchers from her newest spring 2020 collection presented in Paris during fashion week. And of course, what’s crucial for the designer – ethical, vegan leather, which she uses a lot. On pants, shirts, jackets and of course, accessories, which quickly gained the it prefix.
Even though for the first seven years Sandra Sandor was mainly focused on the Hungarian market, her interesting and modern vision of fashion systematically gained popularity on Instagram. Her designs were seen on Charlize Theron, Gigi Hadid, Camille Charrière, Caroline Issa, Lisa Aiken and Lucy Williams just to name few. This led to an interest of some of the biggest retail giants. The label is now sold across the world, in 250 multi brands including MyTheresa, Net-a-Porter, Liberty, Browns and Selfridges with sales hitting $23,5 million last year. But the enormous success is just the begging for the designer. As for now Sandra Sandor and her life partner and CEO of the company Peter Baldaszti are celebrating the opening of the second Nanushka store. The new boutique opened its doors in SoHo, New York at the beginning of January this year. What’s next for the powerful duo? Shops in Los Angeles, London and three more till the end of the year. And later? „Expansion into Asia” says Baldaszti. Experts claim 2020 will undeniably be the year of Nanushka. With her feminine yet sufficiently extravagant and eco–friendly approach, she’s definitely one to watch… and to buy.
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