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The rise of Nanushka between sustainability and effortless aesthetics

Interview with the founder Sandra Sandor

The rise of Nanushka between sustainability and effortless aesthetics Interview with the founder Sandra Sandor

At the last Paris Fashion Week, Hungarian brand Nanaushka presented its collection at the Opéra Garnier in Paris. A minimalist aesthetic with unexpected details and simple silhouettes, in stark contrast to the second empire aesthetic of the setting where a central chandelier weighing more than six tons caught the eye. Clothes that follow the workwear aesthetic, in which every detail has an aesthetic and functional value, a modus operandi that has made the brand, founded by Sandra Sander, famous worldwide for its simple but never banal outfits, thanks also to a particular attention to sustainability in a historical moment in which fashion is starting a transition towards a greener approach to production. We talked about this with Sandra Sandor, who with a bright and welcoming smile led us into the imagination of the brand that has made her famous as a designer. 

What does the term Nanushka mean and why this name?

Nanushka is the nickname my father gave me in my childhood! My family and friends refer to me as Sandy, but when I was young I couldn’t pronounce it properly and would say ‘Nani’ instead. This eventually became ‘Nanushka.’ It felt natural to call my brand this, as Nanushka and Budapest are my home.

What are the influences behind the brand’s aesthetic and how do they coexist together within the collection?

I have a very strong personal belief that if a garment is designed to function well, it will, by definition, be beautiful. Within our FW22 collection, titled Industrial Craft, we have taken that ethos and elevated it with new fabrics, silhouettes and elements that explores our eccentric, yet practical aesthetic. We wanted to tie together our core Nanushka style in new and creative ways with vivid colors and plush fabrics that push our boundaries, yet still with practicality, comfort and tradition. 

How much does sustainability really matter for today’s fashion?

At Nanushka we believe that sustainability is a crucial, but complex subject matter. We are consciously trying to use more and more alternative and organic materials in our collections and one of our goals is to incorporate sustainability into the value system and functioning of Nanushka at a strategic level. However, we believe this is a long-term process and we are doing our best, going step by step.

As a Hungarian creative how and how much has the Ukrainian conflict impacted your mood and work?

I was born while Hungary was still under a Socialist political system, therefore I have a close understanding of, and emotional connection to, today’s crisis. Nanushka is also headquartered in Budapest, and we have shared a border since Ukraine declared itself an independent country in 1991. We feel responsible to use our platforms to draw attention and provide support and aid to the citizens of Ukraine, for instance, Nanushka is partnering with the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta to provide accomodation, food, clothing and transport to and in Budapest for those seeking shelter as they leave Ukraine. As a business and as part of the Vanguards Group, we are also introducing a programme to extend this support to members of our industry from Ukraine who find themselves in such a challenging situation. We are pledging to provide support to maintain their businesses - whether that be a place to work or access to advice and education. We have also made a choice to pause all business relations with Russia.