Food, freedom, fashion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the designer Anh Tuan

by Emese Dobos

Vietnam-born, Budapest-based Anh Tuan is famous for his handcrafted, unique luxury bags and leather pieces. Beside fashion and craftmanship he has an other passion: gastronomy. Last year he and his friends had their Chinese-Vietnamese fusion restaurant opened in the heart of Budapest.

How do you start your day? Coffee or tea?

Both! I love tea. I travel a lot and I always take local teas home where I have time to taste them. I prefer unique teas and I always try to buy from local manufacturers, from the original plantations. But I love coffe as well. I am fond of its smoky taste and roast. I need both of them beside cigarette. This is a ceremony for me - I often work at night and I need coffee in the morning.

You mentioned that you always bring teas from your journeys. What other things do you bring with yourself?

I try to get familiar as much as I can about the lifestyle of the different places. I try to feel it and build it into myself and my work. Being an artist is a lifestyle: you have inspiration, impressions and you have to develope yourself. 

Are you a designer or an artist?

I do not use these categories. You can learn things from school and from life. Travel is also such  thing. During my journeys I am not just visiting cities. I am not just inspired from bigger towns if I travel far I would visit the smallest village at the end of the world! I observe how people live there, what they have, what they use. Which things they use in their everydays? How do their motifs, patterns look like? How about their technical solutions during making basketry and weaving for example?

What is your favourite destination?

Every place is a great destination. Nowhere is ’bad’. I often find ’black list’ places more exciting than popular, cultivated, peaceful destinations. I am a curious person driven by exploration: I like war zones, dangerous places where the public security is bad. Either peace or war is the part of life and life is what concerns me. Life is life from these things and like in people there is both are good and bad. Fight can be the same in place and in body. It causes damages like suicide. The most important thing is not the fear but balance. I can spend any time in Tibet and I visit Burma very often, but I am interested in Africa and Latin-America as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you collect, what are your favourite things?

I am not snob. I really hold to objects as most of the artists. My boyfriend is my contrast. I love nice and creative things – it can be also cheap and very expensive. Natural things can be beautiful as well and  costs nothing. As my mood changes the way I hold to things changes too. The more emotional feeling I have, the more I hold the object. I love fashion items like accessories especially shoes, I am very sensitive to shoes. I collect furnitures, textiles and folk-art objects like baskets and sculptures. I like everything what is statuesque. Most of the time a well-designed simple object can be a finished thing, a real sculpture.

Do you follow the changes of fashion?

Literally I do not follow trends. I feel the signs of the trends: that is an instinct for me.  You should have the concept: do you like it or not? A designer have to decide. Dictate, not just follow. It also depends on my mood. It can not be ’bad’ if I do not like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you design?

That is a process for me: I just collect constantly afterwards I just start to draw once!

How do you start to design: form or material?

Both of them! Sometimes I see a material and I just fall in love with it, I start to design from the material itself. But sometimes form comes first – then I start to search the perfect material.

I know that you have amazing leather bags and dresses, coats. What is your favourite material?

I love natural materials: it can be textiles and leather as well. In my opinion every material has a nice side. You have to find beauty in them. As there are no ’nice’ and ’ugly’ colours just tones what you have to combine to find the maximal beauty.

Would you design for a luxury company?

Sure. I would design for a company with heritage. Where they have heritage that is a huge value what I really appreciate. Request is a great honour. 

Do you have any plans for the future?

I do not generate plans, I want to live on things. I just let things happen. Only when I feel that things are not going to really good direction I change. Detecting signs is very important. Signs always tell you what to do or not. Making plans for future is so fashionable. You have to come clear with you values. Where is the difference between you and society? You have to know the things and it is also important to have a basis of comparison.

What does creativity and freedom mean for you?

That is the same. Until I can design and do whatever I like I am free. You create the ideology only for you and creation is the main. Situations always change in your life and you can create positions creatively – that is natural and instinct-inspired for me.

What is similar and different in fashion design and leading a restaurant?

There is an overlappings: gastronomy and fashion has lot of things in common. The preparation process, selection, create conception, combination. What is preparation in cooking – that is sewing in fashion. Fire and cooker is the essence in life, that is needle and engine in fashion. The process is similar. What is the key word? Style and taste. You are what you eat and wear – how you look like is based on what you have eaten. 

Fashion designer Anh Tuan in his showroom sitting on a table in front of a shelter full of bags
Anh Tuan shooting his collection of wooden Vietnamese bird cages in his showroom
Anh Tuan buddhist shrine
Black leather dress by Anh Tuan
Silk dress by Anh Tuan
2 Anh Tuan leather bags

Product has to be cooperative

by Emese Dobos

 

 

 

photo by Georgij Merjas

Furniture designer Attila Kertész and architect Bence Simonfalvi established Position Collective what became an exciting dash of colour not just in Hungary but in the world-wide design scene since its’ departure in 2010. The acknowledged American design magazine  Contract andeven the English and French edition of Elle Déco rwrote about them. They are not just popular in their hometown, Budapest and through West Europe, but Position Collective is a continual participant of the world’s biggest design fairs/trade shows and also sell its products in Dubai or Australia as well. They are very open-minded to any collaboration: they worked together with the well-known Hungarian fashion brands Je Suis Belle and USE Unused. What are they doing? Next to significant interior design service the team offers their own furniture and lamp collection (which is made flexible in small scale, confidentally locally) but they design (and manufacture) furnitures privately if furnishing has to form a whole picture: in hotels, villas, houses. No borders! 

It can be hard for a smaller company to be up to mammoth corporations like Ikea who offer really ’designish’ products.

Attila Kertész: We are not rivals. Our rivals both  inprice and quality are  Scandinaviancompanies. We  are not ’cheap’ – we offer upper middle category products. But we quarantee individual manufacturing and handmade finishing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo by Mate Moro and Aron Filkey

 

 

What tells you apart from your rivals?

Attila: We have a characteristical Hungarian style. What is constant? The design of the 1950-1960s. We follow the international trends in colours and materials but we stayed Hungarian. Our heritage make us differ from the others.

Your lamp collection ’Pran’ was inspired by a journey to India. Usually from what and how do you get inspiration?

Attila: As Bence Simonfalvi is an architect and I am a furniture designer, our product design and development has two poles. What is his aspect? Great usability in interior decoration places – the side of function. The side of art is mine: folklore, cultural heritage, traditions and technology. We are inspired by other contemporary fields of art, for example, we are following the work of our friends. Pran lamps were inspired by the purchased copper-outside and steel-inside products and the colours of the spice market and the amazing, colourful fabrics. Furthermore it added a story to the collection which is very important – every piece of our collection has a mood and story. The way how we added the architect line to the lamps becoming the most successful products of us to this day, though 5 years is the lifetime of a product.

photo by Mate Moro and Aron Filkey

You mentioned this 5 years-long lifetime. In our age and our consumer generation when changing of cars and bed in every second or third year is usual, what about our furnitures and interior of homes?

Attila: This 5 years mean the ’feel of innovation’, after this time, you have to refresh your product our design a new one. It is mainly for the market and the sale. New impulses in connection with home decoration, lamps and upholstered/tapestried furniture generally take us in every season. And every restaurant needs a rejuvenation at least in every 5 years. You change your lamps more often. But furniture has a bigger value – you protect it for 15 years. We are trying to create an ageless world of forms. The design of the 1950s and 1960s is not just about ’retro-feeling’: it works for that time and has the function what sounds hackneyed. A product has to be cooperative, it is not allowed to them to dominate the space.

photos by Anita Pongratz

You designed the interior of Zona Budapest which is one of the best and most well-known restaurant in the Hungarian capital. Which projects are you the most proud of?  How about your freedom during a request? I can imagine that a person asks you who likes your style so you have freedom.

Attila: Chemistry is very important. We take on only a few projects in every year. We have to believe in the project. Luckily we haven’t given back projects yet. Zona was a milestone for us. We developed unique Zona-lamps and we manufactured at least 80 pieces. We often design interiors for restaurants and nightclubs/places of amusement and in the past 1,5 years we got more and more personal request and our local sale became spinned up at the same time. We usually design for Hungarian places and for the neighbouring countries but our product sale is global. We are in the finish with several exciting projects will be published soon! Customer relationship is very important and we rarely have differencies in function and creating a space but our reasons are logic. It’s our responsibility to undertake these differencies during a long term.

 

During your work you are surrounded by visual impulses, nice products and you also create pretty things. Do you design and work among visual stimuluses and inspiration or in a clean space?

Attila: Bence works at a clean desk, he keeps everything in order and starts always with tabula rasa. I prefer a mood of a bazaar bargain! I make moodboards, my space is looks like an ordered chaos. Design process of a product can take half of a year and we always select and ask for feedbacks from the sales and our distributors. So industrial, manufacturing and sale viewpoints are combined with cultural things.

photo by Anita Pongratz

Position Collective is well-known in foreign countries as well. As many country, as many style and taste… How do you enter into the hands with international and local tendencies?

Attila: Dubai and the Middle East has a different visuality but mainly expats like our products and our style there. Australians are very open to European design! If we work for a middle-eastern request, we use more precious metal and shiny things but for example German people like more sophisticated style.  We choose the market where they would love our products. We got clear feedbacks in London and people are going to the city from every part of the world. So we can work without any fixity. Function, price category, trend and identity of our brand are in a ’box’. Every part can be a fixity but these aspects help us if we have to make a decision.

 

 

 

 

               photo by Anita Pongratz

A well-designed product can be a piece of art, even if it is made in series production. Does quantity give back from art-quality? Is product and furniture design art or industry for you? 

Attila: Industrial viewpoints are the priority. Do they satisfy a real customer need? A lamp has to be well-appointed if it had to light. Art would like to send a message. Product design represent function first. It is a good question – what about series production? It is a same discourse like the one in photography. What about digital photo and multiplication of a picture? But art is art and product design starts with function, then come the additional pluses.  

 

photo by Mate Moro and Aron Filkey

Position interior design furniture

Painting is a language - Interview with Julia Vegh

text by Emese Dobos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photos by Anita Pongratz

 

Julia Vegh wanted to be a painter since her age 4. And she became. She had her first solo exhibition at 2008, she won Prize Barcsay at 2014 and international Essl Award and she is only 26 years old. She is one of the youngest and most exciting person of contemporary Hungarian art scene. Her latest lyrical abstract series Variations for occasions passes round the body image of our age – the cliches of fashion magazines. 

 

What is beautiful? 

 

When I see harmony and unity. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What inspires you? 

 

I am inspired by a lifelong fascination for the power of images and painting's long, uneasy relationship with media photography and fashion immages. While a medium may reflect or express abstraction of  reality truthfully, others suggest only a partial, or incomplete view of the subject. 

I borrowed painted and collaged  images from newspapers, or even from fashion magazine for my last series. Often I begin by mechanically projecting such an image onto the paper as collages , a technique for thinking about how images often seem to have a life of their own. All of them  created by several readable inner symbol  and motives by me.

 

How about your periods? First, you have painted media critic images, than centre of Budapest, then carcases of fishes then you made collage about bodies.

 

My periods mean a kind of continuity for me, but clearly separated . That is my personal development process. It draws a line but has no borders. I mixed things in my latest collage series: abstract, geometry, expressivism. That was the mace of my previous work. I stepped out from the figurative style, from the definable and touchable. I have left representational painting and I jumped into lyrical abstract. I am looking for inner pictures  and simbols now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you always think about series? 

 

I always worked on series from the university. I find out a tematic and I make more than 20-30 paintings. My Fiction of Reality series consists of 30 paintings as well as my latest work. I always make ’filling’ works. These are just sketsches and helps me in the continuity and the connection between my different series. 

 

How about your relationship with colours?

 

In the past, I looked for the shades of grey. My usage of colours was so much murkier than now. My new series are filled with vivid colours, pinks, purples, turquise, I worked with strong colour pairs – that is the most colourful series of mine. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does art and painting mean for you?

 

Art is what I adopt and painting is the language of self-expression for me. 

 

You attended to fashion and feminity in a unique way at your last series. What is your opinion about it?  

That would be great if the people would not make ’categories’ according to fashion. I cut this pictures totally in my paintings. Fashion creates a strong hierarchy.  Its close to the same as uniformizated circle of society. It is about the attitude of our society. It makes values and status symbols. But we just look at the surface, we are just scraping it. We don’t see the inner deep side. Our earthly vanity really needs to be the part of fashion. We can not break up with it. But fashion doesn’t prove live our life, that is not the source of happiness. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does happiness mean for you?

 

Happiness is the degagé moment of soul. When you arrive at the moment and live through of it. Anyway you can be sad at a negative moment. But happiness is a relaxed station, it is harmony. It has positive energy. 

 

What was the strongest critic of your work what you have ever heard?

 

Once my previous teacher said that I will never attended to the University of Fine Arts. It was not true! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is in your ’bucket list’?

 

Good question. I have no bucket list. I want to walk one step further always. I believe in that you magnetize what you need. 

 

What is your aim?

 

I would like to reach as high level as I just can in the international art scene. Not just as a painter, as a person as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colours of the world

Interview with Klára Petra Szabó

text by Emese Dobos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photos by Anita Pongratz

Klára Petra Szabó is an internationally very active artist of the contemporary Hungarian art scene.
Klára had so many group and solo exhibition in Hungary and different parts of the world as well. She is famous for her rich-in-details, narrative and sensitive aquarell paintings. Klára dips inspiration from people and places surrounding herself and she is always searching for her boundaries. We were talking in a café after her Korean journey and her solo exhibition ’Wanderlust’ which took place at the Korean Cultural Center in Budapest. She loves to wear vivid colours and exciting patterns, fascinating accessories – you will see that her style is so vital as her work and how she see the world.

You are working on your paintings with such a detailed nicety like couturiers on haute couture embellishments. Meanwhile we live extremely fast life with unequalled technology development. What do you think about the ’digital solutions’ in art life?

There is a discussion in photograghy undeniably for example like ’everybody can be a photographer with digital techniques’.

I work with mainly aquarell paint but I started to feel that I can’t express everything what I just want with it that is why I started to work on animations and motion pictures. New technologies can give you powerful tool to make your work more diverse and popular as well. I made a fashion blog form for Art and Style series – it could spread through the whole world. Traditions and new technology can interwove: you can see the elements of digital scene in traditional oil paintings, like pixels on the canvas. The first photo portraits followed the traditions of the ’old-school’ painters, they copied the approach of paintings. We need development and it is good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have lived and worked at several countries across Europe and Asia. What did you bring home with you (apart from products), what did you learn from these journeys?

I used to live in Norwich, England is ’the home of aquarell’. That was a powerful inspiration to see those paintings in museums. In Japan I learned the respect of paper. Oil canvas is mostly the main profile of art collectors I have heard that ’only if it would be on canvas’… They are making paper for more than 2000 years, I saw more hundred years old pictures and ink drawings, on paper.   If you take care about it – paper can be as long standing as canvas. Furthermore traditions and modernity live together in Japan, it is exemplary! You can visit a buddhist temple and you see ’space age’ digital wide screens next to old, painted wall. And it works together. In Korea I was the witness of multicolour art scene. Korean people honour their artists, they established more art prizes, they pay for exhibitions – it is not admitted in Europe. I also liked the way how they deal with decorativity as a tool in contemporary art. I spent one of the most time in Estonia. The art scene is quite small there, you can ’know everybody’. That was very exciting looking into the life of other artists, even if I was kind of ’outsider’. Performance art is very popular in Estonia, they love singing. Performance is a kind of theatre for them. Austria has a jewel-box aspect. It is very clean and ordered.

It is always so interesting, the different interpretation between the artist and every other viewer.

With my Analysis series, I directly left open the interpretation. I painted a beach landscape. One of my friend – who is a doctor- started to analyze that was so surprising for me. My art historian friend said completely different things. My best friend came the most close to me. I can’t describe my art in this way. So I opened the way of interpretation. You will never see the same if you don’t walk in my shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you bring with yourself if you travel?

I always work by a ’work plan’ if I travel somewhere with a residency programme. I always bite on my work equipments: paintings, brushes, gifts from home. There is a great commission shop in Hódmezővásárhely where I live, I like to give personal presents what are connected to my town. I always bite on telephone, charger, laptop and bags, but the most important is my painting equipment and the tools for my working.

You mainly paint people and landscapes, buildings with very realistic details. Have you ever tried other style, like non-figurism, abstract or expressionism? Are you an attempting person?

My Ice flowers series was quite abstract – what would ice flowers draw to the paper? I love experimenting with different techniques and styles. Maybe it is unlucky that my work seems to be discoursive but I see continuity. People love making categories. If I do different things with every year it is harder to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you feel yourself as a Hungarian, European in Asia?

That is only one rule: In Rome live like a Roman person!  If you keep the etiquette rules and conventions – everybody appreciate it, anywhere. That was suprising in Japan that they knew Hungary and the bigger cities, they knew Veronika Harcsa jazz singer, Veronika Marék who wrote and illustrated The Rabbit with the Checkered Ear as well Félix Lajkó violinist and Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók naturally. I was feeling myself little exotic in Korea – they are staring at you and said I have so small head. I had much more compliment than at home and honestly it was a really good feeling, especially over 30 :) But they were very opened and curious and they have known a lot from Hungary as well, because of a TV series. Oh, television! I was very lucky and had a chance to play at the most popular TV programme called Infinity Challenge with an international group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you imagine that you live abroad?

Not forever but I can imagine that I live 1 or 2 years somewhere, that would be a great experince. I always spend 3 months in a country although I was in Korea 6 months long. You can’t come to know one country in this way. The stereotyped way lives in my head even if I get closer and closer to the country with every visit. As well as I travel a lot, you can appreciate your home better: if you are at home constantly you won’t be able to see how good it is. If I go home, I see Hódmezővásárhely very great: the organic food and pavements are so clean and wide.

You have spent a lot of time in Asia. How do you see the difference in dressing culture?

People from Asia are so much braver than us! Men as well. I loved the layering of garments in Japan – it is so savvy and pretty. Korean women love mini: skirts and shorts but they don’t show any decollette – they are buttoning up their shirts till their neck! They are really good to find the balance and they are always very pretty. Asian people love to wear colours more than us and prefer ’childish’ things like Hello Kitty. It is not the kind of infantilism, it is a childlike joy. So releasing! I have tried this things there and you can see the signs of Asia in my style.

 

 

 

 

 

What does fashion mean for you?

This topic had been represented in your series for more times like your Art & Styles series when you research clothes as a visual, social and subcultural object and Readable clothes as well.

Fashion is self-representation. I haven’t followed the latest trends for some time. I love second-hand shops where you can find old, vintage garments. People were more elegant a few decades ago. I love the patterns and the cuts what you can’t identify: Is it from the twenties? Or the fourties? I buy only basic clothes in fast fashion shops. It can be so annoying when you see the same dress in other people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are your favourite designers?

I very like Castelbajac, Mary Katrantzou and Ossie Clark. And from Hungarian fashion designers I like Dori Tomcsanyi and Je Suis Belle.

 

 

What about your comfort zone?

I started to re-appreciate my work just now. I frittered myself with the small paintings. I made lots of small paintings by year, you can see the details less and it gnaw me as well. The mechanism is so different. Now I am working on bigger paintings – I want to finish just 2 or 3 by a year. I am leaving my comfort zone with this change now.  It is so exciting for me to work on a more than 2 metres long painting – what will be discharged from this? 

 

East-European, post-socialist aestethics as answer to the crisis of the fashion industry?  

There is a possibility to understand or not to understand the bold and innovative east-European rooted aesthetics of OST, but it is definitely not possible to ignore.

OST had just imploded into the domestic fashion scene this year, locating itself with a directly opposite standpoint comparing to other, already known local brands. The core DNA of the brand consists of contemporary fashion and streetwear, the classical sportswear, conventional tailoring and the fresh alloy of frock and pop culture on top with the east-European feeling of the 80’s and the 90’s. With the two founder of the brand, Olivér Lantos and Áron Sasvári I spoke about the domestic, so called safe-designing, fast fashion, roots in east-Europe and regime change besides fashion as a loss of identity, dreams and reality, future of fashion and also about locating our place on the map.

Our conversation is as their dynamics: they balance each other, coming together in unity. While Olivér tends to wander and thoroughly go into details (which is of course inevitable when such exacting and detailed clothes born between their hands), Áron is the one who straightforwardly turns back to the original question (after me myself got lost in the details).

I sat down with the two designers in their showroom located in the 8th district which is notorious in the capital city: people from minority groups live here, it’s a shabby district with the ‘living’ socialism and the mixture of ethnics.

 

Which was the moment what gave you the initial stroke to start the brand?

Áron: First and foremost the initial stroke came from that the east-European aesthetics is not represented on the field of Hungarian fashion. Most of the designers tend to go in one direction, focusing on and playing the so called security game. We want to create a more exciting line, which responds to internationalism, while receiving its inspiration from local milieu. When life brought us together we wanted to create something creative. Áron as an architect stands with cooler head in this, which is essential. He does not get lost in details as much as I do. I am able to moon away with a single collar, while Áron just points out to one.

You have brought east-European identity to the front. What personal experiences do you have from the Eastern Block, from the socialist dressing-culture?

Áron: Budapest has been a totally different place when I was a child. Somehow more old-timer. Utilized. It seemed to be a larger city. It wasn’t friendly, but for me it was more authentic. Since the regime change, we try to hide what we have, - what were we and hereby what are we now. 

Olivér: I was born after the regime change so I only have impressions and memories through my parents. Somehow the first thing which comes to my mind is that we are always doubly dropped behind. Socialism was a kind of dam, when there was not much available, however people still tackled. The source of dressing rather sprang from the condition of need. 

 

How do you relate to fast fashion? Several celebrate it as a democratic initiative, as it has the side which brings international trends, so at an affordable price anyone can dress up stylish.

Olivér: We cannot consider something stylish just because it was put in front of you and it is available on a cheap price. It is even better if someone dresses from a second-hand shop or choose vintage pieces. Definitely it is a more stylish solution. Not mentioning the ethical side of fast fashion, wrapped in this undisputedly, seemingly democratic package.


Áron: The production side and copying, imitation of catwalks is also anxious which concerns the ethical side of the industry. For me, “made available” is not.

Olivér: Unfortunately, people tend to think, that 25 euros is a reasonable price for a jacket, while 5 euros for a t-shirt. I would give them 5 euros to produce a t-shirt. It won’t be enough for a single ticket to get to the dressmaker’s shop.


Áron: Ten years ago, even on Chinese markets, t-shirts were more expensive.

Olivér: After three times of washing the sewing coils around twice. It has happened that we have tailored a piece three or four times. We just got the feedback from the dressmaker’s shop that we are awful as we tend examine each and every part with magnifying glass.

How do you consider the uprising, inland brand’s hype?

Olivér: I do not feel like this way. This is only made by a narrow group of people to a narrow target group.

Áron: Compared to the situation ten years ago, in our current state, we can undoubtedly speak about some forms of hype. There was the Nanushka-USE generation and now somehow it seems that there is a 6-7 year break and then another wave.

Olivér: It can be, that local brands are too young, however also those who are considered older on local stages are fresh on the market too. There are a varieties of fashion- days and shows but the majority of them are one and the same. Being concerned with fashion became fashionable and as a result of this, not so much of characteristic brands exists, rather the same Instagram filter is applied.

How could you define your goals? With such “extremist” style how far could you reach (considering business)? Up to what degree do you design yourselves?

Olivér: Our target group are those between who are between twenty and fourty years and this in the near future will rather change to those between 25 and 40 years. Of course, the responsive 18 year old is still a part of the group.

Áron: We create for those who intellectually fastidious, go in for fashion, especially for the story behind the pieces – where do they originate and why do they look like this. Curious and bohemian at the same time.


Olivér: Standing firmly with two feet on the ground and don’t want to please anyone.

Áron: Two things are indispensable: approach to life with humour and wants to feel that it can be as it is.  The current collection carries the mixture of Arab and socialist marks on itself. For those who belongs to our target group, clothing is a chance to release self-expression.


To what extent were people responsive in Hungary? How do they welcome the brand on the first round?

Olivér: We base less on the local market. They do or do not understand, and welcome is also divisive.

Áron: First and foremost we target foreign countries. Those who might be interested in our work, had already seen and have responded to it. Besides all these, sceptical-toned articles have been published about the brand.

Globally, socialistic East-Europe is trendy (Gvasalia brothers, Gosha Ruchinskiy, LottaVolkova etc.) – what do you think, what can be the reason for this? Aestheticisation of deformity and shabby clothing is a radical change compared to being well-dressed. Why does it work nowadays?

Áron: It is fairly mingled what is considered to be east-European. Mostly those brands and project tend to run nowadays and has high interest which answer gives an alternative to boredom. An answer to that everything is nice, good and perfectly edited. Loads of pictures became globally boring, the same visual material, the mentality which represents that “everything should be like this”. Ordinariness is cool. Non east-European can be also exciting, and labelling something as east-European does not necessarily allude to something exciting.

Olivér: Everyone has the chance to raise, which is widely unlike to the tendency. A Russian designer is also markedly famous who specifies in folk inspirited pieces.

How does getting cheesed off the perfection of Instagram? What do you think, what will be the fate of Insta-queen?

Olivér: They earn a lot of money and start a fashion brand.

Áron: For those who is one step forward this whole thing is boring. Instagram will eventually lose its wind.

Olivér: Over 25 years, the false picture it broadcasts does not affect self-assessment that much as it would be harmful for a much younger person.

Áron: We would like to “troll” this, for which we already have a plan.

In connection with this: How do you imagine the fashion industry in the next 5 years? What do you think, what tendencies will rule the stage of fashion in the upcoming years? Sustainability vs. fast fashion is one of a kind.

Olivér: I consider that it is easier to keep going in the upcoming years for those who starts now. It is easier for them to conform with the insanely quick changes. We are constantly analyse these tendencies as for our façade to see where do the world is moving. Everyone is fighting with fast fashion and as a result, run away. Anyways, you don’t have the chance to compete. Fast fashion swallow everything and has no façade: you can add anything but it will still exist without identity.

Áron: There are two things that it cannot fallow: the very selective, rich hand-made based pieces and the very ordinary, normcore pieces. And how do you catch that? Probably the brand’s façade and profitable part will divide and have a sharper borderline.

How do you consider Hungary’s and Budapest’s role in the global fashion world? Where do we come from, in which direction we go or should we go?

Áron: We have a group of people, here in our country, who has fair enough money. It would be great if these people would buy less and more unique, instead of they go to Zara and leave with a bunch of clothes. As Vivienne Westwood claimed: „Buy less. Choosewell. Make it last. Quality, not quantity. Everybody’ buying far too many clothes.”Otherwise, we do not see Budapest and Hungary on the picture: there is no adequate target market and cultural agent, while we don’t have industry at all.

Olivér: Maybe we don’t even have to put Hungary up to the map, as the appropriate creative education lacks.

Áron: There are designers who has a bright future ahead and can get far from here. It would be ideal if we could promote these fashion brands so that they could break into international scene.

The brand represents opinion, self-expression and creative reflexion. You mentioned a sweatshirt with a Tünde Kiszel quote on it. How much do you follow the popular culture and the world of tabloids (for inspiration)? As an artist is it expedient and worth independently exist or to fallow the mass taste?

Áron: We are not allowed to undermine people’s demand and we are not allowed to tell what do they need. Meanwhile, it is important to answer to happenings. At home as also abroad not only in fashion, but there are several who do not look around and estimate what is going on, which is a problem. From reality yellow press cannot be excluded. From a certain point of view and within bounds it can be entertaining indeed.

In this region, fashion is considered as elitist anyway.

Olivér: Fashion, as creating “dreams” basically tranfers to trash. Creating should be more earth-bounded, reflecting to real life.

Here, the famous trend researcher, Li Edelkoort manifestation echoes, in which he states as a core problem, that fashion lost its connection with society and this is one of the reason for the current crisis. What is the next step for the brand, what are your plans for the future?

Áron: We would like to reach a larger group of people with our work, such as a culture-mission, but definitely not as a proselytization. We will introduce our collection unlike usual and we will evolve the conception of our brand even more.

Olivér: There are a lot, who incorrectly describes our work as streetwear. To boost the identity of our brand we will introduce distinct, but still coherent components.

OST side

Interview with Olivér Lantos and Áron Sasvári fashion designers

text by: Emese Dobos 

photos by: Réka Vajda and Éva Szombat