EIN GESPRÄCH MIT MARYNIA KONIECZNA, DIE POLNISCHE OUTERWEAR DESIGNERIN MIT DEN GROSSEN WÜNSCHEN
We herby would kindly like to introduce you Marynia Konieczna the Polish designer behind the new outerwear label The Wrap who we’ve recently stumbled upon and kinda-sorta fell in love with. On her recent visit to Berlin to shoot her look book with photographer Daan Dam we had the pleasure to meet over a coffee and talk trials and tribulations.
Tell us a bit how about The Wrap was founded?
For all my life I’ve expressed an interest in fashion, especially in re-making and re-shaping the clothes of mine and my family, which – needless to say – was sometimes a curse, not a bless. But for the majority of my life I thought it wasn’t a good direction to go; I thought fashion was for the vain and spoiled. I believed in all fashion stereotypes like clothes are about elitism which I didn’t stand in for. I was sure that putting your time and work there is meaningless. You know, that was my parenting heritage: intellectual activity is the virtue, surround yourself with “serious” people, choose a “serious” education and build decent career path. Thanks God I grew up and left that shit. About a year ago my best friend encouraged me to start doing my own clothes under my own brand. That’s how ‘The Wrap’ was born.
Do you have a background in fashion design?
I don’t have a proper academic education in that field but I finished some courses focusing on practical skills in clothing construction and sewing, and I can say I learn a lot on my own business. Believe me, it makes me a fast learner. My company means my reputation and my money. That’s why I’m 200% in it. I have a team who supports me and share their knowledge with me as well – my fashion constructor and a dress-maker. They’ve been doing their things for years and show everything to me on real examples. That gives me a lot.
What makes your brand stand out to others?
‘The Wrap’ is a ready-to-wear brand focusing on really fine and quality fabrics and the good fit. I’ve noticed that most of my “The Wrap girls” don’t stop at one piece. They like the off-duty simplicity and oversize cuts. Besides, everything in my offer is natural – from pure fibers to ecological printing techniques which I use for my graphic identification. So, you know, if something is integral to your aesthetic, fits you well and is safe for the environment, in overall, you take it as a comfortable and positive thing you want to support. Try it!
What kind of influence does where you live have on your work?
Well, a huge I’d say. I live in Lodz which is the biggest Polish center of textile industry. It’s known for its creative potential, the most important Polish fashion weeks happen here and stuff. A lot of people from different art backgrounds mix here, so I may say that my surrounding is advantageous for taking up creative activities. It’s also kind of competitive but I believe if you have a true idea for yourself and go your path, there’s nothing to worry about. And, what’s more, if you’re supportive and cooperative, it’ll only bring you some good energy back. That’s why I’m not hiding in my workshop but try to live with my hood, i.e. offer bags, scarfs and accessories made by my home-town designer colleagues to customers from abroad who want to style up my coat with something.
Your current look book was shot in Berlin, what about the city ignites you?
I guess Berlin has the best street style for my right now. I find it absolutely inspiring. I’d venture that it has the best independent fashion scene which I wanted to be a part of. Actually I didn’t really think of any other spot throughout the whole process of creating the collection. For me it’s all kind of Berlin’ish. Additionally, my search for a perfect photographer drove me to Daan Dam, who lives there. Most of my sales are made in Berlin, too. You see, it came to me very naturally.
Do you consider this collection to be unisex?
To be honest, I hadn’t thought about it this way till last Saturday when my good friend, who’s a singer and performer, tried it out and found out he felt perfect in one of my pieces. It kind of opened my eyes because he really looked good. Anyway, my plan is to design something especially for men and I guess it’s going to materialize soon.
Tell us about some of the challenges you face as a designer?
Hmm, running my own brand is a completely different matter to what I’ve done so far, so I may say that every day is a lesson for me. I don’t have problems with vision and designs because they come to me all the time. I’d rather say I have to stop myself. I’ve managed to organize the supplies and production pretty well, too. Now I’m focusing on the least sexy part for me – the sales. It requires you’re far-sighted, taught and know your value. The hardest task is to stick to the strategy and positioning and not go into chains that seem to be attractive but are not for me. I can tell you, every decision counts and brings me further.
Do you have dreams of collaborations?
Of course! I’d love to design and print custom fabric with Kenzo, create a sleek outerwear with fashion director of Max Mara Laura Lusuard and learn this absolutely artful approach to fashion from Phoebe Philo. Yeah, you see, I go big!
Plans for 2017?
Grow and introduce sizes to my offer.
By Olive Duran