According to traditions, maytrees (in Hungarian: májusfa) were not only erected to celebrate lovers, but also to pay homage to the rebirth of nature and a rich harvest. The latest objects of VUUV Works also turned to this fundamental joy for inspiration: the pieces of the collection symbolize the coming of spring, the power of togetherness, awareness, love as well as the joy of shared creation and optimism. We asked founder Anna Lébényi about the details of the brand’s new collection dubbed Májusfa.
You could already read about the story of Anna Lébényi and her team as well as their commitment to sustainable creation here, on HYPEANDHYPER before. Since then, VUUV Works’ community and selection have further expanded and now they even released a new eco-friendly collection. The idea of Májusfa began to take shape in Anna’s mind two years ago. “The first time I saw a maytree was back in my childhood, in the street right next to ours: it was magical. When two years ago I came across Rita Varga’s photo of a maytree in Noszvaj, it captivated my imagination just like it did in my childhood, and so I started reading about this folk custom and I soon realized that it were not only lovers who erected a tree of this kind, but also communities, and that this custom has a much more complex background than what I knew of,“ Anna shared with us.
In the spirit of the connection between man and nature as well as man and man, sustainable materials and solutions were placed in the center of the collection, in which several other recognized designers also collaborated in addition to the creators of VUUV’s workshop. “Over the past year, the world has slowed down, we had time to turn inwards, take care of each other and this also shows on creators: there are more and more collaborations between brands, because we realized that it’s good if we reach audiences of the same interest. Even though VUUV Works is an artisan collaboration with eleven creators, there are things others are more competent in than us, and it is always better to turn to a professional than to apply our own half-good solutions. For example, no one within VUUV’s team is good at lamps or shoemaking, but now, through the involvement of designers outside of our team, we are slowly getting a sense of it,” Anna commented.
For the creation of household objects, they invited designers who all share openness, a commitment to sustainability, social sensitivity and a strong sense of responsibility. The items of the collaboration were created by Eszter Kunos (Hüglüs), Noémi Sziládi (Kamay Ko), Zita Ferenczi (Hike Zone), Maacraft, Gedeon Őry (Gedeon Audio) and the artists and craftsmen of VUUV Works.
“Gedeon Őry is very good at what he is doing, he was able to provide us with apt advice in the course of designing the collection of vinyl accessories, and I could count on him during the testing of the prototypes, too. Eszter Kunos, the designer of Hüglüs, and I have been close friends since we were kids: I knew that if I wanted lamps, she was the one I should turn to, because she has been experimenting with cork and wood for a long time and, last but not least, she creates wonderful lamps. Noémi Sziládi has been a talented designer, manufacturer and brand owner since the beginning of her twenties. She interned for me for a brief period, and then we worked together for years. I appreciate her dedication to sustainable design: I find it immensely inspiring how she experiments with and repurposes materials boldly with her new brand Kamay Ko. I have been keeping an eye on Dani Szalkai’s works at Maacraft for a long time, we have been in contact since a roundtable discussion: he is a very helpful and creative designer and leader at the same time, who knows the limits of the techniques and materials used by their team. The sapling protector prepared by Maacraft fits our tree planting projects perfectly. I started to talk to Zita Ferenczi from Hike Zone on Instagram. I love what she’s doing very much and vice versa, so we have something in common: she creates clean and spectacular slippers and sandals, mainly from recycled materials and she’s also a committed environmentalist at the same time,” Anna explained.
After discarding and reinventing many ideas, a total of 25 objects were made, with five “outside” creators—all with the employment of traditional crafts technique. The items are related to our everyday life, they make our homes better or they serve it with practical and sustainable objects. The materials used include, for example, wood from trees cut down due to hazard, forgotten reserves of carpentry workshops, but they also used FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood, as well as local cattail, sedge, wool, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) cotton and recycled leather, plastic and glass.
On the website of VUUV Works, those interested can find out all about the objects through detailed descriptions, including who designed them, who sourced the material for them and finally who made them. “This breakdown is also very important from the point of transparency, paying respect and creative freedom,” Anna emphasized.
The object of the creators of the VUUV team was designed by Anna herself, which was only important to keep a uniform look, but the technical solutions and the process of manufacturing were all implemented individually by the team members. An exception to the latter is glass artist Gergely Pattantyús, who creates with absolute freedom. “It’s better to stay out from the creative process of a person who is not only a master of a material, but also builds entire thought universes around his pieces,” Anna added.
The pieces of the Májusfa collection form part of VUUV Works’ permanent repertoire. “We’ll keep a great part of the objects in our assortment for a long time. Our goal is not to create a seasonal collection, rather to offer a stable, long-term one, thus representing slowing down and sanity in this crazy, rushing world,” Anna highlighted. After some rest, we can expect additional collaborations in the future, as the selection of wearable items will also expand soon. Until then, check out VUUV Works’ website and browse through the pieces of the Májusfa collection!
Photos: Anna Lébényi