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This is what awaits you at the Nyitva! Festival!

With ethical gift boxes, exhibitions, workshops and a pre-Christmas market, Budapest’s Nyitva! (Open!) Festival x Erzsébetváros awaits visitors from all around Budapest until 30 November.

There are still many unused properties across Budapest: you can see “for rent“ or “for sale“ signs in shop windows all over the city, which can not only be demotivating in terms of the cityscape but can also lead to a serious social and economic crisis. To prevent this and to bring life to the ghost shops in the city center, KÉK (Centre for Contemporary Architecture) has organized the Nyitva! Festival series of events where start-ups can present themselves in Erzsébetváros (Emőke Böjthe and Tímea Szőke told us about the initiative earlier—Ed.).

We approached the winners of the competition, who will move into their new homes for a month and bring a new touch of color to the neighborhood. Find out who they are and discover what they have in store for the city’s residents!

Háti, Pastello Clothes, Sopianae Salon, Impact Box—25 Király Street

Here you can find four projects. Behind the Háti brand, launched in 2018, are Lotti Jakus and Dániel Jakus, who were the first in Hungary to use cactus leather in their backpacks. The backpacks and shoulder bags created by the fashion designer and graphic designer duo are colorful and playful, but there are also some single-colored pieces for minimalism lovers. Unpainted wooden tags and raw cotton twine appear on all their bags, and they often use special techniques such as hand embroidery or macramé. You can take a closer look at and buy their eco-friendly accessories during the Nyitva! on 20 November.

Here you’ll also find the brand Pastello, famous for its semi-formal, not-too-wild clothes. Ferenc Zsadon launched the brand in August 2020, and regular visitors to the Lollipop Factory have surely come across the comfortable and flannel-free streetwear. Exciting fabrics, memorable pieces—that’s Pastello’s slogan, which is mainly for men, but women don’t need to worry, there is also plenty for them to choose from.

The Sopianae Salon is a community space that, true to its name, aims to revive the world of turn-of-the-century salons: the team’s goal is to nurture emerging artists and give them a chance to present themselves. They organize exhibitions, workshops and lectures during the Nyitva! and, best of all, the artists’ work is available for purchase, with which you can help the salon to continue its work.

The fourth protagonist of the Király Street community is Impact Box, which has an important mission: they work with social organizations and factories that employ disadvantaged workers—the products they make are included in Impact Box’s own gift packages. This gap-filling initiative is a strategy that kills two birds with one stone: it raises awareness of the mission of these organizations, while also serving conscious shoppers who want to surprise themselves or their loved ones with a premium quality gift package. Cosmetics, savory and sweet treats are all on offer—and this year they’ve even collaborated with the Red Cross social sewing group on a number of joint products that will be available in-store.

PLACCC Base—27 István Street

The organizers of the fourteen-year-old PLACCC Festivál are preparing ”work-in-progress” performances and installations reflecting Erzsébetváros at their temporary base: they want to create a creative community at 27 István Street, where artists and local residents can jointly shape the way the space works.

The official opening of the month-long series of events will take place on 5 November at 6 pm, at the Nyitva! Pop-up showroom. The opening event will feature a concert, while the Sopianae Salon will welcome visitors with an exhibition and guided tour.

Photos: Krisztián Seiner @Fészek VIP Studio (Háti), Impact Box (Laászló Sebestyén)

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