Inspiring women in contemporary folk art | TOP 5

Inspiring women in contemporary folk art | TOP 5

In the alienation of the modern world, we are pushing aside or almost completely abandoning the roots of our folk identity, from which our traditions and folk customs derive. In this collection, we showcase talented artists who are proud of their people’s heritage and the treasures of their beloved homeland.


Erika Varga and Helena Varga | Hungary

The creators of Romani Design founded Hungary’s first Roma fashion studio in 2010 with the mission to promote the social integration of Roma people with quality, handcrafted design products through fashion and applied arts. Erika and Helena bring the diverse shapes and rich colors that characterize their products from their childhood and traditional family background.


“Through my clothes, I can express myself and create the world I like to live in,” says Erika.

The sisters are involved in many social initiatives, encouraging Roma youth to develop their vision of the future, as their love for their history and tradition can be an inspiration to anyone.

Erika Varga and Helena Varga | Photo: Tamás Förster
Photo: Zsófia Pályi

Vitaliia Oliinyk | Ukraine

A young Ukrainian girl who is learning the beauty of ethnology in Ukrainian folk art in an independent, self-taught way. Her interests focus on classical beadwork jewelry making and the combination of modern clothes with authentic patterns.


“My idea is simple: to show how unique and colorful Ukrainians are.”

She represents the Ukrainian culture and the fact that her ancestors, even in the most difficult times, did not forget the concept of beauty. She says they are often mistaken for their neighbor Russia, with whom, she stresses, they share only a common history.

Karolina Merska | Poland

The Polish-born artist has been making traditional pajaki, straw, and paper chandeliers since 2015. The history of chandeliers dates back to the mid-18th century, when they had a symbolic meaning, as people believed that rye straw had magical properties and brought good harvests, health, and luck to the household. Karolina Merska currently lives and works in the UK and her talent has been recognized by the New York Times and Harper’s Bazaar, among others.

“I have always needed to showcase my heritage to the London scene.”

Doroti Vojtková | Slovakia

She is the creator of the Preľude clothing brand, founded in 2018. Their mission is to create modern clothes inspired by Slovak folk art, sending a message to the present generations not to forget their history and heritage, but to admire and keep it alive.


“We admire women who are proud of their roots and are not afraid to present their heritage in a modern and playful way.”

The excellence of their clothes is no coincidence, every detail of the manufacturing process is carefully supervised, from the initial research to the selection of the highest quality, sustainable materials, to the beautiful embroidery and handwork.

Nicoleta Chirica | Romania

Iutta is one of the most exceptional brands of leather bags, shoes, and accessories with a contemporary folk design. Their creations are inspired by traditional culture and ancient beliefs, translated in a personal and exclusive way for the contemporary world. The creative genius behind the brand is Nicoleta Chirica, founder and designer.


“We have inherited the legacy of our ancestors and we carry it forward with love, adding value and meaning.”—Nicoleta

Iutta produces two main collections of bags, accessories and shoes each year, as well as a capsule collection of unique pieces.


Erika Varga and Helena Varga: Romani Design | Web | Facebook | Instagram
Vitaliia Oliinyk | Instagram
Karolina Merska | Web | Instagram
Doroti Vojtková: Preľude | Web | Facebook | Instagram
Nicoleta Chirica: Iutta | Web | Facebook | Instagram

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