Folk art takes on a new meaning nowadays. Today, we no longer necessarily see it as a charming yet forgettable legacy of a bygone age, but rather as a spring running slowly forever. This is no different in the fashion industry either—in our selection today, we present five unusual brands whose main source of inspiration comes from tradition.
Rad Duet | Poland
Faience, multi-generational women’s communities and Polish identity—the joint designs of Juliusz Rusin and Maciej Jóźwicki are based on Polish cultural heritage and values. Rad Duet covers themes that connect Poles and nurture their national specialities while constantly responding to contemporary changes. They often use unique techniques during the design process, including the use of hand-cut richelieu embroidery and old materials, or the creation of accessories printed in 3D. The main inspiration for the brand is the first Polish Nobel Prize-winning woman, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, and as a result, the Rad Duet also appeals to women seeking wise and conscious fashion.
Szegedi slippers—reloaded | Hungary
A living tradition on two legs: we could even call the joint project of shoe designer Zita Attalai and slipper maker Tibor Sallay like this. The aim of the Szegedi slippers reloaded initiative is to preserve and rethink the design of the Szegedi slippers in accordance with current needs. The slippers are made by Tibor Sallay and his wife in their manufactory near Szeged, combining old technologies with new solutions. The project is a kind of a cultural mission: the designers consider it important to draw attention to the unique footwear of the people of Szeged and, most importantly, to keep the slippers for the next generation. In 2018, the authentic Szegedi slippers were added to the UNESCO National Cultural Heritage List.
Lana Dumitru | Romania
The main inspiration for Romanian fashion designer and digital artist Lana Dumitru is the legacy of Romanian folklore and socialism. What makes Lana’s designs special is also the fact that she creates her unique collections using photorealistic prints and other similarly exceptional tools. Her clothes provide a space for the meeting of folk art and the digital age.
Etnodim | Ukraine
Etnodim preserves the romantic world of Ukrainian embroidery patterns in a refined style. The brand aims to show today’s women how easily they can smuggle traditional motifs into their clothing. Etnodim’s philosophy is based on ethical attention, and the embroidery is handmade, thus providing a permanent job for local women. In addition, most products are made from natural materials.
Romani Design | Hungary
Romani Design is a really exciting result of the meeting of fashion and tradition: in the works of the design couple Erika Varga and Heléna Varga, the Roma folk costume and its treasure of motifs are placed in a modern context. Romani provides social and educational assistance to minority children and adults alike in the language of fashion design, and mentoring Roma youth is especially important to them. In addition to assistance, important social issues are also highlighted.