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Ania Kuczyńska

Varsovians: Ania Kuczyńska

A fashion designer born in Warsaw. She has created one of the most distinguished fashion brands on the Polish market. Her recent collection titled “Le Nuvole/Clouds” is inspired by the atmosphere of Palermo and Ortigia. Apart from her new collection she has also launched a series of white blouses with the slogan “WE ARE THE GRANDDAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHES YOU DID NOT BURN” which she noticed during the protests of women in Washington in March 2017.

You often emphasize social and political issues in your collections. Does it have any sense in the fashion world which is mostly a vanity fair?
– Yes it does because fashion is a barometer of various social phenomena and is not detached from life. Everything mixes nowadays – culture, design, politics, life style. Through our outfit we can communicate who we are, who we would like to be and our views.

I create fashion which is rooted in a specific context: Polish, Warsaw. I haven’t given my brand a foreign name to conceal its origin. This is important for me. Being a conscious person, a mother I cannot refrain from not reacting to what is going on around us. And bad things are happening right now. It was important for me to relate to this big movement of striking women defending their rights.

And fashion is the part of it?
– Fashion reacts to this. A lot is changing on the catwalks, slowly but in fact it is changing. Anna Wintour said that she really liked the variety in fashion nowadays when it comes to age or skin colour of the models. For the first time a female became an artistic director at Dior. Self confident, strong Maria Grazia Chiuri. In her first haute couture collection she presented T-shirts with “We should all be Feminist” slogan. It was widely discussed and was replicated by many retail chains. Discussion is important on any level. And fashion has wide range.

What is the most important thing for you in this women’s rights movement?
– I will tell you something personal. When I was finishing studies, coming back to Poland and creating my own brand, I was not thinking about building business but about fulfilling my dreams and passions. Now I am glad that I have managed to be successful with these two things. Because when I was splitting up with my partner, a father of my child, I realized that I can still be consistent with my ideas because I am a strong woman. And this is a luxury. Not all of us have such possibility. A lot of women are tired and resigned. It is important to start to respect, value ourselves and we, as women, should support one another.

Your recent collection is very feminine on many levels – choice of fabrics, cuts, female names for coats and dresses. I really like the padded vests – strong forms yet very light.
– This is one of these cuts which I remember from my early childhood. Fabrics as well: silk, wools which mass production has given up.

In Sicily all of my friend’s dowry was made by the grandmothers – bed linens, table clothes, nightgowns. In the past we used to have things which were unusual, had some history, were passed from generation to generation. I am sure, that wearing such clothes has influence on our well being, comfort of life. I am an anti-consumptionist. I prefer to have three things but of good quality.

So you agree with Vivienne Westwood’s “Buy less” ideology?
– Absolutely! It is hard to pretend not to see the overproduction of clothes.

Photo: Aga Bilska and Ania Kuczyńska’s press materials

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