New Obsessions – Nanushka

I have to be brutally honest.

This post is filed under “New Obsessions”, but my infatuation with Nanushka has been running strong for about two years. Indeed, the first time I saw the brand was when I was stalking the website of a company that I have wanted to work with for quite some time. Granted, nothing has come of that particular obsession (yet), but the garments and story have been stuck in my mind ever since, and I’ll find myself dedicating hours to searching their website, reading interviews and digging up past fashion shows.

But first, before we get to the important bits (the clothing, I know, I’m trying to hurry up), I want to talk a little bit about the history. I believe history makes a brand more than the clothes that they produce or the looks they pull together for their shows.

Sandra and Patrick, the team and visionaries behind Nanushka in an Interview with Kinfolk

Granted, there isn’t really a whole lot of history with this brand in the conventional sense. It was started in 2006 which (holy hell, that was 15 years ago) by Sandra Sandor, a Hungarian stylist and fashion designer who graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2005. Nanushka was launched just a year later into a whirlpool of brands, styles and ethics, and yet, despite that, they manage to maintain the distinctive brand of bohemian-meets-modern-sophistication that sets them apart (at least in my eyes) from so many others.

Side Note: The name Nanushka comes from Sandra’s childhood, when she was having trouble saying an abbreviated version of her name. Instead of saying “Sandi” her father said that she said “Nani” and thus her childhood nickname became Nanushka, which is the Russian word for grandmother.

Nanushka then burst onto a worldwide stage in 2016 when Sandra’s longtime partner Peter Baldaszti joined her organization as both co-owner and CEO. His direction and attention to business detail allowed the small, homegrown company to become thrust into the limelight of international fashion.

Nanuhska Faded By the Sun Fashion Show, 2020

What sets the brand apart from some of the others that it continues to jostle shoulders with is their stance on environmental policy and sustainable production practices. Ever since the beginning of the label, Sandra stressed the importance of respect and care for the environment. In a previous post, I talked about the importance of a radical shift in the world of fashion and Nanushka (along with a coffee shop in Grand Haven called Aldea) served as the inspiration for that.

This is what I love to write about. Brands that care, brands that build a world that’s even slightly better than the day before and labels and the communities they build which reinforce and builds others up. It’s a wonderful thing to read and write about.

Now, let’s talk about clothing. Unlike some previous posts, this brand has an extensive and all-consuming website full to the brim of clothing that I wish I could write about. They cover womenswear, menswear and accessories of all kinds. For this post, I’ll be focusing on menswear (this is a men’s fashion blog after all). Instead, I’m going to pull together two looks with just a few of my favorite pieces from their website followed by a brief explanation of the “ideal” customer and the experiences that these outfits call for.

One quick note before we begin: Nanushka believes in clothing without borders, so there are some women models used in the pictures below. I’ve only included those because those pieces, specifically, are designed to be unisex and fit all genders equally.

Outfit #1: A Casual Carpe Diem Sort Of Day

The kids are in classes, the spouse is out at work and this customer has the day free to themselves. No obligations aside from those that they wish to partake in, this is the outfit curated for brunch, museum visits, coffee shops and a frankly absurd amount of shopping. The pieces all work together and can be mixed and matched to adjust to whatever climate the client finds themselves in. After all, versatility is fashionable.

The jacket is regenerated leather (recycled leather combined with natural rubber, usually in a 80:20 ratio) while the shirt is a standard oxford with a dab of color and fun, witty print over a fun shirt with a hand-designed motif in the center. Paired with some casual relaxed-fit jeans, a pair of Common Projects chelsea boots, a beanie and some statement sunglasses, this look is equally at home writing in a coffee shop as it is browsing a local art museum on a chilly winter’s day. It’s a wonderful outfit, ready for whatever the day brings.

Outfit #2: A Socialite in the Concrete Jungle

The invitation says that a suit is “encouraged” but not required. It’s in New York City (one of the major fashion capitals of the world) in the middle of October and the rest of the attendees are going to be in their late 20’s or early 30’s. A black suit seems too ostentatious and something sans jacket and dress pants just seems too casual.

Enter the Malvin jacket and the Jun pants, both in aubergine. The pop of color will help the customer get noticed while the subtle details will help keep attention once the novelty of the color fades. Being paired with a turtleneck will afford the customer some warmth while still remaining dignified and sophisticated while the necklaces both by Logan Hollowell bring a hint of flair and color to the neckline. The sunglasses are not mandatory but, should the party last long into the night, they’ll provide some much-needed respite from the early morning New York Sunlight.

The City That Serves As Inspiration, Budapest

I guess in summary I would have to say that Nanushka, as a company, feels like they’ve nailed the intersection between boutique, high-end fashion and sustainability. As I’ve written before on this blog there’s a gaping hole in the fashion industry when it comes to transparency, sustainability and a general care for the planet and Nanushka comes in like a breath of fresh air.

It inspires in an effortless sort of way, and the more that I look at the pieces I can see all the tangled lines of inspiration draw together into a cohesive and incredible brand. I love everything I’ve seen (even if I personally wouldn’t wear it) and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Until then, thank you so much for reading.

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