One Wolf for JULIA JANUSInterview with Agnese Narnicka
Briefly describe your profile as a designer, what do you do, your background and signature.
Despite the fact that the One Wolf brand is relatively young, I've been working as a fashion designer for more than ten years. I have a Master's degree from the Department of Design at the Art Academy of Latvia, and have broadened my horizons by studying for a semester at the Accademia di bella Arti di Brera in Milan as part of the Erasmus programme. Currently, I also teach at the Art Academy of Latvia - it's already been four years since I've been sharing my knowledge and experience with aspiring fashion design students. I have successfully participated in several international competitions, for example, Baltic Fashion Award, Who’s Next Blog, and the Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères.
In 2009, I collaborated with designer Eliza Ceski Feldmane to establish Paviljons, which is the first fashion concept store in Latvia. That provided useful experience in understanding customer desires and marketing nuances, and has also introduced us to many new brands in Latvia, the Baltics, and all of Europe.
As a designer, it has always been important for me to concentrate both on the significance of the concept of a collection, and on functionality. I enjoy creating collections as stories with a distinct feeling about the main character, his environment, and his mission. In my opinion, this helps to solidify all of the ideas and the essence of the collection. During the design process, while working on technical drawings and constructions, I always return to functional clothing that is meant to be worn on a daily basis. I constantly think about daily comfort, about clothing for life! My goal is to create clothing that a person would like to wear most of the time. Unisex clothing is characteristic of the One Wolf brand, thus expressing an individual's freedom of choice.
How did your collaboration with Julia Janus come about? How was the process of developing a collection for another Baltic brand?
Julia Janus brand's interest in relation to One Wolf is associated directly with denim design. One Wolf is one of the rare brands in the Baltics that concentrates on denim design. Unisex jeans are our specific speciality. I was approached by the designer Julia Janus. We met in Riga and very easily arrived at a shared vision regarding our partnership. As part of the project, we created the designs for three models of jeans – 2 women's models and 1 men's model. The collaboration process itself is an exciting challenge. It is based on mutual trust and the ability to find compromise. Above all, it was an opportunity for me to create something of value and something new for Julia Janus customers.
Considering that both brands are representatives of Baltic fashion, there are many similarities in our sense of aesthetics and colour. And so, the design process focused more on detailing, material nuances, and the actual manufacturing process.
Did you look at the Julia Janus archive for inspiration?
Honestly, only a little bit. It is important for me to feel my own brand and essence as a designer, and to offer my own perspective. I believe this is important in order for a collaborative project to be the beginning of something new. It's a chance to create a new product, while maintaining the characteristics of both parties. In this case - One Wolf and Julia Janus.
What is your favourite piece in the collection, and why?
My favourite is the classic blue denim men's jeans model. It is sufficiently austere and functional, and essentially I see it as a unisex piece that I would like to wear myself.
What are the most important aspects to consider before you buy a pair of jeans? As a denim master, how do you see the future of it? How is it changing?
To be honest, I haven't bought another brand of jeans for eight years. Currently, I wear only One Wolf jeans. It is important for me to feel and understand them in daily life. Yes, and I like them, that's exactly why I began making them! Most of all, I like the actual fabric of denim, as opposed to the traditional parameters of jeans – five pockets, rivets, buttons, and the classic back side. It could be said that I create jeans that deconstruct the traditional laws of jeans, as regards the amounts and proportions of what should be where. It is not rare for my jeans to have 3 zippers, 15 buttons, and no defined backside. Classic straight edge seams become curved, creating a new form and silhouette. One Wolf jeans are denim trousers, which embody the character of classic or sports clothing, as well as original and clever constructions. Denim is one of those materials that will not disappear, it will only continue its development. There are evermore possibilities for treating ready-made jeans, giving them the effects of abrasion, bleaching, toning, and printing. The assortment of denim itself is very broad in quality and threading,
Could you describe Baltic identity in five of your own words?
Snow, sea, forest, nostalgia, eclecticism