The Hungarian denim designer to know this summer

For a few seasons, now, Eastern Europe has been responsible for churning out some of hottest new fashion labels.

The cult of Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy has paved the way for a new generation of emerging designers from countries like Georgia, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary.

During Budapest Fashion Week, WGSN picked up on Hungarian label Nanushka as talent to watch.

While the name may be new to the western audience, founder and designer Sandra Sandor has steadily been working on the brand since 2005 with her elegant take on womenswear. Sandor’s It denim items like her tie-waist jackets and jeans have become a staple amongst French-girl Insta stars like Caroline de Maigret and Camille Charrière, who helped the brand to become the first Hungarian brand to be sold on Net-a-Porter. The influence of these social media stars has now earned them a place on the site’s product descriptions with references to who has worn the piece.

Nanushka’s denim designs straddle the line between contemporary and ready-to-wear. Think elevated basics that effortlessly mix true blue jeanswear with an artistic touch. Take their denim shirt dress, for example, cut from a super lightweight denim with strategically-placed cut-outs on the shoulders and a fringed hem, or their paperbag-waist shorts with an obi-style belt that ensures the most flattering shape.

We spoke to designer Sandra to find out more behind the label and her penchant for denim.

Denim features throughout seasonal collections, what is it that draws you to the fabric?


Denim is a basic fabric in everyone’s wardrobe because it’s comfortable, durable and natural. What draws me to design denim pieces every season is the challenge to create those special details that ultimately differentiates these items from great denim brands like Levi’s or Wrangler.


How do you put your own unique spin on denim design to fit the Nanushka style?


It’s interesting how intuitively these design ideas come. If I feel like something is forced, it’s not gonna work out in the end.


Can you tell us about some of the key denim styles and fits?


Our hero denims are always a bit tomboy-like with a feminine twist. And, of course, comfort is key. My favorites from the S/S 18 collection are the western denim jacket with obi-belt, the wide-leg jeans with pyramid embroidery and the super fun minidress with a bra-shape top.


You studied in London but are based back in your native town Budapest. What is the fashion scene like in Hungary, and how does it influence your design?


Hungarian fashion is not very relevant to the global fashion scene, but there’s a handful of Hungarian designers who are interesting to watch. I wouldn’t say that I’m directly influenced by our studio’s location as I’m mostly inspired by my travels,  but I’m inevitably drawn to Central European nostalgia, which you can sense in Budapest.


Who is the Nanushka girl?


The Nanushka girl is a woman who dares to express her style, mixing designer pieces with vintage finds. She definitely likes functionality but values spirituality.

In related news, read more about the trend for smartened-up denim style in our latest emerging trend, Dressed-Up Denim on the WGSN denim page.

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